We’ve arrived at the knockout stage of the World Cup. It’s hard to believe that we’re three-quarters of the way through the matches (48 of 64 played). Today, we have the USA-Netherlands at 10 am ET and Argentina-Australia at 2 pm ET. Both matches are on FOX, Telemundo Deportes, and streaming on FOXSports.com in the US.
South Korea 2 - Portugal 1: unfortunately, there was no way for Portugal to go home, so I’ll have to settle for Son Heung-Min having to play on and put more minutes on his legs. The scenes of joy from the South Korean players, Son included, when they learned they’d gone through were pretty great.
Uruguay 2 - Ghana 0: and so ends Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani’s World Cup careers, not with a bang, but with a whimper. Uruguay needed a third goal to go through on goal difference, and they could not find it. Ghana (and Thomas Partey) go home, but they go home secure in the knowledge they sent their arch-nemesis (Suarez because of the handball incident in 2010) home.
Cameroon 1 - Brazil 0: a stoppage time goal for Vincent Aboubakar was the difference for Cameroon against a heavily rotated Brazil side. Aboubakar, who was on a yellow, took of his shirt after scoring and got himself sent off, certainly a memorable way to end your World Cup in potentially the last WC match of your career. Gabriel Jesus hurt his knee and is expected to be out until January. Gabriel Martinelli played well. By some accounts, he was the best attacking player for Brazil.
Switzerland 3 - Serbia 2: they saved one of the best matches of the group stage for last — 5 goals, 11 yellow cards, and nearly a fight. We had a Granit Xhaka crotch grab towards the Serbian bench, which he denies was to goad them for what it’s worth, too. Not that ethno-political tensions are good, but they sure make for entertaining football.