Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Marouane Fellaini of Belgium

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

After holding off the USA last Tuesday in extra time, Belgium have the difficult task of regrouping and preparing to face Argentina in a crucial quarterfinal match on Saturday.

While there’s no doubt that Belgium has created attacking chances during the tournament, they’ve failed to score a single goal earlier than the 70th minute, with much of the goal-scoring coming due to their great depth, bringing on substitutes to run at the tired opposition defenders. However, Argentina are a team that when at their best, can score at any time and will prove a great test to the Belgium defense.

Later in the afternoon, the lone remaining CONCACAF nation, Costa Rica, hope to make it to their first ever World Cup semifinals when they face the high-flying Netherlands. Arjen Robben has been very difficult to slow down this tournament but Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas is up for any task at hand.

The day’s soccer action finishes off with a trio of MLS matches, including an exciting Cascadia Cup clash between the home Vancouver Whitecaps and the visiting Seattle Sounders.

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. (TV listings after the jump):

12 p.m. – Argentina vs. Belgium – ABC

4 p.m. – Netherlands vs. Costa Rica – ESPN

7 p.m. – Toronto FC vs. D.C. United – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live

9 p.m. – Houston Dash vs. Western New York Flash – YouTube

10 p.m. – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live

10:30 p.m. – Chivas USA vs. Montreal Impact – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live

This entry was posted in FIFA World Cup, International Soccer, Major League Soccer, World Cup 2014, Your Running Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

152 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. deepvalue says:

    Messi’s shielding prior to Higuain’s loose ball goal was ridiculous.

  2. a says:

    is there a chance Rodriguez wins the Golden Ball despite his team finishing in the quarters?

    6 goals, 2 assists in 5 games. Obviously most magnificent player in the CUP.

    the only others who deserve it could be Neymar (overrated and will miss the semi’s/final)

    or Messi (if he leads argentina to the win)

    or ROBBEN if he leads the NL to the final

    • Fast Eddie says:

      Julian Green has the highest goals scored per minute average in the entire tournament.

    • simon says:

      more than likely it will be MESSI if he can get Argentina to the FINAL

      otherwise it’s Rodriguez.

      5 really good matches. Other than him honestly give it to the goalkeepers of this tournament

  3. Francois says:

    I hope all the people complaining about the USMNT’s performance vs. Belgium is watching this game. Belgium is doing the same thing to Argentina, the difference is that Argentina have amazing players who can take advantage of counter opportunities.

  4. Gordoninho says:

    Yedlin to Liverpool?

    • Francois says:

      Read that too, they’re talking about a trial prior to signing though. I guess it’s understandable with how short his professional career has been up to this point, but I feel like North American players get no respect. Apparently Memo Ochoa hasn’t had any interest, despite his huge performance at the Cup. No respect.

    • reignman says:

      Would be a bad move, as we’ve seen jumping directly to EPL has a very high failure factor. Also I heard it was just a trial potentially.

      • reignman says:

        Also Liverpool already has a ton of young talent at RB, would be a terrible move

    • El Comandante says:

      He will be exposed as the fluke he is. Mark my words. A little running up and down and some UMNST coach a$$ kissing is not enough to make it in the premiership.

      • Gordoninho says:

        Predictable from you. Scouts know world class speed when they see it and that’s something Rodgers can’t teach Flanagan.

  5. Citronomics says:

    2 mins of extra time with both of the stoppages for DiMaria?

  6. stargate1 says:

    watching the game..it shows how bad US defense was . Unless US can get some good defenders from somewhere, it is hard to see how they can go very far. Argentine D just smothers the Belgians even though they are much shorter and smaller. Very organized

    • Don the Jewler says:

      If you replace US defense with US midfield I would agree with you

    • Benny says:

      The U.S. D was fine. They had to endure a lot of pressure and almost still went through if Wondo would have put his chance away.The problem was holding on to ball more to absorb pressure.

  7. Pace says:

    Someone needs to tell these refs soccer is a contact sport.

  8. El Comandante says:

    This game shows you how far far far away USMNT is from being considered top contender in any WC or taken seriously by any team beyond the group stage. Argentina dominated this team, frustrated this team and forced them to launcha desperate aerial assault in the last few minutes of the game. That’s dominance.

    • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

      Well that’s news to me. Apparently the definition of “dominance” is when a team trailing in a knockout match is “forced to launch a desperate aerial assault in the last few minutes of the game”. Huh.

      Presumuably the Belgium team will head home in utter shame and humiliation from this very public domination, as though the margin of defeat wasn’t enough to scar them permanently

      • El Comandante says:

        You and I know it could’ve been 2 or 3 zero if it wasn’t for Higuain miss and Messi’s poor definition. Compar that to how many clear chances Belgium had. Compare that to how many they had against USMNT. I am simply making a constructive criticism of our team so that they can compete at the highest level of international competition.

  9. El Comandante says:

    Imo, Argentina played better than prior games, but is still yet to play awsomely, like they are capable of doing. Watch out Holland/Costa Rica.

