Day 13 at the World Cup wasn't quite as exciting as previous days, but it did not lack for drama. Watching Cote d'Ivoire's golden generation fizzle out in yet another tournament, the tournament that probably gave them their best chance of doing any damage at a World Cup, was heartbreaking in the same way that it was so breathtaking. The Greeks attacked with their own lumbering abandon, and in that ugly-but-effective fashion that they've become so known for, pulled out the result they needed to advance out of the group when no one thought they deserved it. The other game was a wash. Holy crap Colombia is good.
Discuss today's matches in the live thread below!
Argentina vs. Nigeria, noon ET - The Super Eagles only need a draw to advance, but against Lionel Messi and the Albiceleste, that might be a lot to ask. Argentina, meanwhile, hasn't looked assertively great, especially after they were nearly held to a scoreless draw by lowly Iran, but there's just way too much attacking talent to count Argentina out of a potential victory. They already booked qualification, but will want to secure first place in the group. This has the make of a cagey match that could break wide open after just one goal, depending upon who scores it.
Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran, noon ET - Iran is going to be fighting like hell for a win here. B-H has been a disappointing team so far in the tournament and actually has nothing but pride left to play for, but if Iran wins and scores enough goals (or Nigeria concedes enough) to get tiebreaker superiority, they could advance out of the group stage for the first time in the national team's history. If that's not motivation enough for the Fighting Beitashours, I don't know what is.
Honduras vs. Switzerland, 4 PM ET - Technically, Jerry Bengtson and Los Catrachos are not out. Realistically, they're done. This is Jerry's chance to show everyone on the world stage that he actually knows what a soccer ball is, and can score with it. The Swiss, meanwhile, have every chance to advance, and a win would help guarantee that. Unfavorable results in the other match could still keep them out, but essentially this group is wide open for the top three, and this match will have heavy bearing on that. No one in this match stands to gain by playing scared.
Ecuador vs. France, 4 PM ET - Les Bleus have been one of this tournament's most dominant teams, and yet they haven't yet guaranteed advancement thanks to the even strength of the rest of the group. Ecuador lost a heart-breaker to the Swiss before dispatching Honduras. There is actually a far-fetched scenario here where France doesn't advance, but that's unlikely to happen. Ecuador's good, but France should roll, and given the way Benzema and his pals have played lately, it should be done in style.
Steve's Drinking Scale
This is a good day for easy drinking. If you have the ability to watch any of these games outside in decent weather, do it, and kick back with a cocktail or a nice summery beer. Watch Messi for fireworks, or the Iran match for a game where everything is on the line. Then, maybe check out Jerry's performance at four, or a game that might not make you sad for the state of the Revolution roster in the France match, if that's your thing. Then join our live stream for the U.S. Open Cup match. We'll appreciate your drunkenness.