Argentina vs. Belgium
Winner: Argentina, 1-0
My Thoughts: This was, without a doubt, Argentina's best game so far. The scoreline doesn't reflect the discipline, ball control, passing and tackling/interception that they brought to this game. They did seem to take their foot off the gas pedal in the second half, moving everyone back and allowing the Belgians to push the ball forward (a dangerous gamble, when you consider the Belgians' height advantage in set pieces), but I thought they did, as a unit, much better than previous games. Messi was his usual magical self, but it was so refreshing to see Higuain, Di Maria, Biglia and Lavezzi step up and create some space for their star. The Argentina-Netherlands game (assuming the Dutch win) should be very interesting to watch.
Man of the Match: It feels so strange to give this to someone not named Messi, but I'm going to award this to Gonzalo Higuain (ARG) for creating a couple of very good opportunities, and for having the presence of mind to capitalize when a lucky deflection landed in his lap. The ability to take such chances and do something with them is what separates the world-class from the mediocre.
By the way, as for yesterday's game, I'll give the Man of the Match award, again, to David Luiz (BRA). I think he's one of the best defenders in the tournament, and the fact he now has two goals to his name as well proves his calibre. As for the Germany-France match, I didn't think anyone particularly stepped up on either side, and I only caught the last half of the game as it was, so I'll let someone else fill in the blank.