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Tactics: U.S. defend deep

Tactics Board Jul 1, 2014
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CAF's best push UEFA teams to the limit

Five Aside Jun 30, 2014
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Germany won't repeat 1982 mistakes

Germany Jun 29, 2014
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 By Michael Cox
Jul 2, 2014

Fatigue played a role in round of 16

Relive all of the best moments from the World Cup round of 16.

If the group stage was about shocks, the round of 16 was what we expected.

For the first time since the switch to a 32-team tournament in 1998, the World Cup's round of 16 games were won by the eight group winners, with the eight runners-up eliminated.

How predictable, you might think. We might as well scrap the round of 16 and put the group winners straight through to the quarterfinals. Although, of course, the actual matches weren't remotely predictable.

Two were decided on penalties, three more...

 By Maher Mezahi
Jul 1, 2014

Assessment: Algeria fight to finish

Germany and Algeria needed extra-time to settle their Round of 16 encounter, as a spirited Algerian performance was snubbed quickly in extra time.

One sentence, World Cup recap

This talented Algerian squad have written their names in domestic footballing folklore by progressing to the knockout stages for the first time in their history.

Star Man

Several names could be penciled in as Algeria's star man. Goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi pulled off decisive stops in each of Algeria's four matches. Sofiane Feghouli proved that he is this team's undisputed talisman. He worked tirelessly both offensively and defensively and he chipped in with a goal and two...

Jul 1, 2014

Tactics Board: USA defend deep; versatile Di Maria

USA
The USA were pushed into a defensive effort against Belgium.

BELGIUM 2-1 UNITED STATES

It was one of the great rearguard actions of the World Cup. Belgium's quest for a goal lasted 93 minutes and the United States defended defiantly. The sheer volume of clearances made by Jurgen Klinsmann's team -- and centre-backs Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler in particular -- was testament to their organisation and spirit, but also indicates the amount of pressure they were under.

The United States actually have quite a high defensive line; indeed, some of Belgium's...

 By Maher Mezahi
Jul 1, 2014

Algeria tactically astute in Germany defeat

Two goals for Germany, from Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil, in extra time were enough to see off Algeria in a hotly contested round of 16 match.

After employing an attacking 4-2-3-1 in consecutive matches, Algeria head coach Vahid Halilhodzic reverted to a 4-3-3 against Germany on Monday night. He first launched the counterattacking tactic versus Belgium in Algeria's opening fixture. On that day Les Fennecs struggled to transition out of a low block and threaten Belgium, but on Monday night they carried Halilhodzic's instructions out to a tee.

- Moonda: Africa departs Brazil in disappointment
- Delaney: Algeria push Germany to the limit
-...

Jul 1, 2014

Africa departs Brazil in disappointment

Cameroon officials will investigate claims from a German magazine that seven players were involved in match-fixing at the World Cup.

Africa's World Cup is over. It did not end as the continent would have liked, without the results it had hoped for and with no new ground broken. In fact, old ground wasn't even covered as none of the five African teams that entered the tournament will feature in the quarterfinals.

Given the huge impact made on home soil in 2010, underperformance was the standout failing of the African countries at this World Cup. Each was slow out of the starting blocks, with only one team winning its opening match...

Jun 30, 2014

Last 16 Day 3: CAF push UEFA to the limit

France were able to score two late goals following a bevy of second half opportunities in a 2-0 win over Nigeria.

Day 3 of the knockout round brought a pair of CAF-UEFA clashes, with star-studded European teams squeaking past a pair of African underdogs on late goals.

In the first game of the day, France struggled to create against a stubborn Nigerian side, but a late goalkeeping miscue by the otherwise-excellent Vincent Enyeama made the difference. Later, a determined Algeria took Germany into extra time in a game in which Germany's star defender was the man between the posts.

There have been exactly...