World Cup Round of 16: Your Running Commentary

Philipp Lahm of Germany

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The World Cup Round of 16 continues on Monday with two matches that could be as unpredictable as the last two.

While France enter as the favorites, they face their toughest opponent of the tournament yet when they take on Nigeria at the Estadio Mane Garrincha in Brasilia (12 p.m. ESPN). France head coach Didier Deschamps has kept the 4-3-3 formation with both Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema starting but it will be the midfield pair of Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi who will be asked to work their socks off in attack and defending the likes of Ahmed Musa.

Along with John Obi Mikel and Ogenyi Onazi, Nigeria features a midfield trio that physically matches up very well to the French trio, in what should be an end-to-end game.

In the second match of the day, Algeria will take the spirit of their 1982 side that were robbed of a place in the knockout rounds when face Germany at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre (4 p.m. ESPN). Few expected Algeria to make it this far but their hard-working squad will be extra motivated against the Germans, especially the French-born players who grew up next door.

Germany will need to take their game to another level, after a solid performance in the heat and rain against the USA in Recife. In the colder temperatures of Southeast Brazil, head coach Joachim Löw must like his chances to advance.

If you will be watching today’s matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

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78 Responses to World Cup Round of 16: Your Running Commentary

  1. ben in el cajon says:

    Go Super Eagles!

  2. Johannes Kinz says:

    What do you think about a Algerian ref assigned for the Belgium vs U.S. match?

  3. Kevino says:

    Jozy participated in warm-ups with the team today!

  4. HEB says:

    How is that nor a red card on Giroud? Ref lacks the balls

  5. ben in el cajon says:

    Neither team looks really good yet (35th min). In fact, I just saw about six errors in a row . . . Is there an opposite of olé? Maybe ‘Doh!’?

  6. ben in el cajon says:

    This tournament is great because every team has an exploitable weakness, and every team in the final 16 has legitimate strength, too. I love the parity of the nations, and the unpredictable play.

  7. phil says:

    How is that not a red card? Worse than the Italy one. I blame Platini.

  8. HEB says:

    Again, the referee takes the easy way out and gives a yellow instead of a red.

  9. usa fan says:

    Jozy available for tomorrow. Just heard it on the Nigeria and France match

  10. Snack Time says:

    I hope the Algerian official for tomorrow’s game eats a big breakfast. We all know you make poor decisions when you’re starving.

    • Jamie Z. says:

      I feel like that was a real prick comment, dude. If you’re going to go out of your way to be insensitive, at least try to be funny.

      • Snack Time says:

        It was a serious comment. The game is late in the day, and the referee has a lot of work to do. The same questions are being asked of all Muslim athletes who are still in the tournament. Deprivation of nutrition is known to have effects on the decision-making process. What part of my comment is insensitive to you?

        • Jamie Z. says:

          It came off as more snide than serious. Apologies if it wasn’t meant that way.

          As for Muslims at the World Cup, my impression is that many of them defer fasting due to the travel and heavy labor involved. There are provisions for that. As for his selection, my guess is if there were any doubt about tomorrow’s ref’s preparedness to officiate the match, they would have been sorted out well beforehand.

        • Tom_in_So_IL says:

          Is Bradley fasting…trying to out suffer the competition… Could explain…

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      You must be hungry then…..poor decisions everywhere.

      • Snack Time says:

        Well, I’ll try to be more explicit about my concerns next time. I didn’t do a good job of that. I apologize if anyone was offended by my comment.

        Obviously the dietary plan of the officials is likely to be a secondary factor to other concerns; particularly Klinsmann’s belief that a French-speaking official plays to the Belgian advantage. Still, I think (and fear) that the spotlight will be on the referee in a big way.

  11. argh says:

    this Nigerian goalkeeper.

    EPIC status

  12. ben in el cajon says:

    I don’t understand how and why Nigeria surrendered like that. I’m really disappointed. Oh well.

    • Increase0 says:

      They did sorta give up in the last 20 minutes… and then barely got going again after the goal. I still blame Geiger for letter France do whatever they wanted. Nigeria wasn’t willing to injure the other team out of the game.

  13. Increase0 says:

    Geiger let France foul their way to victory. It looked like an MLS match out there.

    Missed penalty. Ankle Breaking studs up tackle. Another injured Nigerian with not even a yellow on another bad challenge. Jeez, France was filthy.

  14. Zachary says:

    Paul Pogba is a beast. Physically imposing, great technical ability. Man we need a player like that.

  15. bakunin says:

    Schwaben are in trouble!
    Stalingrad moment in the making!

  16. Tony Meola says:

    Algeria have looked promising early on.

