An underwhelming Brazil team beat Chile on penalties. Brazil showed brilliance during the first 20 minutes that also saw them go ahead. An equalizer in the 32nd minute showed that Chile was going to put up a fight. Through the late minutes of the first half and throughout the second, Chile was the better side. Pinilla’s strike hit the woodwork late in the second half that could have sealed their win. But they then started playing very defensive – playing for penalties effectively – only to lose 3-2. Jara had an unfortunate day out – first with the own goal (credited to Luiz, but off Jara’s leg) and then the missed fifth penalty shot. To be fair to Brazil the referee disallowed Hulk’s goal for a handball which looked like a wrong decision. It could have been 2-1 to Brazil at full time. An unconvincing win.
Colombia continued their fine run, and James Rodriguez is becoming a player of the calibre of Messi or Neymar. Two goals, the first a sublime one which caught everyone by surprise, takes his total to 5 for the 4 matches played. Uruguay missed el canibal and they just did not have any creativity up front. Colombia will take heart from Brazil’s uninspiring win & Neymar’s potential injury issues as they fancy their chances for the quarter final.
The Netherlands snatched a victory from Mexico. An early in the second half goal had the Mexicans ahead till the 88th minute but two goals in 3 minutes put the Dutch ahead. In the second period Mexico sat back and allowed the game to come to them. The Dutch attack was relentless led by Robben. Van Persie was out of sorts (probably due to the heat) and was replaced by Huntelaar. The equalizer was good, but Robben dived to set up the penalty in stoppage time. Huntelaar converted and the Dutch go forward. They will fancy their chances against Costa Rica in the next round.
Costa Rica won a well-deserved victory against Greece. They went a goal ahead (once again Brian Ruiz) but Greece snatched an equalizer in the dying moments against a 10-man Costa Rica side. The 10 against 11 battle went on through extra time and eventually went on to penalties. Costa Rica got all five of theirs to win 5-3. Neither of these two countries have ever got this far in the World Cup. So Netherlands may well feel that their progress to the next stage is pretty well assured. But Costa Rica have been the find of the tournament playing some excellent football throughout the tournament. Bound to be an interesting match though.