The drama only will increase as we move through these group stage games. Yesterday saw England receive a massive (but not fatal) blow to their World Cup, while the Ivory Coast must have looked on in smiles at Japan's inability to find a winner against 10-man Greece. Today sees Ecuador and Honduras fighting for their lives, Switzerland taking on France, and Italy faces Costa Rica. Follow along with us!
Yesterday in Brazil
Coming Home Newcastle was at 1,000% Elephants for Ivory Coast's game, but two second half goals doomed the Elephants to defeat. Colombia is now in charge of Group C. Newcastle's Cheik Tiote had himself a classic Tiote game,where in he was booked, tried some shots from distance (that missed), and was a decent passer.
Luis Suarez's knee held up long enough for him to score two goals, including the match winner that saw some of the poorest marking you'll ever see, in Uruguay's 2-1 win over England. Wayne Ronney finally did get his World Cup goal, but it wasn't enough. Though, England still have a way through to the knockout stages.
This match also opened up the talk about concussions in soccer, because the NFL shouldn't get all of the spotlight on that issue.
Japan and Greece played a very Iran-Nigeria style 0-0 draw, this despite Greece having a player sent off. This really shapes up well for the Ivory Coast, who are in second place with three points. If the Elephants can get a draw in their remaining game against Greece (and really, Greece plays for the draw from the opening whistle) and Colombia beats Japan (likely, since Colombia looks really, really good) Ivory Coast are through.
Today in Brazil
Costa Rica's President says public workers can break to watch the match, likely because everyone was already going to play hooky.
Since England really, really, really need Italy to win, Mario Balotelli says the queen should give him a kiss if they do. All in good fun.
France isn't fully embracing their national side. Probably because of the number of Frenchmen included in the side. DO YOU SEE HOW STUPID THAT SOUNDS, YOU XENOPHOBES?
One of the awesome things about soccer is its ability to bring countries together. The Swiss National Team is doing that for a country that is engrossed in an immigration debate.
Using the USMNT to push for immigration reform might not be the best idea. (If you do want to discuss this issue, please keep it civil in the comments. It is OK to respectfully disagree on the Internet.)
Clint Dempsey is not going to wear a mask, because he is a superhero.
Jozy Altidore is officially out against Portugal. Who should replace him?