Thank you Group Stage, you we're really great, we’ll see you in 2018.
Now, with the arrival of the knockout Round of 16, we approach the business end of the FIFA World Cup 2014. Favorites will fall, upsets will happen, fans will go berserk, and best of all: No more draws allowed!
Here are the teams left standing:
BRAZIL VS CHILE
The Brazilians Finally Remember Hot To Win In Style
With their 4-1 result vs. Cameroon, the Selecao finally got their act together and played like proper champs-to-be. Star player Neymar showed up with a brace (that's two goals in a single match, football noobs) and some fancy Ronaldinho-vibes flicks to remind Leo Messi that it’s not just Ronaldo he has to outshine in this tournament.
GROUP STAGE RECORD: Win-Win-Win
The Overachieving Chileans
They lost a draggy 2-0 game to the Dutch, but it was no big deal because they were both already qualified anyway. We have a glut of talented American teams in this round, but they’ve drawn the hardest opponent no doubt.
GROUP STAGE RECORD: W-W-Loss
FHM'S ITAGA-NINYO-SA-BATO PREDICTION: Chile will give anyone their 110 percent, but we think the Brazilians are hitting their stride at just the right time. And of course no one wants to see the hosts go home early, so 3-1 Brazil.
COLOMBIA VS URUGUAY
The Colombians Don't Have Their Star Player? No Problemo!
Surprisingly good without Falcao (they’re the second highest scoring team in the group stage), they have a new starlet in James Rodriguez (pronounced Ham-es!), who scored in every game and assisted several goals as well. Major #FEELS moment when they sent on 43-year-old sub keeper Mondragon to make him the oldest player to ever play at the WC–and he even pulled off *sniff* a neat save.
GROUP STAGE RECORD: W-W-W
Uruguayans Blow Hot And Cold
After a shock loss to Costa Rica, the Uruguayan’s beat England, 2-1, before dumping Italy out, 1-0. Uruguay have performed where it counts but–what’s that? You couldn’t hear us over the sound of Luis Suarez biting someone for the third time in his career?
Banned for four months, his motives for chomping down on opponents are as incomprehensible as this illustrated “recap” of the incident.
GROUP STAGE RECORD: L-W-W
FHM'S ITAGA-NINYO-SA-BATO PREDICTION: Both teams are now missing their star strikers, so it’s going to be a battle of team effort in this tie, and Colombia’s boys have stepped up in a major way in that department, 2-0 Colombia.
FRANCE VS NIGERIA
Perhaps the best performing/least underperforming (depending on how you look at it) European team aside from the Netherlands, they had an “easy” group but 3-0 and 5-2 wins are nonetheless encouraging numbers leading into the knockouts. The only reason they drew 0-0 with Ecuador is because the opposing keeper saved everything–he probably did some major hanging out with Mexico’s Ochoa prior to their match. The French will be itching to get back to scoring against Nigeria, especially with forwards Benzema and Giroud playing well.
GROUP STAGE RECORD: W-W-Draw
The Nigerians Are Just Happy To Be Here
After a bore of a draw against Iran and a ref-assisted win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, they took the game to Argentina, albeit losing 2-3, in what was arguably the best game in their bracket. We’re pretty glad to see the back of that group to be honest.
GROUP STAGE RECORD: D-W-L
FHM'S ITAGA-NINYO-SA-BATO PREDICTION: France’s play has been pretty fluid and we think they’ll continue to redeem themselves from their 2010 World Cup disaster, but Nigeria will go down swinging, 3-2 France.
COSTA RICA VS GREECE
The Surprising Costa Ricans