Again there were no surprises in yesterday’s contest the two European giants took part in. Only thing being the timing of the goal. The goals came too late, luckily for France it was not too late to be dragged into extra time.
Let us now look at the last two games at this stage. In the first one Argentina take on Switzerland, which is more like Messi vs Shaqiri. Argentina though from a very easy group struggled against the team that everybody least expected, Iran. In the end it was Messi’s magic that took them through that game. The Nigerians put up a stern challenge against Messi’s team equalizing twice in the game. The free kick from the little known Marcos Rojo made the difference. Messi’s brace in the game helped him secure the MoM, to become the first player in history to win MoM for all three group games. Argentina’s defense is their only problem, though their goal keeper does step up some times to the challenge the defense has to take charge and perform well in order to block Shaqiri, the main man for the Swiss. Switzerland’s defense is not good either, they conceded five against France, a team without Ribery and Nasri. Joesp Drimic has had a good season in Bundesliga, but he has to score in this game for Switzerland to have a chance. With Aguero facing fitness problems, Argentina’s attack does not become weak with Higuain, Di Maria and Messi they have one of the best attacking line up in the tournament. Argentina might scrap it through if their defense holds.
‘BELIEVE”(I Believe) is the tag line of the US soccer team, yes soccer that is what they call it here. The US team under Klinsman have improved remarkably. Their performance against Portugal, where they came back from a goal down was worth noting. They were the better team on the pitch that day, only to be denied a win by a last minute goal by whom? No, I don’t remember not many remember that, we only know that it was a world class cross from Cristiano Ronaldo. But who can forget the strike from Jermaine Jones, a fantastic long range effort. Their performance against Ghana wasn’t that impressive though they won the game. Client Dempsey is their main man but many more emerging during the world cup. In the game against Germany they were denied a late equalizer by Philip Lahm, yes Lahm not Neuer(Is he a goalie or defender? :P). Coming to Belgium, who have not featured in the last two world cups. The players have been very impressive at club level, they have performed well so far in the group stages. In the first two games, the substitutes went on to score the goals for them, as claimed by the manager before the first game. Belgium have very good defense with Kompany at the help, but he is a doubt for today’s game. Thomas Vermalene is also ruled out. So they might have a fragile defense of which US can take advantage of. Hazard and Lukaku should step up their game and score early in order for them to have a chance, since US will surely break their defense without Kompany at the center of it. US soccer team will have their best run in the tournament so far if they beat Belgium today, but it won’t be their last for years to come. Belgium were eliminated in the round of 16 last time they were in the tournament. If Belgium can withstand US without Kompany, then they have a chance to go through to the next round. Their best performance in the tournament being in the year 1986 where they lost in the semi finals to Argentina. They might be able to avenge that if they go through.
Anyways the quarter finals will be exciting! Until then…..hey wait a minute does anybody remember the world cup song!?