It has only been two weeks …and yet the action that we have witnessed in this 2014 World Cup seems to surpass that of any other World Cup. Dynastic Spain has been kicked out of the competition in a startling fashion, suffering losses from Chile and the Netherlands. Contrary to Spain’s rather lackluster performance, Costa Rica has been a gem of glowing surprises as it managed to place first in Group D, defeating the very talented teams of Uruguay and Italy. And who can forget the recent developments in Group G? Surprisingly, the only two teams that survived this “Group of Death” would be the U.S. and Germany. And to think that all the action that the soccer world has witnessed has occurred only in the group stages of this tournament. Today kicked off the start of the sudden-death rounds. In other words, from now on, if you lose a game, you are eliminated from the tournament. The group stages of this World Cup were just a warm-up for these notorious rounds. Now the real fun begins.
The fun would start when Columbian James Rodriguez received the ball just outside the box. He’d trap the ball with his chest before volleying it, unleashing a shot that would bang off the post into the goal.
Uruguay would counterattack, but despite its best attempts, the next goal of the game would once again go to Columbia. The Columbians would cross a dangerous ball into the box where Aguilar would head the ball across the face of ball towards Rodriguez. As the ball fell to his feet, Rodriguez smashed it into the net, playing an essential role in the Columbian’s 2-0 victory.
As a goalless Uruguay prepares to leave the competition, one can only wonder what would have happened if Luis Saurez hadn’t bitten Italy defender Chiellini and played in today’s match? Could he have saved Uruguay? Of course, we may never know. But we do know that Suarez’s challenge changed the fate of this Uruguayan team. Without him, Uruguay was certainly a team of considerable less talent. And in this turbulent World Cup, one missing player is enough to change the balance of odds against your favor. Today, Columbia advance to the Final 8. Undoubtedly, their road only gets harder. But they have shown that they have the capability to face a good opponent and win. Hopefully, they will be able to display this trait again.
Score: 2 (Columbia) – 0 (Uruguay)
James Rodriguez (COL) – 28th, 50th minutes
Man of the Match: James Rodriguez
Columbia, as whole, played extremely well today. But there was one man who truly brought this team to victory. And that man was James Rodriguez. He scored two goals (one of which may be considered as the Goal of the Tournament) and transformed the hopes and dreams of their team into reality. What more can you ask of a player?