Columbia vs. Greece
Okay, so, this is the first game I can honestly say I don’t really remember. There are a lot of games in the group stages but I watched it! I think I deserve credit for watching it! Columbia won. Let’s move on.
Uruguay vs. Costa Rica
My hatred of Luis Suarez is so intense, it extends to the entire country of Uruguay. All I know about Cost Rica is that, apparently, it is impossible for the United States to beat them in Costa Rica. Impossible as in, it’s never happened. Not once. But Uruguay made it to the semi-finals in 2010. They’re a formidable side.
Oh man was this great to watch. Costa Rica firing home three goals after an initial penalty conversion for Uruguay. And the first red card of the tournament went to a Uruguayan – Maxi Pereira. Uruguay, remember how you cheated your way into the semi finals in 2010? Well, karma’s a bitch.
England vs. Italy
England is my team. Well, England is one of my teams. It was my first team. Back when the US didn’t make it to the World Cup and my friends were still amused by my father’s Yorkshire accent, England was my team. So, they get priority. I follow English soccer. I know the English players.
And then there’s Italy. While I supported England in high school, I had a soccer nemesis in Greg Stephens. He enthusiastically supported Italy. He was also a Juventus fan and practically a disciple of Roberto Baggio. When he spoke of Italy, he did so with a mild Italian accent that came out of nowhere (not only was he American but he once told me the derivation of his so-called Italian name was Stephenitis, which is clearly Greek). When he spoke of English players, he spat his words. “In the world? No one cares about England, not their league, not their players. Roberto Baggio is the best player in the world. Ask anyone.”
This was also two perennial soccer powers going head to head in their first game of the tournament.
I have to admit, I was underprepared for the game. I didn’t even know who was in the Englad starting lineup or who was on their roster. For Italy, I only knew Pirlo and Balotelli, but I figured that would be enough.
Claudio Marchisio’s long range shot was solid but Danile Sturridge’s equalizer was brilliant. And then Balotelli’s header. I’ve got to say, Mario Balotelli continues to disappoint in the trainwreck department. He’s supposed to be this crazy player but, really, he’s just sort of impulsive and young. That was a great header, though.
Japan vs. Cote d’Ivoire
Okay, so, my life can’t be completely on hold for the World Cup. I was at my friend’s 40th Birthday Karaoke party for this one. I suppose doing karaoke while the Japan game is on is appropriate. Unless it’s racist, in which case, forget I said that. But, seriously, the guy who scored for Japan was named Honda. I didn’t make up these stereotypes. Culturally insensitive? Well, it’s the internet, so, sure. Cameroon might have been my favorite African team but Cote d’Ivoire is the African team I expected the most from. I’m glad they won.
Pablo Armero, Teo Gutierrez, James Rodriguez – Again, guys, I don’t really remember this, there are a lot of games. Let’s just trust that these three players are talented and they beat Greece.
Edinson Cavani – converted a penatly. How can that guy stand to be on the same team as Suarez? Have I mentioned I hate Uruguay?
Joel Campbell – This was a well taken shot and a great goal followed by the most bizarre goal celebration I’ve seen that wasn’t pre-choreographed by Icelanders. Put the ball up your shirt and suck your thumb? Dude, your wife had better be pregnant or you’ve got issues.
Oscar Duarte – great diving header into the bottom right corner to put Costa Rica ahead.
Marco Urena – Put Uruguay away. You are my hero.
Claudio Marchisio – Solid long range shot.
Daniel Sturridge – Great finish.
Mario Balotelli – Heartbreaking header.
Keisuke Honda – Great left footed finish. Also, he plays for Japan and his last name is Honda. If John Cadillac played for the US, would we let it go?
Wilfred Bony and Gervinho – Two headers within minutes of each other to put the game away.