A very happy Fourth of July to those celebrating, and a very happy Day After England Winning a Penalty Shootout in the World Cup to those of you celebrating. Let’s get to those obituaries.
Ramble of the Day
The last pair of teams to make their Round of 16 exits have done so, with Switzerland going first on Tuesday. The Swiss were well-organized, particularly in defense, allowing them to hold Brazil to a goal in their opening match. They even showed off attacking flair from time to time, particularly against Serbia, when they managed a thrilling come from behind victory. Switzerland, though, went out tamely. They were defensively solid in their Round of 16 encounter against Sweden, but ultimately unambitious. They leave Russia without making a large impression.
The final Round of 16 exit belonged to Colombia, who provided a mixed bag in Russia. Quickly capitulating in their first match against Japan, they recovered against Poland in entertaining fashion, putting three past the European side and eliminating them in the process. An encounter with fan favorites Senegal saw Colombia take an incredibly conservative approach that ultimately paid off. Finally, a match against England in the Round of 16 saw the Colombians pick physicality for 90 minutes, a plan that hardly ensured the goal they got. Extra time saw them elect to play a version of the attacking style they are capable of, but Colombia did not get the reward they were looking for. Inconsistency and a reliance on star power sends the Colombians home, with uncertainty looming over how talented this group was.
tl;dr: Switzerland and Colombia, you have been chopped.
Links of the Day
Former Newcastle coaching assistant George Ormond has been found guilty of sexually abusing 18 boys.
John Obi Mikel revealed that his father was kidnapped before Nigeria’s group stage encounter against Argentina. His father has since been rescued and is receiving medical treatment.
Germany manager Joachim Löw will keep his job despite Germany’s failure to advance past the group stage.
Transfer roundup: Manchester United have signed goalkeeper Lee Grant from Stoke; Yohan Cabaye has moved to Al Nasr in the UAE from Crystal Palace
Today’s longer read: Ed Malyon on the long road for Argentina’s 2005 and 2007 U20 World Cup winners to disaster in Russia for The Independent