All in all, Tuesday’s World Cup action didn’t offer much to sink your teeth into. The Japanese took a nibble at Colombia, but pulling out a victory in this World Cup was more than they could chew. The already-eliminated Brits were again toothless against the already-qualified Costa Ricans. The Greeks, helped by a last-minute penalty, pulled out a nail-biter to go through to the round of 16. Oh, and what happened in that other match?
1. Suarez bites man (again). It’s really unbelievable that Uruguay’s Luis Suarez has done this not once but twice...
1. Arjen Robben is another great player that’s tough to love. The Dutch veteran put in another spectacular performance Monday, and though he didn’t get on the scoreboard, he did provide at least one sumptuous assist for Memphis Depay. He’s not the narcissist that Cristiano Ronaldo is, nor is he the violent racist that Luis Suarez has proven himself to be, but Robben doesn’t hurt for self-regard. He can be a shameless, almost proud cheat. And he can fake injury or contact in the box like an Oscar winner. But so far this tournament, we’ve seen the best of...
1. Colombia is through to the round of 16. Regardless of the result of its final opening-round game (against Japan), Colombia will be joining Holland in the next stage. Despite concerns that the Colombians would hurt for goals without Radamal Falcao, they seem to be doing just fine.
Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s games and their implications:
1. Robin van Persie will miss the next game and it won’t matter. Due to both a booking and an injury, RVP will be suspended for the final group stage game, but the Dutch are already through and only need a draw against Chile to top the group. Can the Dutch play a defensive game, though?
1. Brazil ain’t all that. Brazil came into this tournament as the overwhelming favorite, largely on the back of reputation and its role as host. It should still comfortably escape the group, but this Brazil team isn’t the 2002 team. The stuttering performance against a very good Mexico team coupled with a narrow (possibly undeserved) win over Croatia does not inspire confidence. Perhaps the team is just warming up, but at the moment opponents will not be quaking in their boots.
With his strike at the 30-second mark, Dempsey became the first American to score in three consecutive world cups. His goal was also the third fastest ever scored in a World Cup game. And it was also a pretty sick goal.