Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
After holding off the USA last Tuesday in extra time, Belgium have the difficult task of regrouping and preparing to face Argentina in a crucial quarterfinal match on Saturday.
While there’s no doubt that Belgium has created attacking chances during the tournament, they’ve failed to score a single goal earlier than the 70th minute, with much of the goal-scoring coming due to their great depth, bringing on substitutes to run at the tired opposition defenders. However, Argentina are a team that when at their best, can score at any time and will prove a great test to the Belgium defense.
Later in the afternoon, the lone remaining CONCACAF nation, Costa Rica, hope to make it to their first ever World Cup semifinals when they face the high-flying Netherlands. Arjen Robben has been very difficult to slow down this tournament but Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas is up for any task at hand.
The day’s soccer action finishes off with a trio of MLS matches, including an exciting Cascadia Cup clash between the home Vancouver Whitecaps and the visiting Seattle Sounders.
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):
12 p.m. – Argentina vs. Belgium – ABC
4 p.m. – Netherlands vs. Costa Rica – ESPN
7 p.m. – Toronto FC vs. D.C. United – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live
9 p.m. – Houston Dash vs. Western New York Flash – YouTube
10 p.m. – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live
10:30 p.m. – Chivas USA vs. Montreal Impact – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live
Robben went left? Even now. Left.
CR is playing way above their weight. If they don’t park the bus today, they lose. They required luck and they got it.
As for the luck, Navas has been out of his mind all tournament. Might force shooters to go a bit wide/high to beat him?
Guess they just did that.
Costa Rica is in the semis!!!!!! Just wait a few more minutes. They imposed their game and put themselves in a favorable position to make history.
They were so imposing! I love them!
Costa Rica, specializing in dragging the game to penalties.
Hmmm it irks me a bit how excited Costa Rica is to go to PKs
best defensive team of the tournament, hands down…Costa Rica
The new Greece
not exactly…Greece does it differently defensively with traditional Sunderland-style bus parking
Parking the bus is parking the bus. quit trying to make up some crap about attacking a team by playing defense the whole time. dumb dumb dumb
Not fun to watch if you are their foe, but very effective if you are Costa Rica.
this is awesome!!!
Only for the lucky Costa Ricans
haha!!! I guess the frustrated Dutch must hate it, you’re right
I’m with beachbum
PKs! who’d have thunk it
Costa Rica deserve to be punished just like Mexico. Parking the bus just to go to penalties
Playing to their strength: Navas
There strength is the goalpost
Like I said, the post saved them the entire game
They are just plain lucky
Yes. Yes it is
Jinx. Oh man Schneider’s shot off the post. And, IMO, Navas has had a very good match so *some* credit surely goes to him god keeping CR in the match (and yes, their game plan has helped too).
saying they are parking the bus means you don’t understand…not what they are doing, sorry buddy
Whatever you say dude, the stats will more than back me up. They parked the freaking semi.
dude, you’re wrong. they attack with their defense and frustrate the crap out of everyone. park the bus is what Sunderland does
Attack with there defense? lol, good one
That’s actually rather dirty from Huntelaar. He pretty much tried to make sure Navas couldn’t see the ball and was perfectly happy to jam a finger in his eye to do it.
Well deserved. Yellow.
Navas wasting time like a loser. This is such crap
Ya he is time wasting but Huntelaar fouled the man. Look intentional too.
I hate this anti-football just as much as when the US did it
hahaha!!! and now a ‘hand ball’ there!
The Dutch should be very worried about going to PKs against Navas.
ANOTHER bad offsides call. Wow, this AR is having a howler. Costa Rica is holding in by their finger tips.
They want to play like this, it’s called tactics! Something the US needed.
Not me, I assure you.
disagree…not the reason for anything occurring. sound frustrated like I bet the Dutch are too by now
and then that foul by Vlaar? also not a PK? could have been called, seen softer called
What about giving a hand to the best team of CONCACAF at the moment? Impressive. What the Dutch need to do to score is to get the ball behind the goal line. Near goals are equal to zero goals.
Horrible offsides call. Wow, Costa Rica must have a higher power watching over them, and Navas haha
WOW, what does the Netherlands have to do to score? They have completely, 100% dominated this game. Costa Rica has barely touched the ball.
wouldn’t say they’ve dominated it tho they have at times…they, like all others who have faced this Costa Rican D, have struggled with it plenty at times as well
but they came on strong down the stretch pretty big, unlucky at the end there too
bring on extra time!
