World Cup, Two Weeks In
Germany weeps, Argentina wonders, and friendly is as friendly does.
The World Cup champs have sent themselves home, Argentina found a way to fight another day, and the fair play rule was used for the first time in history to give Japan a seat at the round of sixteen table.
A German journalist described his country’s team as being “Like a drunken boxer swinging wildly in the dark.”
Argentina took a piggy-back ride on defender Marcos Rojos’ back to squeak into the dance, but will they know enough steps to boogey further?
Japan made it through over Senegal because they were more friendly. In other words, they had fewer red and yellow cards than Senegal.
FIFA had to make rules about how to solve the problem of two teams being tied after the group stage.
Senegal and Japan tied their head to head game 2-2.
They tied in overall points, goal difference, and goals scored. When the total demerit points for red and yellow cards were tallied, Senegal had 5, Japan, 3.
The Blue Samurai advance.
Today the knockout round of sixteen starts with two games, France taking on Argentina and Uruguay battling Portugal.
The loser goes home, end of story.
The rest of the games shake down like this.
Sunday July 1. Spain vs. Russia, Croatia vs. Denmark.
Monday July 2. Brazil vs. Mexico, Belgium vs Japan.
Tuesday July 3 . Sweden vs. Switzerland, Columbia vs. England.
May the best teams win… but they don’t always.