CHICAGO --Before this tournament began, I had Spain facing Germany in the championship game July 13 at Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Germany, my other pick in the final, is still alive, but the top-seeded Spaniards are out.
At Maracana on Wednesday, the No. 14-ranked Chileans upset Spain 2-0. Eduardo Vargas scored in the 20th minute and then 23 minutes later, Charles Aranguiz slammed the ball home off the rebound, beating the great Iker Casillas. Chile and the Netherlands advanced out of Group B to the round of 16. Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque has a lot of explaining to do; the king is dead. The Chilean victory was marred by a group of their fans, who broke down the doors of an entrance to the stadium and then trashed the media center. Most were caught and jailed.
In the first match of the day, the favored Netherlands had its hands full trying to eliminate the gritty, tough, thunder-from-down-under Australians. The Dutch took the lead in the 20th minute when one of their stars, Arjen Robben, dribbled up the near side and used his left foot to slam the ball into the right side of the net. But the No. 62-ranked Aussies didn't give up. A minute after Robben scored, Tim Cahill- the best of the Australian team- slammed the ball home off the crossbar. The crowd at Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil went nuts. And they really went crazy when Mile Jedinik drilled the orb into the left side of the goal on a penalty kick, precipitated by a hand ball called on the Dutch. But the favorites came storming back, as superstar Robin Van Persie, who is out of the next match against Chile because of a 2nd yellow card, scored in the 58th minute. Then seven minutes later, substitute Memphis DePay got the game winning goal and Netherlands got through 3-2.
Monday's game is now meaningless for Netherlands and Chile because they both have advanced. Congrats to both nations.
And in the final matchup, Cameroon and Croatia took on each other in a Group A losers' matchup. The Croatians won 4-0 to eliminate Cameroon. Croatia is still alive in the group because they are just a point behind both Mexico and Brazil.
After 20 matches, my record is 14-6. I need some help on Thursday as No. 8-ranked Colombia faces No.23-ranked Ivory Coast at 11 a.m. CDT time. I'm picking Colombia. Then at 2 p.m. CDT, Uruguay faces England. I went with England last time and they lost. I like Uruguay, and that means England will be done. Then, Japan takes on Greece and I pick the Greeks to win this one. Chat with you all on Thursday.
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Since joining ABC7 in 1982, Jim Rose has become a major force in Chicago sports broadcasting. He currently serves as sports anchor/reporter for ABC7 News in Chicago's top-rated 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. newscasts. He is an avid fan of the World Cup! Learn more about Jim