Costa Rica has 0 shots, and less than 30% possession. I think that’s domination.
and a PK not given?
Not a pk
push from behind to the ground well before the ball arrives? Robben gets that call in my opinion so we disagree. cheers
hey Francois, good stats, I can see your point but just want to give the Ticos D some credit too
it’s actually zero shot on goal, but only 3 shots vs. 20 for the Dutch
could have been second yellow there fouling Robben. instead Diaz stays on the field
what a miss!!! Van Persie, semi finals on his boot
Wondo feels a little better now
I bet he doesn’t
True, prob not
Wondolowski is now wearing orange
Joel Campbell did not look happy coming off so early. lol
looked like a PK to me, from behind before the ball arrived. Robben probably gets that call?
watch Van Persie, he’s setting up in the vacated spot once a Costa Rican from their back five steps up to mark the space between the lines…adjustment made. Robben almost just sprang him
Good observation. getting closer everytime
I wish I could like Robben. He is phenomenal.
+1 but cannot stand him. nothing he’s done today will change my mind that’s for sure
should rep the Dutch on the 10 meter board every for years
Costa Rica was lucky to escape the first half without conceding. Hopefully they can create some more chances in the second half
Robben will dive for penalties in the second half. Ref will oblige. Would love for CR to win but yesterday’s ref performance cured me of believing in fair play.
he got a couple of other calls seemed to me too and I do not understand how a guy who just confessed to diving and winning a game that way gets the benefit of the doubt from the next ref.
does not compute to me
Did not win the game by diving, foot got stomped on.
whatever you say…not what he said tho
I’m sure you already know he wasn’t talking about that particular play but you want to believe something that didn’t happen like the rest of the Mexican fans.
Costa Rica did there part by stomping Mexico into the ground. Why did the US beat Panama and let your rival into the World Cup? Dumb Dumb Dumb!
Costa Ricans are showing the U.S. and Mexico how it’s done!
Costa Rica will win the next qualifying cycle!
Wow, Costa Rica is boring to watch.
But effective, very effective.
couldn’t disagree more, but cheers all the same!
so far their D has been the best in the tournament imo…huge test again now coming up second half, against Holland!
but check out how their backline does it, no other team in the cup playing it like they are. see if you can figure out what they’re doing…it’s fun!
let’s see what Holland does early 2nd half with adjustments to it
Using offside traps isn’t for me, just saying. Hope it picks up though.
oh but there’s more to it than that!
Costa Rica’s defense makes it seem simple as the Dutch are frustrated. Watch out for a surprise goal in the second half and Costa Rica is on to the semis.
Next Gold Cup should be played in Costa Rica. They would win it hands down. What an awsome performance.
not a foul…all ball, BUT just the kind of play los Ticos need to stop any break the Dutch try
W O W!!! and again. Schneider denied
Holland deadly on the counter, if los Ticos commit numbers forward they had better slow the counter, or score or play the ball out or something
Robben showed the run to maybe expose that Costa Rican matchup zone, ran right thru the space vacated by the back line defender who stepped up into the gap between the lines to mark up; the coverage was good though that time and Costa Rica countered well
They may lose the game, but boy, USMNT should learn how to play defense against a world class team (although Belgium isn’t one) without bunkering down and let the opposing team abuse your goalkeeper. Learn Klinsmann, learn!
You really know nothing just like constantly posting.
The truth hurts, alright? I understand. Where’s your counter to my comment other than attempting to offend me?
So Costa Rica bunkering, putting 10 men behind the ball is better? Also, Belgium, player for player, is much more talented than this Dutch squad. Outside of Robben, Van Persie and Wesley Snejder (sp), this Dutch side is very ordinary.
And… you are one of those here that really “know.”
Haha know that you know nothing about the game, and that you are just hating on the US team to stir the peverbial pot. Costa Rica has had no shots, very little possesion, and Navas has made 6 saves in the first half. You are the definition of a troll, or you really do have no idea what you are talking about.
come on man, please stop fighting all over this thread
I don’t fight anybody. There are a couple here that fight the truth. Peace!
and Holland is super tight on their defensive recovery, very aware of what Costa Rica wants to do…turn them over in midfield and counter
Holland so dangerous on the counter, Costa Rica must be careful in possession to not overcommit numbers
chess match here, very fun
game already playing out as one might have thought…Holland looking to get behind Costa Rica’s high and tight line, Costa Rica looking to turn Holland over in midfield and counter with a purpose
The best CONCACAF team of the tournament is next. Can you believe that Costa Rica made it to the final 5 of the World Cup? What an achievement.
