The FIFA World Cup Halftime and Post-Match Thread For 6/14/14: Still No Draws After 8 Matches

Best XI for the Day: 

It's been a great pleasure to cover all four games today and hope to do the same tomorrow. Take care all. 

FT: Ivory Coast 3-1 Japan 

So weird how FIFA, again, gets their Man of the Match wrong. So weird, just not good enough. How in the world could you give Yaya Toure the Man of the Match here: 

Anyway, Japan defended as best they could, but have to say disappointing match from Yuya Osako, who did nothing in the match of any significance to help his star mid 3 of Okazaki, Honda, and Kagawa. The Manchester United man showed good effort tracking back, but just couldn't produce the quality that Honda had in his goal. 

For Ivory Coast, it was fine character they showed and how they are unified and experienced as a team. Moreover, it was a Coast side that would not wilt and got quite a great jolt from their front man Drogba. It's not like Yaya Toure had a bad game, but Drogba and even underrated rising right back Serge Aurier deserved the merit even more. 

It truly was a great Day 3 with all four of these matches, the team of the day to come.  

FT: Italy 2-1 England 

It has to be first said that Hodgson and his tactics were completely woeful today despite having an offensive side. 

To have Henderson and Gerrard to back off and allow Pirlo, at 35, and De Rossi so much time was just inexcusable and proved to be the major difference.

That decision allowed constant space for Marchisio and especially Candreva to get into the outside and have a field day. The Lazio man carried his form from his great Lazio season, and my goodness, did he give Baines a lot of pain. Baines wasn't helped at all by Hodgson having Rooney on the outside instead of Sterling, as Rooney was terrible defensively in the first half. 

When he switched Welbeck on the right side, it was too late, as Candreva got that ball and made the difference to Balotelli. 

It was unfair to Gerrard, who became dazed and confused in the middle, not pressuring the ball while also not protecting Cahill and Jagielka that well. 

(More thoughts to come in a bit). 

Pre-Match Thread For Costa Rica and Uruguay 

Importance for Costa Rica: 

1) With Stuani in the lineup for Suarez, a must for Junior Diaz to dominate that matchup on him in order for Costa Rica to have a shot. 

2) Tejeda will have to at some point come and help Bolanos, with Ruiz and Campbell. 

3) Gonzalez and Umana must be honest and not overcome on Cavani, while not allow any space for Forlan 

For Uruguay 

1) Stuani must be that man to link in front of Forlan to reprise the #10 playmaking role in the center. 

2) Cristian Rodriguez must be a factor in this game, and show his dynamic play 

3) Lugano must be secured and have Gargano and Arevalo help him while Godin roams a bit. 

FT: Colombia 3-0 Greece 

The scoreline flattered, but what a great return for Colombia to the World Cup. Cuadrado excellent and deserved Man of the Match over Rodriguez, who got it. 

More to come in this thread, stay tuned....

For Greece:

1) Cholevas/Holebas is the reason why they are behind at half, and must do a better job at being in position on Cuardado.

2) Gekas has given them as much as he could, and may have to just seen what Mitroglou has.

For Colombia:

1) Despite Armero's goal, he is getting used on that side too much by Torosidis.

2) Kone really owned the game on the right side as that half went on, and Aguilar will have to watch him better and allow Sanchez to protect the centerbacks.  
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