The World Cup knock-out phase was full of surprises and the teams going into the quarterfinals have a lot of work cutout for them.
Brazil shutout Chile to maintain a strong showing, but Spain sent Ronaldo and Portugal packing. It took penalty kicks for Paraguay to send Japan home. Germany defeated England in a match that sent shockwaves through the British and Argentina beat Mexico to bring Maradona that much closer to running naked through the streets if his team wins. The Netherlands maintained their perfect record while Ghana yet again dashed the USA’s hopes of making it to the quarterfinals. Uruguay rounds out the field.
British fans were banking on winning their group and playing Ghana in Rustenburg, so when the USA finished in first, there was a scramble by England fans to offload their tickets and Uncle Sam’s Army to mobilize and make the trek to the rural stadium. Most fans of African teams united behind the Black Stars, who had an unusual home field advantage.
In extra time Ghana scored and the USA’s dreams ended. Ironically, it was the second World Cup in a row in which the Black Stars sent the Stars and Stripes home. The British didn’t do well against Germany, making England, France, Italy and Portugal the European disappointments. Spain rebounded from an early poor showing to advance with a lot of positive momentum.
Quarterfinals begin Friday! Stay tuned.
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Written by Stephanie Geosits