Final 8. Being one of the last 5 left is merely down to scheduling.
Beating Greece on penalties really isn’t that much of an achievement to reach the quarters. Their group stage heroics were, but it’s come to the luck of the draw in the knockout stages. Let’s see what they do against Holland.
In that case, USA was lucky to face El Tri in the round of 16 in 2002.
Yep. Luck of the draw.
Haha, thank you for making it crystal clear that you are a moron. Please stop posting here.
If you can’t bear the truth, then you don’t post anymore here.
I don’t think you understand…
How many teams left in the WC? Five right? And one of those five is Corta Rica, right? So, did I miss anything here? I’d say the same about USMNT, but they bukered down and lost, so they are out because of Klinsmann. There.
They made the final 8. The fact that a few games were played before them does not somehow mean they made the final 5. That doesn’t exist.
Imo, Argentina played better than prior games, but is still yet to play awsomely, like they are capable of doing. Watch out Holland/Costa Rica.
This game shows you how far far far away USMNT is from being considered top contender in any WC or taken seriously by any team beyond the group stage. Argentina dominated this team, frustrated this team and forced them to launcha desperate aerial assault in the last few minutes of the game. That’s dominance.
Well that’s news to me. Apparently the definition of “dominance” is when a team trailing in a knockout match is “forced to launch a desperate aerial assault in the last few minutes of the game”. Huh.
Presumuably the Belgium team will head home in utter shame and humiliation from this very public domination, as though the margin of defeat wasn’t enough to scar them permanently
You and I know it could’ve been 2 or 3 zero if it wasn’t for Higuain miss and Messi’s poor definition. Compar that to how many clear chances Belgium had. Compare that to how many they had against USMNT. I am simply making a constructive criticism of our team so that they can compete at the highest level of international competition.
Someone needs to tell these refs soccer is a contact sport.
watching the game..it shows how bad US defense was . Unless US can get some good defenders from somewhere, it is hard to see how they can go very far. Argentine D just smothers the Belgians even though they are much shorter and smaller. Very organized
If you replace US defense with US midfield I would agree with you
The U.S. D was fine. They had to endure a lot of pressure and almost still went through if Wondo would have put his chance away.The problem was holding on to ball more to absorb pressure.
2 mins of extra time with both of the stoppages for DiMaria?
HE HE HE, stop whining. Argentina in the semis and Colombia home alone.
Yedlin to Liverpool?
Read that too, they’re talking about a trial prior to signing though. I guess it’s understandable with how short his professional career has been up to this point, but I feel like North American players get no respect. Apparently Memo Ochoa hasn’t had any interest, despite his huge performance at the Cup. No respect.
Maybe no one feels the risk to trust Ochoa to not bail on his country..errrrr I mean team.
If he was Mexican or Brazilian he wouldn’t need a trial.
Would be a bad move, as we’ve seen jumping directly to EPL has a very high failure factor. Also I heard it was just a trial potentially.
Also Liverpool already has a ton of young talent at RB, would be a terrible move
He will be exposed as the fluke he is. Mark my words. A little running up and down and some UMNST coach a$$ kissing is not enough to make it in the premiership.
Predictable from you. Scouts know world class speed when they see it and that’s something Rodgers can’t teach Flanagan.
I hope all the people complaining about the USMNT’s performance vs. Belgium is watching this game. Belgium is doing the same thing to Argentina, the difference is that Argentina have amazing players who can take advantage of counter opportunities.
is there a chance Rodriguez wins the Golden Ball despite his team finishing in the quarters?
6 goals, 2 assists in 5 games. Obviously most magnificent player in the CUP.
the only others who deserve it could be Neymar (overrated and will miss the semi’s/final)
or Messi (if he leads argentina to the win)
or ROBBEN if he leads the NL to the final
Julian Green has the highest goals scored per minute average in the entire tournament.
more than likely it will be MESSI if he can get Argentina to the FINAL
otherwise it’s Rodriguez.
5 really good matches. Other than him honestly give it to the goalkeepers of this tournament
Messi’s shielding prior to Higuain’s loose ball goal was ridiculous.