  17. Snow says:

    For the second time this tournament, Germany’s defense is having huge issues with an athletic attacking side.

  18. Ali Dia says:

    Algeria right now have every reason to believe they can win this game.

  19. bryan says:

    i bet Germany wishes they had a Fabian Johnson right about now.

  20. away goals says:

    Wondo was crucified for not burying the header that mueller just failed to bury. Johannsson would have scored it for sure.

    Johann is better than both, imo.

    • chris says:

      hahahaha no f*cking way

      • away goals says:

        Elite strikers score that every time, is what I was told. Johann made no mistake against azerbaijan. Your move.

        • chris says:

          Are you being serious right now? If you are, well then welcome to the game. Against Azerbaijan? hahaha you’re making yourself look really dumb. One has 58 goals for Bayern Munich and the other has had one decent season in a league where Michael Bradley scored 20. One has 4 goals in this WC and the other had no impact in his only appearance and hasn’t seen the field since. Look who was just involved in that goal.

          Do you want to know the best part? Mueller isn’t even an out and out striker. He’s an attacking mid forced to play striker because Germany lacks CF options

          Your move

    • slowleftarm says:

      Wait AJ is better than Mueller?

      • away goals says:

        Nah I’m just tediously making my point that criticizing forwards (or bradley) for “missing” those kinds of touches is ridiculous. Put your power header or snap one-time shot on frame, after that it’s a lot of luck.

  21. The Garrincha says:

    Big respect to all the underdogs.
    None of them are going quietly.
    So please US, do not sit back, take the fight to them.
    Sitting back after a goal
    as we all clearly know and can see is recipe for disaster,
    How many times must we watch teams just hold on, only to lose in the end.
    In other news, Rais the Algerian Keeper, is easily one of the top five keepers of the WC.
    Now Bomb Pops, USA, go get your Garrincha on.

  22. Pace says:

    Where is klose???

  23. bakunin says:

    Would love to see any of these Algerian players in MLS.
    Keep the old, overpriced Euros.
    MLS should start stockpiling young players from the emerging countries.

  24. Increase says:

    Why couldn’t we get the Germany that didnt care until it was almost too late.

    • Mason says:

      They cared too much about showing up JK, and now they’re tired.

      • The Garrincha says:

        Tell ya Mason, you are correct,
        they had last summers 4 to 3 loss on their mind.
        (quoted in German, press as saying so),
        It was payback, hopefully it puts the pendulum back in our favor.
        same thing with Belgium, odds are we are due.
        Go get ‘em!.

    • bakunin says:

      We could have had a result if we went at them – we gave them 2 much respect.
      I love these teams that just go after the big teams.
      They are ALL over rated and vulnerable.

      • away goals says:

        We ran into the limits of the human body. There’s no way we had the legs to run at germany.

        Algeria, fully rested, could only muster it for the first half. Since halftime they’ve been more or less completely undersiege.

        • away goals says:

          Well scratch my theory apparently algeria played 4 days ago. Not in the jungle, but still. Impressive that they were able to press for the opening 45 minutes.

      • The Garrincha says:

        True Dat, Bakunin. Hakuna Matata…

  25. Tony Meola says:

    It’s going to be tough for Algeria to equalize considering every 50-50 ball that isn’t won by the Germans is called a foul. The officiating has been one sided to say the least.

  26. bakunin says:

    FIFA needs to make sure the BIG MARKETS are in play as long as possible.
    All about dollars, euros and swiss francs.

    • away goals says:

      The shadowy figures at FIFA invested years in andre schurrle’s ability to drag a driven cross behind his trailing leg and past a goalkeeper and it’s finally paid off.

      • Mr_A says:

        Well, given 50 crosses, he’s bound to get one in. It helps that Germans seem ineligible for foul calls, making the attack much easier.

      • Mr_A says:

        It was a pretty awesome move. But he’s still a few notches behind James on the golazo scale.

  27. Pace says:

    I really don’t understand not putting klose in. Leow is so stubborn, Germany have missed so many chances this game.

  28. Pace says:

    I swear muller isn’t wearing shinguards.

  29. Mr_A says:

    About the worst win I’ve seen. What a dissatisfying game. I mean the NFL stops the game every couple minutes, but at least the trade-off is that they make the calls correctly. It seems that FIFA told all the refs that they can do whatever they want, as long as it’s not in the penalty area. It looks like a clinic in how to control the game through biased calls.

  30. The Garrincha says:

    Plucky Algerians,
    Looking forward to France, Germany.

  31. argh says:

    why are people saying UEFA and FIFA want european nations in the final for $$$$$

    the money is in USA and Latin AMERICA

    this world cup is in brazil