Best of the Second Round

A brief round-up of the most memorable moments from the round of sixteen.

Best Goal

No explanation necessary…

Best Game

The neutrals favourite USA took on the oft tipped dark horses Belgium in the final game of the last sixteen in Salvador and produced a frantic football match that was up in the air until the final minute of extra-time. Proof, if it was needed, that even nil-nils (or nothing-nothings if you are from the US) can provide excitement of stratospheric intensity. The much lauded Belgian front-line finally turned up for the World Cup only to be kept at bay by a record breaking Tim Howard. Then in the final moments of the game Chris Wondolowski (or Wondowlowski as his shirt reads) sliced high and wide when just yards from the Belgian goal. In extra-time the Belgians brought on the explosive Romelu Kukaku who wreaked havoc in he US back line as Belgium jumped into a two goal lead before the USA, epitomising the never say die- born to win culture of American sportsmen, came back to first make it 2-1 then almost equalise after an ingenious free kick. As it was though, the best team on the night went through and millions of American’s, many engaging in the World Cup for the first time, got to experience the agony and what-ifs of an extra-time World Cup exit.

 

#ThingsTimHowardCanSave: Mufasa

#ThingsTimHowardCanSave: Mufasa

 

Best XI

Tim Howard- An unbelievable sixteen saves launched the hilarious #ThingsTimHowardCanSave as well as Wikipedia briefly listing Tim Howard as the incumbent Secretary of Defence for the USA.

 

Matthieu Debuchy- Worked with excellent energy on the right flank for France, both defending well and providing an attackign threat

Vincent Kompany- The definition of cool under fire, had a good first 105 minutes- even nearly scoring during a breakaway- before ensuring that Belgium stayed ahead during the onslaught in the final 15 minutes.

Essaïd Belkalem- Put in a great display for Algeria against the dangerous Muller. Unlucky to be going home.

Jan Vertonghen- Was a constant threat on the left for Belgium and overall defended well- even against the dangerous Yedlin.

 

Héctor Herrera- He was everywhere against the Dutch and even looked as though he may score on occasion.

Paul Pogba- Without his goal he wouldn’t have made the best XI, it’s true. But he did score and aside from that he was lively in possession.

Artur Vidal- If he had been 100% and had stayed on Chile could easily have won this game. Whilst he was on the pitch he looked like the only midfielder with the ability to take control of the match.

 

Alexis Sanchez- The best player on the pitch in this game, a constant threat to Brazil.

Romelu Lukaku- The best cameo of the tournament so far saw him figuratively kick the US door in.

James Rodriguez- Easily the star of the tournament so far. A sensational first goal and a good finish to a great team move for his second.

 

 

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