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World Cup 2014

World Cup Day 6: Your Running Commentary

Neymar goalBy TIM FONTENAULT

After a wild finish Monday night, the World Cup continues Tuesday with three matches, including the introduction of the four teams that have yet to play.

Belgium finally kicks off its first World Cup since 2002. No longer considered a dark horse thanks to a young crop of stars like Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Axel Witsel, Belgium has been by pegged by many to be the most likely of the non-traditional powers to lift the trophy in Brazil and will be the team to beat in Group H.

Belgium opens their tournament against 2010 World Cup participants Algeria. While not considered a threat to escape the group, Algeria knows how to make things difficult for bigger sides at the World Cup. After all, their last match at the tournament very nearly kept the United States out of the knockout stage.

Brazil and Mexico both overcame slow starts to grab three points in their opening matches. Now, they face off against each other, with the winner (if there is one) all but assured a spot in the second round.

Russia and South Korea will be the last teams to make their 2014 World Cup debuts. Russia has hopes that they can overtake Belgium in Group H and maybe make a deep run as a result. Defeating South Korea and Algeria will be crucial for the No. 18 team in the world.

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. – Belgium vs. Algeria – ESPN

3 p.m. – Brazil vs. Mexico – ESPN

6 p.m. – Russia vs. South Korea – ESPN

272 comments
  • JoeL

    Ochoa already had Man of the Match award going for him but his last save sealed it.

    Like

    • blokhin

      he has had a great game, but so many of these were hit right at him….so does he get full credit for all of them?

      Like

      • run

        Are you blaming him for not saving the shots that weren’t taken?

        Like

      • JoeL

        Absolutely. You can call Ochoa lucky or just knowing where to be on some of those plays but he gets credit for all saves.

        Like

      • Mr_A

        Brazil could have used better shots, sure, but a lot of goalies jump when they need to stand, stand when they need to jump, stay when they need to go out…. he had lots of opportunities to lose on the ro-sham-bo, and he didn’t lose any of them. Well deserved on his part.

        Like

      • Mason

        How many times – in this tournament alone – have we seen goals that have caused us to say, “A better keeper would have saved that.”

        Like

    • El Comandante

      Do not even try to say that USMNT played yesterday like Mexico today. Mexico dominated the second half save the corner kick and tied the host nation, and Brazil for that matter. Mexico is a world class team (Even Klinsmann said that once) as opposed to always “bunker down” USMNT.

      Like

      • slowleftarm

        Thank you for trolling but Mexico is in no way “world class” and they were seconds away from watching this world cup at home if not for the benevolence of the USMNT.

        Like

      • Ted Tran

        This is true, sometimes I wish we should of just thrown the game like how it was planned, but leave to Gulati to take that Televi$a money, typical sell out.

        Like

      • Jack

        Seems like a lot of US fans are trying to pull for Mexico because in the big picture Concacaf is viewed poorly. Many people calling for at least the half spot to be taken from the region (which came in pretty handy this time for you). However with one result Mexico fans seem to want to make it impossible to root for them.

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        I don’t know if “world-class” is the right word but their performance today speaks for itself.

        The did in fact dominate during many times and proved that they have class on the field. They weren’t angels but they took it to Brazil and made me a believer.

        Like

      • Mason

        Mexico could still crash out. Assume that Croatia and Brazil win out. That would put those two through, and Mexico on a plane home. Much remains to be decided.

        Like

  • Mr_A

    Marcelo got one against Croatia. This is good payback, since he went for the dive instead of the ball.

    Like

  • El Comandante

    Unlike USMNT, Mexico is not only the best CONCACAF team, but a World Class Act. They can go to Brazil and dominate the home team like that. What a game for Mexico. They should’ve won.

    Like

    • Increase

      Oh my, Lets not start. We all know half of Mexico’s problems are mental. Sadly that’s part of the game too. Mexico Fan’s needs to shut up until the next time the US and Mexico play because right now. We are better than because We won the last time we played. Its that simple.

      Like

      • usaalltheway

        I actually agree with El Comandante on this one.

        Mexico was amazing today. What is most impressive is how fast they turned it around from qualifying.

        The US on the other hand…yeah, the win was amazing but you can’t be happy with the run of play. In fact, there was almost nothing to be happy with apart from the two goals.

        Like

      • JoeL

        Agreed, please El Comandante let’s not get carried away especially when it comes to being a World Class Act team.

