The first round of a World Cup is a lot like a circus: There are clowns and high-wire acts, wild animals and magicians. And with 48 games in 14 days, it’s hard to watch everything.
Brazil defeated Chile in the first match of the Round of 16 in a nail-biting penalty shootout. Colombia followed by defeating Uruguay 2-0, giving the country their first trip to the quarter finals.
As the tournament paused Friday to bid arrivederci to Italy and the other 15 teams that have been eliminated, it seemed like a good time to get everyone caught up on the first two weeks.
Here’s what you might have missed:
Defending champion Spain went out, while unheralded Costa Rica stayed in.
Wayne Rooney, Mario Balotelli and Cristiano Ronaldo all went home, while Lionel Messi, Neymar and Thomas Mueller all went crazy, scoring four goals apiece.
Luis Suarez bit the dust after biting an opponent, taking the teeth out of Uruguay’s attack, while the Netherlands devoured opponents whole, scoring 10 times in three games.
Three countries — Greece, Uruguay and Algeria — reached the round of 16 despite losing their first games, something only five teams had done in the previous four World Cups combined.
Three teams from CONCACAF — the federation representing the Caribbean and North and Central America — also moved on, as did two from Africa.
Neither of those things had ever happened before.
Seven of the 13 European teams that started the tournament didn’t survive group play — including England, which hadn’t been bounced this early since 1958.
“This World Cup is full of surprises,” said U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann, whose team produced one of its own by living through the “Group of Death” and advancing despite losing its final game.-Los Angeles Times