Oh boy, seems like the surprises just don’t end, right. Well, kinda, only Spain failing was unexpected. The rest happened as they should but with some hiccups (right, Belgium?). Again México failed in the R16 (7th cup in a row, a new record!), Argentina was a mess that almost lucked out to extra time, Cavani carried his country, Spain forgot that you don’t get points for possession, Croatia won in a goalie-off (after a snoozefest), Japan needs to practice time wasting techniques in South America, Shaqiri’s hips lied and England vanquished one of their oldest demons
Let’s look at the bracket now
We get two days this time, 4 matches:
Day 1: Neymar keeps rolling (rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’)
France v Uruguay
France was always in control against Argentina, they just didn’t show it. Once they got punished they steeped on the gas (literally in the case of Mbappé) and looked way better. They still allowed 3 goals, though, probably due to their inexperience. On the other side we have an Uruguayan side that knows their style and execute it flawlessly and as long as Cavani is the one scoring the goals and not Suárez they might even be lovable… wait, Cavani is out? Welp. Allez les Blues then
Brazil v Belgium
Except for the first 25 minutes, Brazil completely outmatched México. Willian was a beast, Neymar played well in the short moments he wasn’t convulsing on the floor and they looked solid defensively. On the other side Belgium had way more trouble against a plucky Japanese team that if had only knew how to slow down the match (or had a better keeper) they would have won, alas not all is heart and pushing forward, some times you need malice. Belgium can’t afford to fall sleep this time
Day 2: It keeps coming home (it’s just taking a little longer)
Russia v Croatia
What are you doing here, Russia? Are you lost? Oh is Spain who got too stuck in their ways and got lost. Russia didn’t show anything except good defense, but that’s also debatable as Spain never went full on. Uruguay showed what Russia’s level is. In front we have a Croatia that played a great group stage but then could barely scrape by Denmark, they got the possession but didn’t do anything with it. Still they shouldn’t need that much to defeat the Russians… which is the same thing Spain thought.
England v Sweden
Are Sweden the truth? It seems like they just keep showing it while everyone sees them as underdogs. Their old school basic style seems completely baffling for modern teams with newfangled formation and possession heavy play style. Sweden want to bring 1958 back, World Cup final and all. On the other side England almost England but managed to win in penalties *gasp*. It’s still coming home, I don’t know how but it still is.