        Like

      • Ted Tran

        Wasn’t the last time we play Mex a draw? Against their C+ vs our A-?

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      • Increase

        I was thinking competitive games but yes. That was a 2-2.

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      • UclaBruinGreat

        “C+ vs our A-?” Way to subjectively give random/useless grades to try and frame your argument Ted. I’m curious, can you please show me what USA’s B- teams looks like? What about our B+ team? What does Mexico’s B+ team look like? Do you see how silly you sound?

        Bottom line it was USA’s MLS team vs Mexico’s LigaMX team.

        USA in undefeated vs Mexico in the Klinsmann era. I believe that it over a 4 or 5 game stretch. Also, USA finished first in the Hex, and won the Gold Cup. Mexico finished 4th in the Hex (almost didn’t qualify if not for USA), and didn’t even make the final of the Gold Cup. Right now USA has the bragging rights and the tittle of the best Concacaf team. Simple as that.

        Like

      • El Comandante

        I believe that if Mexico did not beat Panama in Mexico City and New Zealand in home and away games, they would not have qualified. Panama lost the qualification to Mexico because they did not even tie Mexico at El Azteca. Am I right?

        Like

      • Mason

        Sure, but had Mexico beaten Costa Rica, or even drawn them on the final match day, they would have been clear of Panama and the US result against Panama wouldn’t have matter*. They failed to to that and relied on Tio Sam’s pride.

        Face it Mexibro: El Tri had a terrible qualifying campaign and are only there because US subs decided not to step on the ball and wait.

        (*Or beaten Jamaica/USA/CR/Honduras at home, or Panama on the road.)

        Like

    • Clover362

      Don’t think it’s fair to say Mexico should have won, Ochoa stood on his head the whole game and got lucky on that set piece in the 86 minute. If mexico is the best team in Concacaf why did they finish 4th? With that said tey are clearly in great form for this tournament and so far have avoided the injury bug that seems to have taken hold at the US camp.

      Like

      • usaalltheway

        That’s the whole point: they finished 4th and yet play like this? It’s because they are truly good.

        It’s horrible to admit but Mexico is the best team in the region. The US is far from first.

        Congratulations Mexico!! You made a believer out of me.

        Like

      • El Comandante

        More Gold Cups? Mexico.
        Head to head? Mexico.
        Any Confederations Cup? Mexico
        Olympic Games? Mexico
        Under 17? Mexico (twice)
        Can play in WC against host team 5 time champions and dominate? Mexico

        Like

      • Increase

        Dude, We beat Spain in 2009. 1 year before they won the WC.

        It’s meaningless.

        All those wins you got on the USA in the 1970s and 1980s.

        Meaningless

        Stop trying to ruin any positive feelings US fans have towards Mexico by bragging about how awesome your 0-0 Draw was.

        Like

      • El Comandante

        More Gold Cups? Mexico.

        Head to head? Mexico.

        Any Confederations Cup? Mexico

        Olympic Games? Mexico

        Under 17? Mexico (twice)

        Can play in WC against host team 5 time champions and dominate? Mexico

        Like

      • Mason

        You didn’t dominate. Maybe the last thirty minutes, but definitely not the first half. Your GK stood on his head and got you a point.

        Don’t blow it against Croatia.

        Like

      • Ted Tran

        I believe it was in the Gold Cup final 2011 (4-2). Almost 3 years ago.

        Like

    • Mason

      If Ochoa doesn’t make five top-drawer saves, you lose. Each of those saves was an equal or better scoring opportunity than anything the US gave up.

      Like

    • Mr_A

      Yeah, I figure Croatia should beat Mex and advance on plain points or goal differential (in case they tie Cameroon). But Mexico looks good right now.

      Like

  • usaalltheway

    How about THAT game???????

    The scoreline doesn’t give it credit.

    Mexico > Brazil in my mind. They showed some serious class. And their keeper. Best in the Cup thus far?

    Like

    • Mason

      Really? How many Mexican scoring chances were there? I don’t get excited about launching shots from 20+ yards. That was a quintessentially Mexican game: lots of harmless possession. The difference was Memo. Without him, MEX gets curb stomped.

      Like

    • DB

      The same things people said after the Croatia game…they don’t really look that good, and needed a bit of ‘help’ to get the result.

      This El Comandante character is getting a little carried away. Good performances thus far from El Tri, no doubt, but pump the brakes a bit.

