New York, NY - After losing the their Group B matches to the Netherlands and Chile by a combined score of 7-1, the defending champions were able to conclude their FIFA World Cup run on a positive note. In their final match, Spain defeated Australia 3-0.
While Spain and Australia battled it out, Chile lost 2-0 to possibly the best team in the World Cup, the Netherlands. Following the result, both national teams will advance to the Round of 16.
With Holland winning their group, they will face the runner up of Group A while Chile moves on to face Group A’s winner. For match highlights of both matches, click here.
In the afternoon, the final matches of Group A will took place. Croatia loss 3-1 to Mexico while Brazil defeated Cameroon 4-1. In the Round of 16, Brazil will face Chile and Mexico will be up against the Netherlands. For highlight’s, click here.
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1. HEARTBREAK & HOPE FOR USMNT
The US national team came within 25 seconds of an amazing comeback victory over Portugal, which would’ve secured their place in the knockout stage of the World Cup. But it wasn’t to be, as Portugal scored in the 95th minute to level the score at 2-2. They still have a good chane of advancing, but was a gut punch, as the Americans did everything right to neutralize Cristiano Ronaldo for 94 minutes. But his immaculate cross on the equalizer exposed the USMNT’s Achilles heel, according to MLSsoccer.com’s Matt Doyle.
2. WHO PERFORMED WELL? WHO DIDN’T?
The postgame analysis started immediately. Here’s a full breakdown on MLSsoccer.com’s postgame showwith ex-USMNT assistant coach Jesse Marsch. And everyone had player ratings, including MLSsoccer.com, World
3. STILL ALIVE
The US team remains in 2nd place in Group G heading into their third and final group-stage match against Germany, Thursday at 12 noon ET. Portugal will take on Ghana at the exact same time. Here are the scenarios for advancement for the USA.
4. GERMANY ARE NOT INVICIBLE
The US team now has three days to recover from the Portugal game, a situation that had Jurgen Klinsmann questioning FIFA’s schedulers. Why? Because Germany have an extra day of rest. They played on Saturday, when they were shocked by African side Ghana in a scintillating 2-2 draw. Longtime German star Miroslav Klose scored the late equalizer, his 15th World Cup goal, tying him with Brazilian legend Ronaldo for most ever.
5. GHANA MATCH-FIXING CLAIMS AHEAD OF PORTUGAL MATCH
The other two sides in the group, Portugal and Ghana, meanwhile, are dealing with very different issues. Portugal must try to recover from the US draw, and wonder why Cristiano Ronaldo has admittd that his side is “maybe an average team.” Worse than that, Ghana are reacting to a report in the London Telegraph that connects the Black Stars to a potential match-fixing scandal.
6. MEXICO SET FOR DECIDER
El Tri go into their final group game against Croatia (4 pm ET, ESPN, Univision, CBC) with their fate firmly in their own hands. A draw against the improving Croats will see them through to the knockout round, but who and what will determine the outcome? If they do make it through, it is only thanks to the US, Jurgen Klinsmann reminded everyone on Sunday.
7. ERRING REF DISMISSED
The World Cup is a high pressure environment in which just one or two mistakes can be the difference between moving on or going home. Not just for the players, but also the officials. The Colombian linesman who twice negated good goals for Mexico due to incorrect offside decisions has been sent home.
8. COSTA RICAN DARLINGS
CONCACAF minnows Costa Rica have become the darlings of the 2014 World Cup after they defeated Italy and Uruguay to secure a spot in the round of 16. But is their Cinderella run being questioned as too implausible? After Costa Rica’s win over Italy, FIFA ordered seven Ticos to take drugs tests, but only two Italians. This sparked a letter from the Costa Rican federation, a fiery reaction from Diego Maradona, and abrilliant challenge from head coach Jorge Luis Pinto: “If they want in the next match, they can test all 11 playes and even me.”
With three of the four CONCACAF teams performing admirably at the World Cup so far — Honduras has definitely struggled — many American fans find themselves cheering on our usual rivals. Why is this? Well, while part of it could be the desire to earn an extra spot at the World Cup, the simple answer is that, well, this is CONCACAF. Respect!