Japan vs Croatia
Japan played Croatia in the round of 16 for today’s first match. Japan scored in the 43′ minute. That would give them the lead going into halftime. Croatia would tie the game quickly in the second half. They would score in the 55′ minute. The game would end in a draw. The game went into overtime. Neither team was able to break the tie in overtime. The game would be decided on penalty kicks. Croatia won the shootout 3-1. The final score would be 1-1 with Croatia winning on penalties. Shots were close. Croatia had the majority of possession. Japan wasn’t able to hold their lead. Croatia was just better when it came down to penalties. Japan didn’t look to sharp on penalties. Croatia was dialed in by that point. Croatia will advance to the quater-finals. Japan will end their journey here. Japan put up a great effort and it was a solid final match. Croatia plays the winner of the Brazil vs South Korea game.
Brazil vs South Korea
In today’s second match, Brazil took on South Korea in the round of 16. Brazil wasted no time in scoring. They scored their first goal in the 7′ minute. They added to their lead in the 13′ minute on a penalty kick. They would score again in the 29′ minute and the 36′ minute to take a commanding lead. Brazil took a 4-0 lead into the second half. South Korea would score the only goal of the second half in the 76′ minute. It was a beautiful goal too. A long bomb from South Korea found the back of the net after Brazil cleared the ball out of their box. The South Korea goal is in my top five so far in the world cup. I was already thinking that the game was over when South Korea scored. Despite how nice the goal was, I felt like it was meaningless with how the game was going and how much control Brazil had anyway. It seemed like Brazil could still score if they wanted and they were coasting. Even after the goal, it didn’t seem like South Korea was a threat to Brazil. The final score was 4-1 Brazil.
Brazil dominated the first half. Scored at will. Went unchallenged. They basically did whatever they wanted for the first forty-five minutes. South Korea couldn’t do anything to stop them. For this game, Brazil had total control. They were able to build a nice lead in the first half, then they took their foot off the gas for the second half. They coasted to a win and birth in the quarter-finals. South Korea is headed home. Brazil will play Croatia in the quater-finals.
There still have not been any upsets in the round of 16. The higher-ranked team by FIFA has won every match in the elimination stage so far. The Netherlands, Argentina, England, France, Croatia, and Brazil have advanced to the quarter-finals. There are still two round of 16 matches that will be played tomorrow. The next two matches will determine the last quarter-final match.
#22 ranked Morocco will play #7 ranked Spain in tomorrow’s first match. Spain comes into the match after not meeting expectations in the group stage. Morocco comes into the match after exceeding expectations in the group stage. Morocco is the last African team remaining. Spain is favored to win the game. I think Spain is feeling the pressure after how they finished the group stage. Spain could continue to under preform and be sent home early. I don’t think that will happen. Will Morocco have any surprises for Spain? This could easily end up like the Brazil vs South Korea game.
#9 ranked Portugal will take on #15 ranked Switzerland after Morocco vs Spain. Portugal is definitely favored to win this one. It would be a surprise to me if Switzerland even keeps this one close. Portugal has a lot of momentum going into this game even after losing their last group-stage game. I think they will be too much for Switzerland to handle.
The Netherlands won Group A. England won Group B. Argentina won Group C. France won Group D. Japan won Group E. Morocco won Group F. Brazil won Group G. Portugal won Group H.
The Netherlands, Senegal, England, the United States, Argentina, Poland, France, Australia, Japan, Spain, Morocco, Croatia, Brazil, Switzerland, Portugal, and South Korea have advanced to the elimination stage.
Ecuador, Qatar, Iran, Wales, Germany, Costa Rica, Belgium, Canada, Cameroon, Serbia, Uruguay, and Ghana were all eliminated in the group stage.
The United States, Australia, Poland, Senegal, Japan, and South Korea were eliminated in the round of 16.
The Netherlands, Argentina, France, England, Croatia, and Brazil have all advanced to the quarter-finals.