By TIM FONTENAULT
Two more spots in the Round of 16 at the World Cup are up for grabs on Tuesday as groups C and D come to a close.
Group D begins the action on Tuesday. Costa Rica, the surprise of the group, already has a spot in the next round. With a win or draw against England, they will win the group. England, on the other hand, will have its miserable World Cup adventure come to a close on Tuesday. Losses to Italy and Uruguay have eliminated the Three Lions already, so the match against Costa Rica is merely for pride.
Italy and Uruguay will play for the other Round of 16 spot from the group. Wins over England but losses to Costa Rica have put both former champions in a tough position on Tuesday. A draw will put Italy through. Uruguay needs to win in order to advance.
In Group C, Colombia has already clinched a spot in the next round, but things can get tricky in a group where everyone is alive. If Colombia beats Japan, the scenario becomes simple, as the winner between the Ivory Coast and Greece will advance. However, Keisuke Honda and Japan are going to come at Colombia with everything they have. When Honda is at his best, he can take on anyone, which means Japan always has a chance.
Greece has looked uninspiring so far in this tournament, first getting kicked around by Colombia then playing to a miserable scoreless draw against Japan. On Tuesday they go up against an Ivory Coast team that, like Greece, is looking to reach the Round of 16 for the first time ever. The Ivory Coast has struggled to find goals early in the match, usually only becoming dangerous when Didier Drogba takes to the pitch, so that will have to change if they want to easily secure their spot in the Round of 16.
If you will be watching today’s matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (TV listings after the jump):
TODAY’S WORLD CUP SOCCER ON TV
12 p.m. — Costa Rica vs. England — ESPN2
12 p.m. — Italy vs. Uruguay — ESPN
4 p.m. — Greece vs. Ivory Coast — ESPN2
4 p.m. — Japan vs. Colombia — ESPN