They’ll meet France in the early hours of Saturday morning and were we betting men we’d put a few quid on les bleus reaching the semi finals.

That brings us nicely onto today’s games where Argentina took on Switzerland and Belgium faced the USA.

Argentina was the first side to progress on the day, overcoming Switzerland 1-0. But it was another less than convincing display. They dominated possession in a turgid clash but were unable to break Switzerland down until a bit of genius from (yep, who else?) Lionel Messi put Angel Di Maria through to score. Switzerland nearly struck back, but Blerim Dzemaili’s header crashed against the woodwork. Game over.

The late kick-off saw Belgium take on the USA and it was Belgium’s so-called golden generation that came out on top – despite a valiant effort from Tim Howard (we lost count of the number of saves he made, but apparently it was the most ever in a World Cup game!).

The match was as brilliant as Howard and Belgium walked away deserving winners in the end, but it was a brave performance from the US.

It was another game decided in extra-time. Kevin de Bruyne was the man that finally broke the US resistance two minutes into the extra 30 and Lukaku fired in a second 11 minutes later. The US didn’t go out with a whimper… and a goal from promising youngster Julian Green (watch out for him in future World Cups) gave them hope of a comeback. But it wasn’t to be as Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones both missed chances to take the game to penalties.

Argentina plays Belgium on Sunday.

 

FIFA WORLD CUP QUATERFINAL

Saturday July 5

France vs Germany 02.00

Brazil vs Colombia 06.00

 

Sunday July 6

Argentina vs Belgium 02:00

Netherlands vs Costa Rica 06:00

Images via Getty

No, not really. You probably forgive them being cautious with so much riding on each result but you can’t honestly say any of the teams involved were holding anything back because the truth is they all went for it at different stages during their matches (Switzerland aside) and seemed to cancel each other out to a large extent.

We covered the first four games earlier in the week, where Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Netherlands were confirmed quarterfinalists, but we had to wait until breakfast this morning to see who the final of the four other teams to join them would be (sorry for the delay in posting this… it’s been busy at TNT Towers).

Today’s games determined who’ll meet in quarterfinal 3, with Argentina beating Switzerland 1-0 in extra-time and Belgium overcoming the USA, again in extra-time, 2-1.

A day earlier quarterfinal 1 was decided and it was a similar story with France leaving it late – until the last 10 minutes of the 90 actually – to open the scoring against Nigeria before eventually winning 2-0. Germany meanwhile survived a huge test against Algeria, overcoming the African underdogs thanks to extra-time goals from Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil.

Pogba’s goal put France ahead

The France game wasn’t a classic but it wasn’t without incident either. Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike had put his side in front but his effort was (perhaps wrongly) ruled out for offside. France gradually started to exert pressure and a couple of wonder saves from Vincent Enyeama – and the crossbar – helped keep Didier Deschamps’ men at bay. In the end though it was the Nigeria keeper’s error that gifted France their opener – and it was a headed goal from Paul Pogba. The lead was extended through an own goal from Joseph Yobo. 

Who they would meet in the quarterfinals was decided in the day’s next match – Germany vs Algeria. Okay, we shouldn’t be surprised that the eventual winners were Germany, but they were very (very) lucky to progress against the Africans. The three-time champions lacked any real urgency throughout the 90 minutes, looked vulnerable at the back and were in fact second-best to Algeria for large parts of the game. Germany frequently looked rattled but the energetic Algeria wasted countless chances in an open and exciting encounter before Schurrle (reminds us of a joke from the movie classic Aeroplane) opened the scoring in extra-time (his goal looked like a fluke on first viewing but replays showed it was a class finish). The rest is history and Germany progressed.

They’ll meet France in the early hours of Saturday morning and were we betting men we’d put a few quid on les bleus reaching the semi finals.

Ozil looks pleased with his goal

That brings us nicely onto today’s games where Argentina took on Switzerland and Belgium faced the US.

Argentina was the first side to progress on the day, overcoming Switzerland 1-0. But it was another less than convincing display. They dominated possession in a turgid clash but were unable to break Switzerland down until a bit of genius from (yep, who else?) Lionel Messi put Angel Di Maria through to score. Switzerland nearly struck back, but Blerim Dzemaili’s header crashed against the woodwork. Game over.

How do you spell genius? M-E-S-S-I 

Belgium vs the US was a World Cup classic and it was Belgium’s so-called golden generation come out on top  – despite a valiant effort from Tim Howard (we lost count of the number of saves he made, but apparently it was the most ever in a World Cup game!).

The match was as brilliant as Howard and Belgium walked away deserving winners in the end, but it was a brave performance from the US.

It was another game decided in extra-time. Kevin de Bruyne was the man that finally broke the US resistance two minutes into the extra 30 and Lukaku fired in a second 11 minutes later. The US didn’t go out with a whimper… and a goal from promising youngster Julian Green (watch out for him in future World Cups) gave them hope of a comeback. But it wasn’t to be as Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones both missed chances to take the game to penalties.

Argentina plays Belgium on Sunday.

A Barack Obama lookalike dressed as Captain America can’t believe the US crashed out


FIFA WORLD CUP QUATERFINALS

Saturday July 5

France vs Germany 02.00

Brazil vs Colombia 06.00

 

Sunday July 6

Argentina vs Belgium 02:00

Netherlands vs Costa Rica 06:00

 

 

Images via Getty