Just like you, but different
Second side of the draw, the round of 8.
I’m sure everyone expects Argentina and Netherlands to progress from this and they both seem to be favrouites. Costa Rica are rank outsiders at the bookmakers.
Argentina – Belgium. Argentina a 4-4-2 setup, Belgium a complicated 4-2-3-1 affair.
Intentions declared within the first 60 seconds, a physical game. Then Messi gets the ball and the Belgium defence looked a shambles, but they recover.
An even first 5 minutes
GOAL!!! Higuain from a great pass into the middle of the 18 yard box and he’s in place when the ball bounced perfectly and it’s in the net in one fluid motion. Goalkeeper no chance, unexpected and Messi had the defence all over the place again in the build up. 8 minutes 1-0 Argentina
Lots of time left and Belgium are looking for the levelling goal, although in this tournament they’ve only managed to score after the 70 minute mark. Late wins are wins.
20 minutes – Belgium are being compressed in midfield by a good Argentina defence. Argentina seem happy with the play to be in the midfield and are not showing too much desire to push forward.
Messi really does torment the defenders and has delivered some great passes that have split the Belgium defence.
30 minutes – Belgium have to make their possession count but seem to lack that final touch. Argentina have been forced into an injury substitution.
38 minutes Messi is bundled over, Belgium defenders had 3 or 4 nibbles at that, the free kick is right on the edge of the 18 hard box, and in front of goal. Messi flashes the ball over the bar.
Final 5 minutes this half – Belgium beat the defence and the ball is headed wide, their best chance of the half.
Argentina close out the half with 54% obsession and 5 shots from 6 on target, Belgium with only the 1 from 4. 1-0 Argentina lead.
Second half underway. Half time oranges and pep talk all done.
Argentina start on attack.
55 minutes, Belgium robbed in possession and an 60 meter run from Higuain ends with the ball just glancing the bar, that would have been something if it’s been in the net.
On the hour there are some Belgium substitutions – tactical – and in the next moments another great chance is over the bar. No change in the score. A purple patch really for Belgium they do need to convert one. Getting close to that 70 minute mark where they seem to get their goals from.
15 minutes to go. The crowd cranks the volume up to 11.
5 to go in quite engaging game, Argentina appear to have done enough to take it. 5 added minutes at the end of the game. As Belgium press Messi finds himself on the break one-on-one with goalkeeper who saves magnificently.
It’s all over 1-0 Argentina.
Netherlands – Costa Rica. Same 3-4-3 set up from Netherlands as Costa Rica
Opening 5 minutes goes to the Netherlands.
Robben and Van Persie combine – offside, that looks ominous.
10 minutes – It’s all Netherlands. Costa Rica finally get a good chance but it’s a poor cross.
20 minutes – it’s been a bit muddled and Netherlands are making lots of chance but might have lost their way somewhat.
Van Persie with a 1-on-1 opportunity that he doesn’t take. the Costa Rica goalkeeper is magnificent.
30 minutes – this might be one of those games where despite their best efforts the attacking side, in this case Netherlands, cannot get it right, with either offside, or a misplaced final touch letting them down
38 minutes the Costa Rica goalkeeper, Navas, saves from a free kick, fine work great save.
The half ends 0-0
Netherlands with 63% possession and 4 from 4 shots on goal, Costa Rica with 1 effort not on goal.
Second half underway. Belgium need to re-discover their form in front of goal, Costa Rica need to attack with conviction.
55 minutes – much the same. Costa Rica solid in defence, Netherlands lacking touch.
60 minutes – Costa Rica have a penalty declined. Referee was right in front of that and gets it right.
75 minutes – Although the game has opportunity it really is muddled.
Final 15 – more offside play from Netherlands. Against the post – how agonising for the Netherlands.
Five to go – it’s going to extra time at this rate. Van Persie has two great chances but still can’t find the back of the ol’ onion bag
It ends 0-0
Navas really is on form tonight in goal for Costa Rica. Netherlands really do want a goal. Costa Rica appeal for a penalty declined, I’ve seen them given.
last 15 before the penalty shootout.
Costa Rica 115 minutes into the game get a corner! They look likely to steal this at the death too. It’s all on for Costa Rica who are putting in all the effort, this is a fine closing few minutes.
It’s off the bar!!!! Netherlands can’t buy a goal.
Change of goalkeepers for the dutch? Prep for the penalty shootout.
0-0 and so to penalties.
The Netherlands have never won a penalty shootout in the world cup. First penalty taker has the better odds of winning the shootout.
Costa Rica win the toss and kick first.
Netherlands win on penalties