Heading into yesterday we knew that the Netherlands and Chile were both going to advance, the question was who was going to win the group. We also knew Brazil was likely to win group A, while Croatia needed to beat Mexico. Spain faced Australia in what was effectively an international friendly, while Cameroon were fed to the hosts.
Australia played hard, but the Socceroos were clearly outclassed and even a somewhat lackadaisical Spanish side was able to win convincingly three-nil.
Chile and the Netherlands played for the right to avoid the hosts. Chile needed a win, while the Netherlands only needed a draw. That meant when the game was tied nil-nil late, Chile needed to be the aggressor. Unfortunately for them, they wore down and a Leroy Fer header put them behind in the 77th minute. Shortly after a Memphis Depay tap in ended all the drama. At that point Chile expected to face Brazil, while the Netherlands were awaiting the Mexico-Croatia winner.
That might not have worked out for the Netherlands, but Neymar scored twice in the first half, while Fred scored early in the second. It turns out, that would have been enough to win the group for Brazil (ahead of Mexico on tiebreaks), but a late goal from Fernandinho sealed it. However, the real story is just how badly Hulk has continued to play. Brazil has not played well this World Cup and I’d be concerned about whether or not they have a higher gear for the elimination rounds. Chile might not have the talent to take advantage, but Colombia might in the quarterfinals (Or Italy, or Uruguay).
Mexico just needed a draw to advance vs. Croatia, and played like it for most of the game. They let Croatia have most of the possession, but denied them good scoring opportunities. Mexico was able to break through in the 72nd minute, and after that Croatia collapsed, giving up goals in the 75th and 82nd minutes. That was the point when Mexico was a goal away from winning the group. It didn’t work out as the wall of Ochoa was finally breached in the 87th minute. The result sets up an interesting matchup between the Netherlands and Mexico. If styles make fights, this should be a good one as the Netherlands were built to attack, while Mexico was built to defend. However, that game isn’t until Sunday, and we have four more games today.
As the image at the start of this piece shows, the good ship Full-Kelly hit some rough waves yesterday, dropping to $446,092. Today’s games:
Game 37: Uruguay, 9.95%: Risking $35,607 to win $66,940
Game 38: Costa Rica +0.5 goals, 19.78%: Risking $79,457 to win $74,960
Game 39: Columbia, 28.54%: Risking $155,059 to win $174,502 (Updated)
Game 40: Ivory Coast +0.5 goals, 9.8%: Risking $41,178 to win $14,199 (Updated)
Nate and Uruguay see eye-to-eye: just win baby. Italy advances with a win or a draw, while Uruguay needs a victory. Costa Rica wins the group with a win or a draw, and might win on tiebreaks with a loss. England are going home no matter what happens. Columbia are guaranteed to advance, and clinch the group with a win or a draw. Japan needs a win, plus some tiebreak luck to advance. Greece is probably in with a win, although they could lose out to Japan on tiebreaks. Ivory Coast just needs a draw to advance, and has a very slim shot of winning the group with a win.
A bad day could leave Nate at $197,298. A sweep would leave him with at least $725,484, and possibly more depending on the where the lines are on the afternoon games when the first games finish. Very exciting stuff. Uruguay and Greece playing for wins, Nate playing for cash. Enjoy day 13 of the World Cup! 🙂