The world cup group stages are over. But are there any clear favorites? The defending champions, Spain got knocked out. Many leading analyst companies have predicted Brazil to win. But after watching their play every football player knows it is not easy for them. The most consistent team from the last decade, Germany struggled against Ghana though they ripped apart Portugal’s Ronaldo or Ronaldo’s Portugal? Last tournaments finalists Holland made their mark in the tournament when they defeated Spain 5-1. Argentina, who boast the best attacking line but the opposite in defense.
This world cup has shown us how good the non-traditional power houses have become like Columbia, Chile, Costa Rica and not to forget United States of America. Wait a minute did I forget France? Oh yes, everybody had forgotten them before the tournament.
Today the round of 16 or the second stage matches start. In the first game the hosts Brazil take on Chile, followed by Columbia vs Uruguay.
The stats show that Brazil have never lost to Chile on home soil and not lost a competitive match at home since a long time. Well this means that Brazil should make it through easily right? Well on paper it seems so. But let’s not forget Chile defeated the defending Champions Spain 2-0. They gave Holland a run for their money even without Vidal, who was forced to sit out due to injury. Alexis Sanchez can cause trouble for attack minded Brazilian full backs. He will have to do his defensive duties also to keep Neymar at bay. Though it would be difficult to get past the defense comprising of Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Luiz Gustavo it is not impossible with Luiz and Gustavo exchanging roles during the game. The Brazilians should step up their game. Though Neymar has been brilliant at times for them, Brazil still haven’t made a proper statement at the tournament. Brazil might end up going through.
Coming to the second game, the Columbians have been impressive so far. They have left everybody wonder what if Falcao was not injured. Uruguay scrapped through their group though they lost their first game. James Rodriguez has been the most impressive player so far for the Columbians. The forwards of their team have performed really well. Jackson Martinez notching two goals and man of the match, if not for whom Rodriguez would have joined Messi in becoming only players to win MoM(Man of the Match) in all three games. Suarez inspired Uruguay for a win over England, but he is no longer with the team. Edison Cavani has not been impressive so far. He will need to step up for Uruguay to have a chance. But expect Columbia to go through.
The game already started before I completed this blog. Brazil already took a lead too. From tomorrow’s game I will finish before the game. Let’s enjoy today’s game till then.