The knockout stage of the Brazil 2014 World Cup ended Tuesday as the USA bowed out of this year's football competition but they did so with their heads held high. USA coach, former German footballer Jurgen Klinsmann, could not have asked for more from his team, except of course a win, rather than a 2-1 defeat against Belgium. After the game Klinsmann told the BBC "I'm very proud of our team. "Every player on the field made their country proud with this performance in this World Cup." He also said "Hats off to the way we played. We are hungry, we have tasted what it's like to play against the best in the world and we will be back." The game was another thriller with the score line standing at 0-0 after full-time was called. The already tired squads then faced another 30 minutes play during which time Belgium nudged ahead. The USA almost took the game to penalties showing the team deserved their World Cup place. Earlier in the day Argentina beat Switzerland in a less thrilling game. It was down to Messi to save the game and he set up a goal for Angel Di Maria. It proved to be the only goal of the match and again was in extra-time. FInal score was 1-0 to Argentina.
We now have the final eight teams through to the quarter finals which kick off Friday when France play Germany and later Brazil play Colombia. Argentina play Belgium on Saturday with the Netherlands going up against Costa Rica later in the day.
Could it still be host nation Brazil's World Cup. After a shakey start they are coming into their own.
Both France and Germany were always in with a shout but only one team will pass on to the next stage of the contest and Germany must surely be favourites to do just that. However in their game against Algeria earlier this week they did not get an easy ride and cracks showed in their playing skills. Argentina may have been saving their best till last but on their last performance they did not look like World Cup winners. They still have their best weapon though, Messi.
Costa Rica have been the surprise team in this year's World Cup and although the Netherlands should easily beat them they could yet cause an upset. For me a Costa Rica win would be awesome and turn this year's World Cup on its head.
For those who do not like football, even the World Cup, the good news is the contest is nearly complete for another four years.
The semi-finals will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, the 8th and 9th, of July. The third place play-off plays out on Saturday July 12. The Brazil World Cup final is being held Sunday July 13.