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Tuesday's Winners & Losers
by Paul Kennedy, June 24th, 2014 7:59PM

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TAGS:  colombia, costa rica, england, greece, italy, uruguay, world cup 2014

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[BRAZIL 2014] On day when Colombia put on another devastating display of attacking play, Costa Rica became only the third Concacaf to win its group, and Greece and Uruguay became just the fifth and sixth teams to advance at 32-team Worlds Cups after losing their first game, everything was overshadowed by a moment of madness from Luis Suarez.

COLOMBIA. The Cafeteros became just the fourth South American team after Brazil (6 times), Argentina (3) and Uruguay (2) to sweep all three games in the group stage with another devastating display of attacking play against Japan in their 4-1 win.

JAMES RODRIGUEZ. James put on the move of the World Cup, leaving Japanese defender Maya Yoshida on the ground before slotting the fourth Colombian goal in the 89th minute. The 22-year-old playmaker has emerged out of shadows of his injured club (Monaco) and country teammate Radamel Falcao to become one of the stars of the World Cup with goals in all three Colombian victories.



TICOS. So look who finished on top of Group D ahead of Uruguay, Italy and Uruguay? Costa Rica became just the third Concacaf team after Mexico (1986, 1994 and 2002) and the USA (2010) to win a four-team group at the World Cup. A path to the quarterfinals has opened up for the Ticos, who will face Greece in the round of 16.

FARYD MONDRAGON. The former Philadelphia Union keeper became at 43 years and three days the oldest player ever to play in the World Cup when he came on as a sub in Colombia's 4-1 win over Japan.

DIEGO GODIN. The Uruguayan defender scored for Atletico Madrid in its La Liga-title clinching tie with Barcelona on the final day of the season and in the UEFA Champions league final, and he rose over the Italian defense to score with the back of his left shoulder the goal -- his first for Uruguay in eight years -- that sent the Celeste into the round of 16 with a 1-0 win.

GREECE. Needing to beat Ivory Coast to advance, Greece got a controversial stoppage-time penalty kick from Giorgos Samaras to beat the Elephants, 2-1, and move into the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time. Greece and Uruguay joined just four other teams (Spain in 2010, Ghana and Ukraine in 2006 and Turkey in 2002) to advance at 32-team Worlds Cups after losing their first game.

2014 Stoppage-Time Winners:
MATCH (GOAL-SCORER)
Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1 (
Seferovic 90+3).
Argentina 1 Iran 0 (Messi 90+1).
Greece 2 Ivory Coast 1 (Samaras pen. 90+3)

Losers ...

LUIS SUAREZ. "Things like that happen all the time," Suarez said in response to his latest biting incident. Well, yes and no. The incident with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini was the third biting incident of his career after being banned for seven matches for biting PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal and 10 games for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic. It's a first for FIFA, which will investigate the incident for which the Uruguayan star was not sanctioned during the game.

CESARE PRANDELLI and SABRI LAMOUCHI. Immediately after the exits of Italy and Ivory Coast -- which both only needed draws to advance -- their coaches resigned. "I am responsible for the failure," said Prandelli, whose resignation was followed by that of Italian federation president Giancarlo Abete. It marked the second straight World Cup the four-time world champions failed to get out of the group stage. In the case of Ivory Coast, it has played in the last three World Cups without getting out of the first round.

MARIO BALOTELLI. Prandelli took Balotelli off at halftime after he had picked up his second yellow card of the tournament, marking a very quiet end to the World Cup for Super Mario.

JAPAN. Japan's goal was to go one step further than it did in 2010 when it reached the second round. This time, it is going home after three games. Its loss to Colombia leaves Asian teams still winless after 10 games. Iran and South Korea have one game to play.

ENGLAND. The English exited with one point in three games, their worst record ever at the World Cup. And it marked only the second time they did not win a game at the World Cup, going out in a playoff to the Soviet Union after finishing group play with three draws in 1958.


1 comment
  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: June 25, 2014 at 11:04 a.m.
    Suarez said, "Things like that happen all the time"? Oh, yeah, he must be talking about that new cannibal league...their slogan is "Bite your way to victory!"


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