Meanwhile, all five South American teams have advanced to the next stage – the first time that’s happened since the expanded format began in 1998.
North Korea showed that while team cohesion, a strong sense of identity, and an understanding of tactics can take you far, isolationism ensures your flaws will become obvious when you meet the wider world.
South Africa, the first host nation to bonk out at the group stage, showed how the world loves an open door to a colorful, friendly party.
Mexico has a chance to avenge their 2006 knockout by Argentina but Maradona’s men look ready to fly. He has inspired his men with his love of the game and his love of Argentina – two qualities that matter even more than formations in this tournament.
The U.S. has a chance to top off their greatest World Cup victory by paying Ghana back for knocking them out in 2006. And what a distance this team has traveled in those years. From a talented but listless team to a team that believes and never quits. Coach Bradley made adjustments in his team’s defense that brought needed cohesion in the second half. They’ll need to work defensively as a team and not allow an early goal as Ghana hitman Asamoah Gyan will be looking to score his third goal in three games.
10 am - Uruguay vs. South Korea, ESPN
2:30 pm - USA vs. Ghana, ABC
10 am - England vs. Germany, ESPN
2:30 pm - Argentina vs. Mexico, ABC
10 am - Netherlands vs. Slovakia, ESPN
2:30 pm - Brazil vs. Chile, ESPN
10 am - Paraguay vs. Japan, ESPN
2:30 pm - Spain vs. Portugal, ESPN
(All times Eastern US)