FIFA World Cup: A Tournament of Two Halves, Goals and Goalies
Despite the fact this FIFA World Cup 2014 has seen 154 goals already, it's been a tournament where goalkeepers have made headlines.
How many times in football have we seen a second half completely different from the first. The FIFA World Cup 2014 Round of 16 fixtures have seen contrasting halves with teams reserving their best for last 45 minutes and more. (Goalkeepers Earn Respect)
Firstly, teams like Algeria, Switzerland, Colombia , Greece and Nigeria must be credited for making it to the last 16 of the World Cup after playing some good quality football in the group stage. Algeria qualified for the pre-quarters after nearly 20 years. The strategy the Algerians applied against bigger oppositions showed they did their home work and were ready for the challenge. (Tim Howard: USA's Anchor)
Whether it is Brazil's thrilling penalty shootout win over Chile or Netherlands dramatic 2-1 win over Mexico or Belgium's nail-biting win over the USA, the last-16 encounters have been no less than a roller-coaster ride. No team has given an inch of space to the opposition on the field and has produced a mixture of good attacking and defensive football. (Ochoa, Mexico's Saviour)
Every game has produced edge-of-the-seat entertainment and has been value for money in expensive Brazil. There were cheers and there were tears as nations fought for pride and glory at the same time. (Vital Stats: 154 Goals, 10 Red Cards and More)
Despite the fact this FIFA World Cup 2014 has seen 154 goals already, it's been a tournament where goalkeepers have made headlines. Tim Howard of the USA made 16 saves against Belgium to set up a new World Cup record. Not to forget Julio Cesar, whose save in the penalty shootout took Brazil to the quarterfinals. Costa Rica's Keylor Navas is also a national hero and Mexican goalie Guillermo Ochoa has been compared to Jesus Christ for making stunning saves.
As the business end of the tournament approaches, football is expected to be at its best. It's going to be between two continents as Latin America takes on Europe. Hosts Brazil aim for their sixth crown and their first at home. The story of the two halves may see a different script from now on.