2014 FIFA World Cup: Day 13 Recap

Uruguay chew up Italy; England out like a lamb

Luis Suarez may have taken a bite out of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, but a poorly timed red card was what sucked the life out of Italy on Tuesday. Italy’s strategy to bog the game down and play for a tie worked through most of the match, holding the Uruguayan offense at bay and playing keep-away when they took over possession. Italian striker Mario Balotelli looked steamed at some aggressive tackles and would have been the odds-on favourite for a temper tantrum, but it was Claudio Marchisio who stomped on the shin of Arevalo Rios, drawing a straight red card an putting his team down a man with a half hour to play. Suarez deserved much worse than a red card, though, and received nothing for leaning into Chiellini, unprovoked, and chomping down on his shoulder—Chiellini pleaded with the referee, showing him the tooth marks, but no officials had seen the incident and play continued. Just two minutes later, Uruguay captain Diego Godin had a corner kick ricochet off his shoulder and into Italy’s goal, putting his team ahead for good and securing their place in the round of 16—though they’ll almost definitely be without Suarez’s services, maybe for the rest of the tournament.

Costa Rica had nothing to gain and England had nothing to lose, but still neither of the sides could score a single goal in their final group stage match. England had most of the chances, but Costa Rica’s keeper only had to make a couple of saves to preserve his clean sheet. England heads out of this World Cup with just a single point—a disappointment, even with the lowered expectations placed on this young team—while Costa Rica finishes at the top of the group.

Referee hands win to Greece; Columbia’s footwork impressive 

We’ve gotten far too used to poor penalty calls in this World Cup, but none have been so devastating as the one Tuesday that handed Greece a win and eliminated Cote d’Ivoire from the tournament. All Cote d’Ivoire needed was a tie to advance to the round of 16 and, with 16 minutes remaining they were in position to do just that. Before halftime they had conceded a goal—Andreas Samaris picked off a sloppy pass and went in alone to score his team’s first goal of the tournament—but Wilfried Bony pulled his team even, converting a threatening pass with just a flick of his foot. Things were going fine until three minutes into stoppage time, when the official awarded a penalty to a Georgios Samaras for tripping on his own foot in the penalty area, and Samaras aimed his shot straight through Cote d’Ivoire’s hearts and into their net. Greece advances despite a disappointing performance in the group stage while Cote d’Ivoire will have to wait four more years to try their luck again.

Columbia had already danced their way to the top of Group C before their meeting with Japan on Tuesday, and their feet didn’t fail them in their final group stage match either. Juan Cuadrado opened the scoring in the 17th minute on a penalty kick, but Japan’s Shinji Okazaki converted a gorgeous Keisuke Honda pass just before halftime to draw even. The second half was all Colombia, though, with Jackson Martinez notching a pair of goals and James “Call Me James” Rodriguez closing out the 90th minute with a shimmy and shake and a cheeky chip over the keeper. Japan should be disappointed in their showing in this World Cup, earning only a single point, but Columbia will be as confident as any of the favourites after their dominant group stage performance.

Costa Rica will face off with Greece on Sunday, while South American rivals Uruguay and Colombia battle on Saturday afternoon.

Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

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