      I will say this Herrera cat seems to be in one of those runs managers get on sometimes where every move they make is the correct one. Keep in mind, Ochoa was not considered the prohibitive starter a few weeks ago…and he had the cajones to bench the terribly out-of-form Chicharito.

      Like

    • JayAre

      Two games now and they aren’t dominating like they did in the Confederations cup. A better team might expose them.

      Like

    • away goals

      It says we should all make sweeping generalizations based on a single group stage game because that has never been a bad idea in the past.

      Like

      • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache

        +1:) One good game is something to be proud of- not something to rub in everyone’s faces. Let’s recall that Asian powerhouse New Zealand was undefeated (three ties) in the last world cup.

        Besides Brazil is traditionally a slow starter. They’ll start pulling it together in the knock-out rounds.

        Like

  • usaalltheway

    Mexico just proved in on the field: they are truly our region’s best.

    They come to Brazil and go head-to-head against the 5 time champs and nearly steal the victory. In fact, I would say Mexico was the better team. Brazil had it’s moments but they spend huge stretches on their heels, getting pushed around.

    I didn’t get his name but their number 7 was amazing and of course their goalie was MOTM.

    Brazil had their chances but couldn’t get it done.

    Mexico > Brazil > US

    Like

    • blokhin

      they only thing to contradict your premise are facts… US is better than Mexico because they beat Mexico more often than the other way around… you can find all the anlges and arbitrary criteria you want, but the fact remains that US is superior to Mexico on the field and has been superior to Mexico for at least twelve years-Mexico had a little window from 2009-2011 when results broke their way but the rest of the time they’ve been owne by the US

      Like

      • El Comandante

        More Gold Cups? Mexico.

        Head to head? Mexico.

        Any Confederations Cup? Mexico

        Olympic Games? Mexico

        Under 17? Mexico (twice)

        Can play in WC against host team 5 time champions and dominate? Mexico

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        I don’t get why everyone is getting so angry about this.

        Mexico had an AMAZING game. Their level of play was vastly superior against a better opponent than the US. The US was bossed around and nearly ended in a tie. Mexico played Brazil in Brazil and can’t get ANY respect or credit from US fans?

        Why not give credit where credit is due?

        Too many people on here drinking the hateorade.

        Like

      • away goals

        The credit mexico are due is this: congratulations, mexico, amazing match.

        But at no point does a single game prove anything about who the best team in the region is. That’s why the swiss weren’t declared best team in europe when they beat spain in 2010.

        Based on your claims here and regarding bradley, you clearly don’t have a thorough understanding of sample size.

        Like

      • Mason

        “Why not give credit where credit is due?”

        Good keeping, Memo. Everyone else owes him a beer.

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        Fight it all you want.

        I actually hate admitting it but Mexico is the better team. Their game tonight proves it.

        Playing Brazil in Brazil THAT way and you get all angry? Why?

        Good job Mexico! I wish the US could play like that.

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      • Mason

        You wish Mexico could play like that?

        Mexico wishes they could beat the US right now.

        Like

    • El Comandante

      Agreed. Mexico is a truly skilled and brave team that can play toe to toe with the best teams in the World. I forgot to mention, they almost won one Copa America.

      Like

    • slyboy

      You sure love hyperbole. Cut it out, you are growing tiresome. Mexico played an amazing game but that is not how soccer works.

      2009 confederations cup was not not mean the USA was suddenly a better team with Spain.

      Like

    • Citronomics

      To Mexico’s credit, they did push the action for a good chunk of the second half. However, in my view (respectfully), to state that “Mexico was the better team” reads like hyperbole. Yes, Julio Caesar was tested a couple of times, but Brazil was the squad for most (not all) of the match that owned the positive play. Now, was Brazil exhibiting a much higher class of play, nope.

      Cheers buddy

      Like

      • usaalltheway

        That sounds fine to me.

        Being Brazilian myself, I have to say I was amazed with Mexico. They pushed and pushed and fought through it all.

        It isn’t hyperbole. Mexico was the better team.

        Like

      • Mason

        Well… ROK v RUS doesn’t start for another half hour.

        I wonder if we’ll get Putin-trolls?

        Like

    • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache

      Dude, you need to change your moniker. May I suggest something along the lines of LoveMeSomeElTri.

      Like

  • Tim S.

