CHICAGO --It's day 14 of the World Cup, and there were no surprises today. Group F has been settled. Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 as Lionel Messi scored twice. Nigeria advances because Bosnia & Herzegovina won its first-ever World Cup match, defeating Iran 2-1. Both matches were relatively drama-free, unlike Tuesday's action that witnessed Luis Suarez biting Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder. FIFA is deciding if the man known as "The Cannibal" will be suspended. He should be banned until they can make a mask like the one worn by Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.
In the afternoon matches, Group E wrapped up with France and Ecuador playing to a 0-0 draw. Switzerland whipped Honduras 3-0. France will face Nigeria in the knockout round on Monday at 3 p.m. CST. Argentina will take on Switzerland July 1 at 11 a.m. CST.
Now, on Thursday the United States will play in perhaps the most watched game in the history of American soccer. Our national team will face FIFA's highest-ranked team left in the tournament, Germany, ranked before this tournament started. Both nations' teams have 4 points. A draw means both nations advance to the round of 16 and means Germany gets the top seed out of Group G because they are plus 4 in goal differential.
Germany has the inside track because of their goal differential. The United States is plus 1. Ghana is minus 1 and Portugal is minus 4. I think Germany wins because they will take no chances and they want that number 1 seed out of Group G. The best goal keeper in the world, Manuel Neuer, has given up just two goals in two games. I wonder if the Americans can recover from that tie to Portugal on Sunday. That said, GO USA! Make me eat my words. For the record, I'm now 26-18 in picking the games.
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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