My whole body hurts, but not as much as my heart. That was a gutshot last night. The funny thing is, if you had told me at the kickoff that the United States was going to draw Portugal 2-2, I would have taken that in a heartbeat. But the manner in which it happened, having victory right within our grasp...it just feels like a loss, you know?
The thread will be running all day. Today's the first set of concurrent games since the groups will be decided today. Discuss below.
Australia vs. Spain, noon ET - Two teams in the same position but with vastly different experiences in getting there. The Socceroos have no points and neither does La Furia Roja, but while the Aussies can be very happy with their first two performances, Spain is going home bitterly disappointed no matter what happens in this match. Everyone's making a big deal about how this is the end of an era for Spain, but the thing is, they're right. It's sad. I think this must have been what it was like to be a fan of Brazil when Pele retired.
Chile vs. the Netherlands, noon ET - A dogfight for the top spot! This one oughta be fun. The Dutch have been better than expected so far but they still have all those vulnerabilities everyone was worried about to begin with. Chile, meanwhile, have looked nearly unstoppable. But, you know, Arjen Robben is like the fastest thing alive and no one has a clue how to not let him use his left foot, so that alone should make this an interesting match. That and watching Arturo Vidal and Nigel de Jong literally kill each other in midfield.
Cameroon vs. Brazil, 4 PM ET - The Indomitable Lions have looked considerably less-than-indomitable in this tournament, and now they're going to get utterly torched by a Brazil side that has not once looked particularly comfortable in the last week or two. The crazy part is that the Selecao aren't actually through yet; theoretically, if they lose here and Croatia wins pretty big, I think Brazil can actually be out. Could you imagine that? The whole nation would burn.
Croatia vs. Mexico, 4 PM ET - I think El Tri has this one in the bag. In two matches they've looked like the Mexico we always fear in CONCACAF: assured, confident, and capable. To be fair, Brazil took them to the cleaners, but Guillermo Ochoa's beastly performance is the kind of thing that can inspire miracle runs deep into a tournament. Croatia, apparently, was just really missing Mario Mandzukic. I mean, they only beat Cameroon, but still. It was pretty much a good ol' fashioned woodshed beatdown.
Steve's Drinking Scale
My liver is currently trying to escape my body. I won't be drinking today. Knock yourselves out.
How Do I Watch?
Well, ESPN and ESPN2 will be carrying the games, I think, but if you want to see both you should probably use WatchESPN.