A Villainous Ref Emerges! (Nate Silver, Day 21)
Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo will take the blame. Either FIFA instructed him to not hand out any red cards (and by extension, as few yellow cards as possible), or an outside influence did, but either way he is going to take the fall. Twitter was ablaze with comments about his poor officiating all game. Brazil took advantage of it to rough up James Rodriguez. Eventually Colombia had enough and Juan Camilo Zuniga took Neymar down. I don't think Zuniga had any intention of doing this much damage to Neymar, but either way, Neymar is gone from the competition.
Talking briefly about the game and not just the aftermath, Brazil dominated the first half and deserved their one-nil lead. They trusted their defense in the second half and were slightly lucky to score again on David Luiz's free kick. From that point on Colombia had the better of the play. They got within one on James Rodriguez's penalty kick, and threatened a few times following it. In the end, despite Brazil's first half dominance, the game was close:
In the semifinals, Brazil will face the best team in the world, Germany. Germany wasn't quite as dominant as you might expect given the scoreline:
However, part of that is due to the fact that Germany was playing with a lead and it was more important to them to deny France many good scoring chances, particularly in the second half. They succeeded.
All of that drama has left Nate Silver with $689,304. He'll be investing almost a third of it on Argentina:
Game 59: Argentina to advance, 31.25%: Risking $215,408 to win $123,090
Game 60: Costa Rica to advance, 5.00%: Risking $23,695 to win $94,779 (if Argentina advances, it will be $40,620 to win $162,479)
The market has moved quite a bit overnight in Argentina's (and by extension, Nate Silver's) direction. I am highly skeptical as Argentina have looked mediocre (sans Messi) to me, while Belgium have been strong. As for Costa Rica, they are the clear underdogs in the field. I'd love to see them win the World Cup, but I expect their run to end here.
Enjoy the games today!
@sethburn on twitter