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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The FIFA 2014 World Cup Halftime and Postgame Thread For 6/24/14: Day 13 Recap

Best XI for Day 13


Georgios Samaras moving up front made the difference for a Greece attack that finally calm to life, and credit to Fernando Santos for that vital move. 

Santos also deserves approbation for bringing in Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, whose good performances were helped by great displays also from Jose Holebas (Chloveas) and the ageless captain Giorgos Karagounis

Arevalo Rios' getting Claudio Marchisio sent off was one of the important things overshadowed by "JAWS-uarez 3", but the dogged defensive midfielder had another commendable performance for his country and help take way any space for Andrea Pirlo to try and move his deep lying playmaking forward. 

Also as vital as Rios was for Oscar Tabarez was the young-old centerback pairing of heading hero Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez. Mario Balotelli, Ciro Immobile, and Antonio Cassano could do nothing all day. 

Colombian explosive duo James Rodriguez and Jackson Martinez fully warrant their places in the Best XI, as their terrific second halves sent Japan through. 

And in a likely cruel end to his World Cup career, Gianluigi Buffon showed how he will be missed at the global tournament with another showcase of his great ability. 

(World Cup Day 14 coverage will start today before the Group F finales, stay tuned) 

FT: Italy 0-1 Uruguay; England 0-0 Costa Rica 


Diego Godin probably has scored the most dramatic, irrelevant match winner in World Cup history. 

Let's just analyze the match first and foremost. 

Claudio Marchisio's redcard from Mexican referee Rodriguez  seems to have most split, but it was a decision on second glance that had to be made. The players are cognizant now that any high leg challenge towards the opponent's knee risk them getting sent off. And that was the determining factor for me on that call being correct. 

Uruguay still couldn't get a major foothold into total domination, but Oscar Tabarez bringing on Gaston Ramirez as he needed to proved to be the difference in what should have been the game's most important moment. 

Unfortunately that will not be the case with "JAWS-uarez 3" occurring for all the world to meme joke and have endless classic fun with. 

For Italy, it was a team who despite not being too old across the board had its key playmaker (Pirlo) feel his age (34) the last two matches after playing in the toughest conditions and enduring a long club season. Its defenders are no longer world class for another cycle, as the Juventus back 3 that's so formidable in Serie A the last three seasons just aren't a dominating global force. 

But all of those analytical discussions on where the Italian national goes from here after exiting out of the group stage for a second straight time will long go away behind the growing legend of a real life cannibal.  

Halftime: Italy 0, Uruguay 0

Photo from Getty Images

For Tabarez, he may have to being on Gaston Ramirez and Christian Stuani to get any injection and belief to go forward and take the lead.

So far for Prandelli, a job well done where it has only been one meaningful Uruguay threat. However, the Juventus backline just doesn't have that same aura it has been able to have domestically in Serie A and are susceptible at any point. Both Candreva and Insigne loom on the bench for sure.

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