    The strange thing about this result, though, is that it really does not change much if Croatia beats Cameroon like it should. With a likely Brazil victory against Cameroon in the last match, the Croatia/Mexico game could be for second place and if they lose it, Mexico will find themselves home after the group stages despite looking good in these first two matches.

    Like

    • DB

      What are you talking about? This result clearly catapulted Mexico into the world’s Top 5!

      I swear, El Tri fans have to be the world’s most bi-polar fan base. God help us if they lose to Croatia.

      That is a very talented side, but until they show any sort of consistency it’s hard to get worked up about their “greatness.”

      And the argument about “the best team in CONCACAF” is pointless unless this is a regional competition. Matchups, form and many other factors can skew perception…and it’s hard not to mention Costa Rica, a side that has been on the rise for awhile now.

      Like

      • Jack

        Going into this tournament there was a good amount of talk from outside that Concacaf didn’t deserve 3 spots much less 3 and a half (which came in handy for Mexico).

        Like

      • slowleftarm

        Asia is the region that deserves to have spots taken away. 4.5 spots? I know a lot of people live there but the AFC’s performance at past world cups have been pretty awful with the exception of 2002, when Japan/South Korea hosted.

        Like

      • Mo

        AFC stinks, even with Australia added Japan & SK work very hard, but they’re not talented enough to beat the best teams

        Like

      • Jack

        I agree, i just think good performances from Concacaf continue to make that case.

        Like

    • away goals

      It’s actually a huge point for mexico now they can draw croatia and not have to worry about any tiebreakers.

      Like

  • Patrick2

    Ugh…lets put this which team is better stuff aside…for CONCACAF, except for the Honduras slip up, there is a LOT to hold the head up high so far.

    Like

    • Jack

      Seriously, lets face it, to the rest of the world being the best in Concacaf doesn’t mean a lot more then being the best in AFC and much more credit is given to CAF then us.

      Like

  • El Comandante

    I am not a Mexico fan. I am a USMNT fan. I just feel the truth based on facts must be told. Mexico could go all the way to the semis. After today I would not be surprised if that was the case.

    Like

    • DB

      That statement also proves you are a troll.

      There needs to be an ignore feature on this site.

      Like

    • Mason

      Mexico could crash out of with a loss to Croatia. Don’t get of yourself mexi-bro.

      Like

      • Mr_A

        If Croatia beats Cameroon by 2, they’ll advance by tying Mexico.

        Like

      • Ted Tran

        This is true Mexico will need to beat Croatia, as a draw will see them out of the WC…

        Like

      • away goals

        I don’t doubt fifa is corrupt, but I don’t think they’d let a croatia with 1 w, 1 l, 1 d (4 pts) advance ahead of a mexico team with 1 w, 2 d (5 pts).

        Like

    • UclaBruinGreat

      People like “El Comandante” are a product of Ives writing for GOAL. It was only a matter of time before all the trolls on GOAL figured out Ives has his own website that is USA-centric. Get ready for way more people like him. The fact that you can change/makeup whatever username you want on this site won’t help. The key is to ignore them and not feed them. Resist the urge to debate them. They seek attention. If not this website will turn exactly to what GOAL is. All you will see is stuff like this:

      “Mexico is world class!! USA s/cks!! St/pid Americ/nts! Most USA fans are just centro-Americans that root for USA because their team s/cks! hahahah”

      Like

      • Josh

        I agree, was worried about the same thing when Ives started writing for the land of trolls. The whole reason I found soccer by Ives is because I hated sites like Goal.

        Like

      • El Comandante

        Bro, why all the hatred. I am a USMNT fan as I stated and don’t even speak Spanish. I just want to point out that the USMNT has a lot of ground to gain before they are even compared to Mexico. The fact thaUSMNT plays Mexico so well should make us proud, but please let’s stick to the reality so that we can better ourselfs (USMNT that is).

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        + 10000000

        There are WAY TOO MANY people on here taking this way too to heart.

        The reactions are simply amazing. My guess is that most people on here have too little going on internally and project onto the USMNT.

        Mexico played a vastly superior team, under much more difficult circumstances and played much better than the USMNT. Why so many take that as a personal attack on them personally is beyond me. Just watch the reactions to this post.

        I am with you El Comandante. The USMNT has been terrible under JK and it showed on the field yesterday. They barely got out of the game with the win. The were bossed around most of the game and if it hadn’t been for one quick movement from one of our best players, Ghana wouldn’t have lost.

