Here are my thoughts on Friday's games:
Japan vs. the swarthy, bearded men of Greece: Japan was the better team here. Even without losing a player to a red card, Greece didn't have the talent that Japan did. Unfortunately, the Japanese simply couldn't close the deal. Japan should have won this match, but they'll have to settle for the scoreless draw.
Italy vs. Costa Rica: Did Italy just have a bad day? Were they exhausted from playing in the Amazon? Whatever the case, Costa Rica (population 4.8 million) brought the pressure hard and consistently, and they deserved the win and the three points. Granted, I have a bias toward CONCACAF teams, but I'm absolutely loving the fact that Costa Rica, the Team that Nobody Took Seriously in the Group of Death, is sitting pretty atop the group in first place while England is going home and Uruguay and Italy have to fight for second place.
Switzerland vs. France: The late goal by Xhaka was a thing of beauty, but France simply dominated the Swiss, as they did Honduras before them. Karim Benzema is an animal, an absolute animal. Remember when I asked how far France could go without Ribery? Turns out, the answer is: probably pretty far.
Honduras vs. Ecuador: A scrappy match that could have gone either way. Honestly, I thought Honduras deserved the win, or at least the tie. Enner Valencia deserves mention for his two goals, though.
Only three more games to go before I'm all caught up! Batten down the hatches, it's going to be a long night!