Imagine for a second that you are sitting in a Chinese restaurant eating “spicy red snapper”* and drinking whiskey. It is lunchtime and you have a stress headache and are already a bit buzzed. You are watching two screens at once, one showing USA-Germany, the other showing Portugal-Ghana. You are desperately rooting for the United States to advance. They are down one-nil to Germany, but Ghana is also down one-nil. It would take at least two “bad goals” to knock you out. Suddenly, in the 57th minute, Ghana scores! Rage and fear fills you. And then, Ian Darke with his infinite lack of wisdom says, “That’s good for the Americans as a draw between Portugal and Ghana puts them through!” In that scenario, you might very shortly learn the Chinese expressions for “Sit the fuck down” 坐在他妈的下来 and “Shut the fuck up” 他妈的闭嘴 Thankfully, after the longest 23 minutes ever recorded, Ronaldo scored and I was able to stop doing butt kegels. Ze Germans win the group, and we get to prepare for Belgium. Speaking of Belgium, they were able to defeat South Korea despite being down to 10-men. I don’t want to focus on the poor performance of the Asian contingent in the World Cup, but it was abominable. Belgium won their group, advancing along with Algeria. I greatly enjoyed the Russia-Algeria game. Russia needed a win and played like it, scoring on a Kokorin header in the 6th minute. They continued attacking, but Algeria was able to match them and avoided falling further behind. In the 60th minute, Islam Slimani scored on a header of his own, and Algeria were back in command. Russia made a game effort of it after that, but weren’t able to break through and Algeria advanced to the knockout round to take their crack at Ze Germans. All of this left Nate Silver sitting with a comfortable $647,555. The knockout rounds open with the hosts attempting to crack the dwarf fortress. I think this is a pretty bad matchup for Chile, as they’ve been taking advantage of home field advantage in their earlier games. They’ve been able to be fairly aggressive, while picking up fewer fouls and cards than one might expect. That won’t be the case tomorrow, particularly if they pick on Neymar. On the other hand, they could probably kill Hulk and only get a yellow, so long as Brazil still had a substitution left. This line has moved steadily towards Brazil, so Nate is only ending up with a moderate stake on them: Game 49: Brazil to advance, 19.00%: Risking $123,055 to win $35,153 Originally it appeared Uruguay was going to be a fairly competitive foe against Colombia, but FIFA felt compelled to act against Suarez, who is now gone from the tournament. It seems likely that his team will join him. Nate agrees: Game 50: Colombia to advance, 16.3%: Risking $111,281 to win $62,179 (Updated) Reminder: If Brazil advances, I will update the Colombia stake using the market prices available at the time. I am very much looking forward to the next round of futbol. Time for the elimination games to begin. 🙂 *No way the “red snapper” stands up to a DNA test, but it’s very tasty so I don’t care.