Sokratis Papastapoulos 90 – Bryan Ruiz 52
Not the likeliest round of 16 match up. The first half didn’t feature many chances or shots on goal. The early part had Costa Rica looking more comfortable. Joel Campbell, in particular, continued to show flashes of brilliance. On the Greek side Georgios Samaras found himself offside on more than one occasion. The first shot on either goal didn’t arrive until the 28th minute. The half’s best chance fell to Dimitrios Salpingidis whose shot from a cross hit Keylor Navas’ leg. The first goal came when a Christian Bolanos cross was half shot, half diverted into the far corner. The Greek goalie didn’t move. Soon after a Vasilis Torosidis handball in the box was not spotted by the referee. Konstantinos Mitroglou came on for Greece. In the 67th minute Costa Rica’s Oscar Duarte was sent off for a second yellow. Greece tried to create, the extra man gave them more space so the last minutes were often spent in the Costa Rica zone. Right at the 90 minute mark Greece scored. A high ball into the box was shot by sub Theofanis Gekas and saved, the rebound came to Sokratis who shot past Navas. Mitroglou had a chance to end before full time but his header was pushed over. Any chance Costa Rica had to mount an attack evaporated, it was plainly obvious they had ran out of gas, especially Joel Campbell. Deep into extra time Greece had the chances to seal the win. First via a counter but Lazaros shot at Navas when he had other options. Second Mitroglou had his shot diverted into a corner. The game headed into penalties and Gekas’ was saved so Costa Rica advanced.
Holland 2-1 Mexico
Wesley Sneijder 87 Klaas Jan Huntelaar 90P – Giovani Dos Santos 48
The second day of the quarter finals had Holland play Mexico in the extreme heat and humidity of Fortaleza. Dirk Kuyt started for the Dutch. Early on Nigel De Jong had to be subbed off and Bruno Martins Indi came on. The first half had Mexico troubling Holland more often as the Dutch defense looked a bit vulnerable. Carlos Salcido got the start for Mexico and had a good first half in the middle of the park. The heat meant that the World Cup had its first official “cooling break”. The three minute break was one of the highlights of the first half, if it’s possible to call it that. Other than that both team had a penalty shout turned down. First two high Dutch legs brought down Giovani Dos Santos and then Robben seemed to be brought down after a defensive mistake allowed him to get to the ball. Early in the second half Mexico scored. Dos Santos received the high pass, moved centrally and shot in between two Dutch defenders and beat Jasper Cillessen on his left. Memphis Depay came on to find some offence for Holland. Moments later a Stefan de Vrij header from the corner was well saved by Guillermo Ochoa and it rattled off the post. Wesley Sneijder came close when his shot was deflected into the corner. Dos Santos was subbed off, perhaps a bit too early. In the 74th minute Arjen Robben ran with the ball, beat a defender and Ochoa covered the angles and saved his shot well. Just before the second cooling break Klaas Jan Huntelaar made his first World Cup appearance. Ochoa was again the star when the Dutch did manage to use their greater possession to actually get close to the Mexico goal. The goal finally came when a corner was headed back and Sneijder ran to the ball and shot hard and low from the edge of the box. Into injury time Robben made one of his trademark runs into the Mexico box and was eventually brought down by Rafa Marquez. Huntelaar scored the penalty.
Colombia 2-0 Uruguay
James Rodriguez 28 50
The second all South American round of 16 match was missing Luis Suarez. He was of course suspended for his Giorgio Chiellini bite days earlier. Diego Forlan started in his place. As with their group games Colombia had the better of the ball and used their pace to attack well. James Rodriguez who had three group stage goals was again the focal point. He added one of the best of the World Cup with a one touch volley that beat Fernando Muslera just under the crossbar. Uruguay were strong and physical but produced relatively little offense with Edinson Cavani neither getting good service nor executing well when he got any. The second half started with a similar shape to the first and before long Rodriguez got his fifth of the World Cup. A scramble deep in Uruguay’s zone led to Juan Cuadrado cutting the ball back and Rodriguez shot it in. Cuadrado was becoming assister in chief. Uruguay got more chances and possession but David Ospina in the Colombia goal was good enough when troubled. Colombia made the last eight for the first time.
Brazil 1 (3)-(2) 1 Chile
David Luiz 18 – Alexis Sanchez 32
Fernandinho started in place of Paulinho and Arturo Vidal was back in the Chile starting 11 after missing the third group game. The early story was a concern for Neymar who was limping after a foul. Before the 15th minute both teams had a penalty shout denied by Howard Webb, replays showed that the referee was probably correct. A Neymar corner was headed on and then diverted into goal by David Luiz or was it an Gonzalo Jara own goal? With the game proceeding with mostly tackles and fouls a defensive mistake – Marcelo’s throw in was carelessly headed back to him by Hulk – meant Alexis Sanchez was able to collect the ball in the area and hit low into the far side. Brazil came close to retaking the lead via a scramble in the Chile box and a bit later by Neymar, Fred and long Dani Alves shot. Just before half time another defensive giveaway led to a scramble in the Brazil box. The second half featured a Hulk goal called back for hand ball, it was almost a shoulder. Chile had their best chance saved well by Julio Cesar in the 64th minute. Later Neymar headed well but right at Claudio Bravo then Hulk kept the ball well and forced a good punching save from Bravo. Nervous moments for both didn’t produce a goal and the game headed to extra time. Hulk’s low hard shot was the first fifteen’s best chance in an otherwise foul filled time. In the second fifteen Brazil had more of the ball but it was Chile sub Mauricio Pinilla’s 119th minute shot that came off the crossbar. The game headed to the penalty kicks. Chile missed their first two penalties and never really recovered. Neymar took Brazil’s fifth and scored their third. Brazil won 3-2 on penalties.