  10. El Comandante says:

    The best CONCACAF team of the tournament is next. Can you believe that Costa Rica made it to the final 5 of the World Cup? What an achievement.

    • Pete says:

      Final 8. Being one of the last 5 left is merely down to scheduling.

    • espada says:

      Beating Greece on penalties really isn’t that much of an achievement to reach the quarters. Their group stage heroics were, but it’s come to the luck of the draw in the knockout stages. Let’s see what they do against Holland.

    • Chris says:

      Haha, thank you for making it crystal clear that you are a moron. Please stop posting here.

      • El Comandante says:

        If you can’t bear the truth, then you don’t post anymore here.

        • Chris says:

          I don’t think you understand…

          • El Comandante says:

            How many teams left in the WC? Five right? And one of those five is Corta Rica, right? So, did I miss anything here? I’d say the same about USMNT, but they bukered down and lost, so they are out because of Klinsmann. There.

            • Chris says:

              They made the final 8. The fact that a few games were played before them does not somehow mean they made the final 5. That doesn’t exist.

  11. Fredo says:

    Vamos Ticos!

  12. beachbum says:

    game already playing out as one might have thought…Holland looking to get behind Costa Rica’s high and tight line, Costa Rica looking to turn Holland over in midfield and counter with a purpose

  13. beachbum says:

    Holland so dangerous on the counter, Costa Rica must be careful in possession to not overcommit numbers

    chess match here, very fun

  14. beachbum says:

    and Holland is super tight on their defensive recovery, very aware of what Costa Rica wants to do…turn them over in midfield and counter

  15. El Comandante says:

    They may lose the game, but boy, USMNT should learn how to play defense against a world class team (although Belgium isn’t one) without bunkering down and let the opposing team abuse your goalkeeper. Learn Klinsmann, learn!

    • CO says:

      You really know nothing just like constantly posting.

      • El Comandante says:

        The truth hurts, alright? I understand. Where’s your counter to my comment other than attempting to offend me?

    • Francois says:

      So Costa Rica bunkering, putting 10 men behind the ball is better? Also, Belgium, player for player, is much more talented than this Dutch squad. Outside of Robben, Van Persie and Wesley Snejder (sp), this Dutch side is very ordinary.

      • El Comandante says:

        And… you are one of those here that really “know.”

        • Francois says:

          Haha know that you know nothing about the game, and that you are just hating on the US team to stir the peverbial pot. Costa Rica has had no shots, very little possesion, and Navas has made 6 saves in the first half. You are the definition of a troll, or you really do have no idea what you are talking about.

    • beachbum says:

      come on man, please stop fighting all over this thread

      • El Comandante says:

        I don’t fight anybody. There are a couple here that fight the truth. Peace!

  16. beachbum says:

    Robben showed the run to maybe expose that Costa Rican matchup zone, ran right thru the space vacated by the back line defender who stepped up into the gap between the lines to mark up; the coverage was good though that time and Costa Rica countered well

  17. beachbum says:

    bullet dodged…bullets!

    Holland deadly on the counter, if los Ticos commit numbers forward they had better slow the counter, or score or play the ball out or something

  18. beachbum says:

    Navas again!

  19. beachbum says:

    not a foul…all ball, BUT just the kind of play los Ticos need to stop any break the Dutch try

  20. El Comandante says:

    Next Gold Cup should be played in Costa Rica. They would win it hands down. What an awsome performance.

  21. El Comandante says:

    Costa Rica’s defense makes it seem simple as the Dutch are frustrated. Watch out for a surprise goal in the second half and Costa Rica is on to the semis.

  22. espada says:

    Wow, Costa Rica is boring to watch.

    • El Comandante says:

      But effective, very effective.

    • beachbum says:

      couldn’t disagree more, but cheers all the same!

      so far their D has been the best in the tournament imo…huge test again now coming up second half, against Holland!

      but check out how their backline does it, no other team in the cup playing it like they are. see if you can figure out what they’re doing…it’s fun!

      let’s see what Holland does early 2nd half with adjustments to it

  23. El Comandante says:

    Costa Rica will win the next qualifying cycle!

  24. El Comandante says:

    Costa Ricans are showing the U.S. and Mexico how it’s done!

  25. El Comandante says:

    Costa Rica did there part by stomping Mexico into the ground. Why did the US beat Panama and let your rival into the World Cup? Dumb Dumb Dumb!

  26. Roy9 says:

    Robben will dive for penalties in the second half. Ref will oblige. Would love for CR to win but yesterday’s ref performance cured me of believing in fair play.

    • beachbum says:

      he got a couple of other calls seemed to me too and I do not understand how a guy who just confessed to diving and winning a game that way gets the benefit of the doubt from the next ref.

      does not compute to me

      • Jman says:

        Did not win the game by diving, foot got stomped on.

        • beachbum says:

          whatever you say…not what he said tho

          • Jman says:

            I’m sure you already know he wasn’t talking about that particular play but you want to believe something that didn’t happen like the rest of the Mexican fans.

