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More World Cup Drama: a wild two days

Spain v Russia: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

A few musings on the happenings of the last few days;

Happy for Denis Cheryshev; did everyone see that tool Sergio Ramos trying to put him off his penalty kick routine, waiting for him and handing him the ball? Chery buried the kick anyway.

Spain: OK, all of us know Sergio Asenjo would have been a better choice for goalkeeper, but beyond that, the defeat to Russia in some ways showed yet again how amazing the 2010 Spain win was and how good that team was. David Villa, Carles Puyol and Xavi (plus the 2010 version of Iniesta) were so strong. And—let’s be clear—international soccer adapts and adjusts.

Carlos Bacca will be in action (or at least on the bench) for Colombia tomorrow; I guess he is technically AC Milan property now.

Japan--Belgium: Gutted for Japan. They can take pride in forcing a better team to up their game to its top level in order to defeat them, and they earned the respect of everyone in the way the played. I was reminded of Villarreal’s 3-2 loss to Barcelona in 2014 (the infamous ‘banana’ match) ; we had a 2-0 lead, Barca scored their first around the 70-minute mark thanks to an own goal. We lost 3-2. What a counterattack for the winner, though. Remind anyone of the USA vs Algeria a few years back?

Transfer material: And he’s already in La Liga! Gabu Shibasaki (ex-Tenerife, now with Getafe) was very impressive in central midfield for Japan. We could use someone like him (hint, hint)

Mexico: So, after the loss, Mexican coach Osorio said Mexican players need to play in European leagues to prepare themselves for matches like this, not in North America. I doubt that went over well with ex-Villarreal men Javier Aquino and Jona and Gio dos Santos. Jona at least got on the pitch and made his World Cup debut.

TOMORROW (today in some time zones as you read this):

Sweden-Switzerland. I have no idea what to expect as two of the weakest teams in the final 16 face each other. I hope lots of goals!!

Colombia-England. This should be interesting, though I expect low scoring. This tie might come down to a bit of luck or an individual error. Sort of has extra time and penalties written all over it.

You all can gloat when it’s 3-0 or something.....