World Cup 2014: Second Round

World Cup coverage continues, and the surprises just keep coming!

Memo Ochoa, the greatest goalkeeper in the World Cup so far

BRA-MEX (0-0)
What a game! Ochoa is rightfully the Man of the Match, making 8 stunning saves in addition to recovering the ball in the box. Mexico is a resilient, talented bunch, and they gave Brazil a good run for their money. On the other hand, Brazil played sloppy and unimpressive for a team of their caliber.

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World Cup 2014: Year of Surprises

The World Cup usually is big, loud, but rather predictable and low-scoring. This year, however, everything changed. Costa Rica won, Mexico was the only non-European country to ever get a point against Brazil in the group stage, and Brazil scored an own goal. Stakes are high and drama is higher – red cards, discounted goals, and goal line technology used for the first time to count a goal that the referee would probably otherwise discount…this World Cup has it all. Here are my feelings and thoughts summed up after each of the games during the first round of games.

Marcelo after the first goal of the World Cup – an own goal.

BRA-CRO (3-1)
Brazil has been the projected winner of the World Cup from the get-go, but I was left unimpressed by their play. The own goal made them wake up and start attacking more often, but the game still felt a little meandering at times. Croatia played better than expected at times, making some solid plays, but most of the time, the team drifted around purposelessly. I remember liking their team back in WC ’06, so I’m hoping they will liven up in their following performances. Brazil, too, needs a little bit more warm up time to become the top-notch team it claims to┬ábe.

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