Oh, here we are again! Time for those picks!
I seem to have done OK on my Round-of-16 picks, but that will not stand.
Partly, this is because my ambivalence is high, because, out of the 8 teams remaining, I now have to make some Very Hard Choices.
Enough whining: here we go:
- Uruguay vs France.
Oh, tragedy! My favorite two teams have to play each other! Uruguay, possessors of the greatest of World Cup history, and far-and-away the hardest working team in this World Cup, have to play France, my top pick. Drat! But, did I mention that France are my top pick? Sorry, Uruguay, France prevail 3-2 in a beauty of a game, reckoned by all as the best game of this World Cup.
- Brazil vs Belgium.
Again it happens! I wanted to see several more games from each of these exciting and entertaining teams. But it is not to be. Although Belgium give Brazil everything they can handle, the game is tied after 90 and Brazil score in the 107th minute to win 2-1.
- Sweden vs England.
Sweden are the "winning ugly" of this World Cup, but England's victory over Colombia is uglier than anything Sweden have come up with so far in this tournament. Will I watch? Of course I will, but I'll be shielding my eyes the entire way. England somehow win, 1-0, in regular time.
- Russia vs Croatia.
I knew Denmark would be a hard battle for Croatia, and frankly it's a wonder Croatia advanced. But advance they did, and are rewarded with the hosts. Russia have been batting WAY above their average in this tournament, and finally it catches up with them, as they face their complete equal in hard-nosed, disciplined play. This one is 0-0 after 90, 1-1 after 120, and Croatia move on after Kicks From The Spot