        It’s just a game but you couldn’t tell by most of the posters on here.

        I for one am LOVING this Cup. It’s too bad so many on here are just looking to get angry and argue. So many lost souls. So many immature people.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        the reactions are probably “amazing” to you because you keep saying ridiculous things.

        “The USMNT has been terrible under JK”? so, i’m assuming they finished behind mexico in quals because mexico is “world class”?

        none of that makes any sense. memo ochoa played a spectacular game, and mexico did themselves proud. your over-the-top statements are what is driving other people crazy.

        Like

  • Patrick2

    Also, Golf Clap for the Refs…they weren’t perfect, but the game was fast and hard fought enough that they had plenty of chances to slip up in a major way. Yet, they managed not to become a part of the conversation at the end of the match.

    Like

    • Mr_A

      Amen. (And by not calling, they made a few gratuitous dives look really silly.) Especially Marcelo near the end, with a clear chance his instincts made him fall down, when Dempsey would’ve powered through and taken a shot.

      Like

  • Animasta

    Yo, why are we all fighting with each other again? Both of our teams got good results, Costa Rica got a good result, let’s enjoy this CONCACAF domination!

    Like

    • usaalltheway

      Yes sir!!!

      That is my whole point. Mexico was great today!

      Too bad the US played so poorly yesterday. Maybe things will turn around and Sunday will be a game to never forget.

      Godo job Mexico!!!!

      Like

  • slowleftarm

    Personally, I can’t understand any Concacaf solidarity. What’s in it for the US? Nothing. Who cares if they take the half qualifying spot away. We’re never going to need that. That would be an embarrassment.

    Like

    • UclaBruinGreat

      I would argue that the solidarity comes from the simple “root for the underdog” phenomenon. Costa Rica vs Uruguay (CR was the underdog.)
      Honduras vs France (HON was the underdog.)
      Mexico, I don’t root for Mexico at all. I do root for the Centro-American and Caribbean teams when they play a non-Concacaf team.

      Like

      • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache

        The thing we get out of it is a nearly negligible quantity of international respect for our region. It’s not something important, but in games where I have no other rooting interest it’s the deciding factor. However I will say I’m having trouble supporting Costa Rica after Joel Campbell’s Besler-gate flop. If it were just him, I could get past it, but the fact that the whole country embraced him (blaming us for getting it on film?!?!) for doing the least sporting, most gutless, thing I’ve ever witnessed in a professional sporting event sickens me.

        Like

    • JayAre

      I agree with you. I tried hard all game but these Mexican fans!!!!!!! I just can’t do it anymore.

      Like

  • El Comandante

    Here’s an analysis not including 1990 where USMNT was three and out and 1986 when USMNT failed to qualify and Mexico got decent results.

    From 1994 to 2010 (5 World Cups where both team have played)

    USMNT: 4W 5D 10L 18GS 27GA -9GD
    2 round of 16, 1 Quarterfinals

    Mexico: 6W 7D 7L 25GS 25 GA 0GD
    5 round of 16
    Every time made it out of the group

    *I forgot to mention, Mexico has two (2) Runners-up and three (3) third places finishes in the Prestigious Copa America.

    Like

      • usaalltheway

        Stay classy Mason.

        It’s just a game man. You need to mellow out a little man.

        Mexico played well. Better than the US did yesterday. Give them the credit they are due.

        Like

      • Mason

        Did I hurt your feelings? Does the fact that MEX hasn’t beaten the US in three years, and rarely has in the last decade and a half hurt your coochie? Get over it…

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        You are lost.

        Peace be with you lost soul. I hope you find whatever it is you are looking for in this life.

        It’s just a game. You are taking to this to a completely different, unnecessary level.

        Let’s just enjoy the World Cup.

        Like

    • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache

      Fascinating information. I forget, who did the USA beat to reach the Quarters (you know, that round I don’t see in your Mexico resume above)?

      Like

  • usaalltheway

    So, this game is coming along nicely.

    South Korea is pretty good. Russia, not so much. Although they seem to be picking it up.

    Like

      • Mr_A

        Great on keeping possession, running and passing and even jumping. Not so great on the “aim for the back of the net” part.

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        Me too.

        Both Japan and South Korea are pretty damn good. Plus they generally play attractively and have lots of class (although they aren’t angels or perfect).

        I would love to see one of them advance. I enjoy watching them.

        Like

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