  27. Jman says:

    Costa Rica was lucky to escape the first half without conceding. Hopefully they can create some more chances in the second half

  28. run says:

    I wish I could like Robben. He is phenomenal.

    • beachbum says:

      +1 but cannot stand him. nothing he’s done today will change my mind that’s for sure

      should rep the Dutch on the 10 meter board every for years

  29. beachbum says:

    watch Van Persie, he’s setting up in the vacated spot once a Costa Rican from their back five steps up to mark the space between the lines…adjustment made. Robben almost just sprang him

  30. beachbum says:

    looked like a PK to me, from behind before the ball arrived. Robben probably gets that call?

  31. Jman says:

    Joel Campbell did not look happy coming off so early. lol

  32. Byrdman says:

    Wondolowski is now wearing orange

  33. beachbum says:

    what a miss!!! Van Persie, semi finals on his boot

    wow

  34. beachbum says:

    could have been second yellow there fouling Robben. instead Diaz stays on the field

  35. Francois says:

    WOW, what does the Netherlands have to do to score? They have completely, 100% dominated this game. Costa Rica has barely touched the ball.

    • beachbum says:

      Incredible!!!

    • beachbum says:

      wouldn’t say they’ve dominated it tho they have at times…they, like all others who have faced this Costa Rican D, have struggled with it plenty at times as well

      but they came on strong down the stretch pretty big, unlucky at the end there too

      bring on extra time!

  36. Francois says:

    Horrible offsides call. Wow, Costa Rica must have a higher power watching over them, and Navas haha

  37. El Comanndante says:

    What about giving a hand to the best team of CONCACAF at the moment? Impressive. What the Dutch need to do to score is to get the ball behind the goal line. Near goals are equal to zero goals.

  38. Francois says:

    ANOTHER bad offsides call. Wow, this AR is having a howler. Costa Rica is holding in by their finger tips.

    • El Comanndante says:

      They want to play like this, it’s called tactics! Something the US needed.

    • beachbum says:

      disagree…not the reason for anything occurring. sound frustrated like I bet the Dutch are too by now

      and then that foul by Vlaar? also not a PK? could have been called, seen softer called

  39. Chris says:

    The Dutch should be very worried about going to PKs against Navas.

  40. beachbum says:

    hahaha!!! and now a ‘hand ball’ there!

  41. Swoop says:

    I hate this anti-football just as much as when the US did it

  42. Swoop says:

    Navas wasting time like a loser. This is such crap

  43. Increase0 says:

    That’s actually rather dirty from Huntelaar. He pretty much tried to make sure Navas couldn’t see the ball and was perfectly happy to jam a finger in his eye to do it.

    Well deserved. Yellow.

  44. Swoop says:

    Costa Rica deserve to be punished just like Mexico. Parking the bus just to go to penalties

  45. beachbum says:

    this is awesome!!!

  46. Chris says:

    Hmmm it irks me a bit how excited Costa Rica is to go to PKs

  47. Swoop says:

    Costa Rica, specializing in dragging the game to penalties.

  48. El Comandante says:

    Costa Rica is in the semis!!!!!! Just wait a few more minutes. They imposed their game and put themselves in a favorable position to make history.

  49. run says:

    CR is playing way above their weight. If they don’t park the bus today, they lose. They required luck and they got it.

    As for the luck, Navas has been out of his mind all tournament. Might force shooters to go a bit wide/high to beat him?

  50. Increase0 says:

    Robben went left? Even now. Left.

  51. Swoop says:

    Costa Rica deserve to lose. Don’t have to watch this crap anymore.

  52. Swoop says:

    Genius goalkeeping sub!

  53. beachbum says:

    Rats

    congratulations to the Dutch

  54. Swoop says:

    Seriously, you Costa Rica fans shouldn’t feel that bad. They never were close to winning the game and the post saved you over and over again.

    • El Comandante says:

      And the dutch keeper saved their day with five minutes left. Of course you need luck to win a close game. Btw, Costa Rica was unbeaten in the WC.

    • beachbum says:

      feel bad? Holland lucky to escape! ask Vlaar

  55. El Comandante says:

    Hats off to Costa Rica; they were so close. When you play to go to pks shootout, you have the other 50% to lose the game. Unbeaten, best team in CONCACAF, going home proud. Gold Cup is next and then play off for Confederations.

  56. El Comandante says:

    lol … Van Nistelroy was sweating bullets.

  57. espada says:

    lol Ruud van Nistelrooy celebrating the Dutch winning

  58. El Comandante says:

    Final four is justice to the tournament. I know Brazil has underperformed, but they have not lost a game yet. Neither have the Dutch, Argentina or Germany. So, it will be interesting. My money on Argentina vs. Germany in the Final. But, anything can happen. We need better reffereing for those semifinal games.

    Btw, this is my last post here today. Anything afetr that is probably Swoop using my name.

  59. Chris says:

    At least Costa Rica made it to the TOP 5.

  60. Michael says:

    I love the evolution of El Coman(n)dante though