Before you look ahead to today’s matches, including the Portugal-U.S. showdown, take a look back at what you might have missed yesterday.
Michael Caley of The Post’s Fancy Stats blogs writes of this evening’s big Group G match: A win or draw is crucial for the U.S., and Cristiano Ronaldo, above, and Portugal could be greatly affected by the loss of Fabio Coentrao.
Who needs Belgium’s delicious beers when you have Budweiser?
Whether his team advances or not, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced this on Friday that he plans to attend the World Cup final in Rio on July 13. Via his personal assistant Yuri Ushakov:
“On July 13, it’s planned that the President will attend the final match of the World Cup. This is in connection with Russia hosting the next World Cup (in 2018) and the baton will be handed over to us by our Brazilian colleagues.”
Putin will also tack on his participation in an economic summit in Brazil, as well.
Remember the Netherlands’ Robin Van Percie’s phenomenal flying header that resulted in a very pretty goal?
— Andre Pronk (@ANDREPRONK) June 21, 2014
It’s not so pretty anymore…
Group H: Belgium (3 points) vs. Russia (1 point)
– Belgium advances with a win.
Group H: South Korea (1 point) vs. Algeria (0 points), 3 p.m. EST
– Algeria is eliminated with a loss.
Group G: United States (3 points) vs. Portugal (0 points), 6 p.m. EST
–United States advances with a win.
–Portugal is eliminated with a loss.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 22, 2014
Belgium! And so far, so good. The Western European team is doing a bit better in terms of ball possession, but the Russian defense has shown that it has it’s stuff together today. This may be a long, scoreless match unless this early pattern changes.
Jan Vertonghen substitutes in for Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal’s captain, who exited the pitch at minute 31 because of an injury.
The Russia kicked a Belgium player in the hand while trying to defend the ball, but the Belgian played it up like he was kicked in the face.