28
Jun

World Cup Day 16: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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The Round of 16 opened play on Saturday, and what a thrilling start to the knockout stage it proved to be.

First, the entire host nation was on pins and needles as Brazil squeaked by a dangerous Chile side on penalties:

Two hours later, a new King James was crowned as Colombia’s James (Ha-Mes) Rodriguez lifted his side to its first-ever World Cup quarterfinal appearance:

What else made waves on social media as we embarked on the business end of the World Cup? Find out in our latest edition of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:”

THE GOOD

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Brazil surviving on penalties assured us that the World Cup would indeed be able to continue on past the Round of 16, which is good (Seriously, could you imagine if the Selecao crashed out this early? Mayhem).

Even better, Julio Cesar emerged as the unlikely hero. Yes, the Julio Cesar of Toronto FC, who was discarded by Queens Park Rangers. Oh, the beauty of the World Cup!

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25
Jun

World Cup Day 14: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

First thing’s first: make sure you all print out the sick note courtesy of USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann so that you can watch the big game on Thursday. Do it! 

Got it? Okay, cool. Now let’s see what happened Wednesday in another edition of World Cup: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:

THE GOOD

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Did you need any more proof that this is Lionel Messi’s tournament? You got it on Wednesday.

Messi left it late before winning Argentina’s first two games with a pair of superb goals, but he wasted no time against Nigeria. La Pulga went for pure power scoring his first in the third minute, then produced a signature free kick for his second before halftime.

And because Nigeria also had their scoring boots on, the World Cup of Goals continued:

Quiet, Rio:

Even Iran scored on Wednesday, which is significant because…

In the late games, Xherdan Shaqiri lit it up for Switzerland.

"Shaq Attack" scored the 50th hat trick in World Cup history and the second of 2014 after Thomas Muller, his Bayern Munich teammate. 

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19
Jun

World Cup Day 8: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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You wouldn’t think a day that saw ten Greeks keep a full Japanese team from scoring would be eventful. But it was. Oh, yes. So eventful that it is impossible to pinpoint just one or two things that were either good, bad or ugly. But we’re going to try, because we love you.

THE GOOD

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There was certainly a lot of Good on Thursday. Right away, we started the day dancing along happily with the Colombians. They won two games at the World Cup for the first time ever and and would later seal progress to the Round of 16 thanks to Japan drawing Greece:

It’s safe to say the fans at that game were having a ton of fun, too — even after James Rodriguez killed off the giant inflatable soccer ball that made its way onto the pitch:

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And guess what? Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived in Brazil to take in the World Cup match between England and Uruguay! That’s good, right? Well, maybe equal parts good and bad. Good because having Zlatan around makes everything better; bad because we’d rather see him on the pitch than, say, any player on Greece or Japan. Have we mentioned how dreadful that game was yet?

But the best — no, greatest — thing about Thursday was the return of Luis Suarez. The Premier League’s top scorer didn’t play in Uruguay’s 3-1 loss to Costa Rica - he was still recovering from a knee surgery that was done less than a month ago - but he returned in a big way against England. Against an England side that featured five of his Liverpool teammates, Suarez scored two goals off four shots to push the Three Lions to the brink of elimination:

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18
Jun

World Cup Day 7: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Just like “The Wall” in Game of Thrones, reaching the World Cup final is a long, grueling climb. On Wednesday, three nations saw their dreams cut down in agonizing fashion.

Cameroon and Australia were always long shots to make the knockout stage — but no one saw defending champions Spain bow out of the competition by the end of the first week. But this tournament has been about as predictable as Chicago weather or Taylor Swift’s next boyfriend, so maybe we shouldn’t be that surprised (Taylor, our humble blogger is still waiting for your call).

The end of Spain’s reign is another team’s gain, however, and that team could very well be Chile. La Roja were considered one of the dark horses of the World Cup going in, and after quickly securing progress to the Round of 16, they’re starting to live up to the hype.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Chile, though. We’ll explain in our latest edition of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

THE GOOD

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Wednesday started off with a bang. Tim Cahill scored his fifth career World Cup goal for the Socceroos — which at the time was half of Australia’s all-time tally — and what a strike it was.

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15
Jun

World Cup Day 4: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

imageDon’t worry “Pope.” Nobody’s judging you. Well, except…

How great has this World Cup been? Let’s start with this:

  • 2014 Brazil: 37 goals through first 11 games
  • 2010 South Africa: 18 goals through first 11 games

And this:

  • Only one of the first 11 games have produced LESS than 3 goals (Mexico 1-0 Cameroon)
  • Only one of the first 11 games in 2010 yielded MORE than 2 goals (Germany 4-0 Australia)

In other words: goals, goals and more goals! It’s beautiful!

Even Lionel Messi scored on Sunday (read more here), and we know how difficult that is for him:

And that’s not the only fantastic news. Herewith, we give you another edition of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

THE GOOD

imageHaris Seferovic! He puts the team on his back!

The 2014 World Cup has already laid claim to being the “World Cup of comebacks.”

Switzerland’s last-second (literally) 2-1 win over Ecuador after being down, 1-0, at halftime was already the FIFTH come-from-behind victory through the first four days. To put that in perspective, there were only three comebacks during the entire 2010 tournament in South Africa.

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13
Jun

World Cup Day 2: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

imageThat feeling when you score your first World Cup goal (Image: Reuters)

The World Cup began in earnest on Friday with our first full day of non-stop soccer action, guaranteeing that nobody in the USA did a lick of work. Not even a little bit.

A more extensive recap of Friday’s action can be found here, but as FOXSoccer.com’s social micro site, the Blog will give you a snapshot of each match-day’s biggest social media moments. So without further ado, we present you with: the good, the bad and the ugly from Day 2.

The Good

The Netherlands started their World Cup campaign on Friday, which is always great because they have, without a doubt, the most colorful fans in the world:

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