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10 most memorable moments of World Cup round-of-16

10 most memorable moments of World Cup round-of-16
July 03
13:32 2014
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Just before the quarter-finals of the World Cup kick off on Friday, we bring you 10 of the many good and ugly moments of the second round.

Unlike the previous round, though, every action was on the pitch. The Black Stars have gone home!

1. Chilling game and penalty shootout drama for Brazil and their fans

The game against Chile elicited different moods from Brazil fans in the stadium. From cheers when the Selecao went ahead through David Luiz to despair when Alexis Sanchez equalised, the tension in the air was palpable and you could even touch it! Their moods if plotted on a graph would have been zigzag, especially during the real drama of the shootout.

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Keeper Julio Cesar produced stunning saves to stop Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez after David Luiz scored with Brazil’s first kick. Although Willian blew his chance, Marcello put the Samba boys 2-0 up. The drama was cranked up when Charles Aranguiz thumped his penalty into the roof of the net then Hulk’s effort was saved by Barcelona-bound Bravo. When Marcelo Diaz scored Chile’s fourth spot kick, the rivals were locked at 2-2. Then ice-cool Neymar danced up to score, heaping the pressure on to Gonzalo Jara. The defender – who is without a club after leaving Nottingham Forest last season – could only watch in agony as his penalty cannoned off the inside of a post and Chile were out.

Brazil are in the quarter-finals but their fans partied as though had won the World Cup!

Cesar2. Cesar’s heroics and tears

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Julio Cesar exorcised the ghost of four years ago after his penalty kick heroics against Chile saw Brazil qualify for the next round. The Toronto goalkeeper was the scapegoat in South Africa in 2010 when Brazil lost to Holland in the World Cup quarter-final.

Cesar broke down in tears before (and after) the shootout and was still visibly emotional as he collected his man-of-the-match award.

James Rodruguez3. My name is James…

…James Rodriguez. Actually it is pronounced as “Ah-mez” but his strike against Uruguay has a single meaning: class — the same with the secret service agent in 007 movies.

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After 27 cagey opening minutes, Abel Aguilar headed the ball forward to Rodriguez just outside the area, although he had his back to goal. There was no immediate sense of danger, but this is a prime predator who sees when the kill is on before anyone else.

He took the ball on his chest and then, lightning fast, on the turn, struck a sensational left-footed volley that dipped viciously before going in off the underside of the bar. The stadium erupted, neutrals along with Colombians, in recognition of sheer brilliance.

With this strike, Rodriguez became the first player since 2002 to score in his first four games at the tournament, matching a feat accomplished only by superstars Ronaldo and Rivaldo, who each netted in Brazil’s first four matches in Korea/Japan.

Dutch4. Dutch on the double

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Mexico were on course of reaching their first quarter-finals since hosting the World Cup in 1986 after Giovani dos Santos’ stunning strike broke the deadlock against the Netherlands early in the second half.

However, their resistance was broken two minutes from full-time when Wesley Sneijder rifled home from the edge of the box; then the North American side were left shell-shocked and heartbroken in the fourth minute of injury time when substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted from the penalty spot after a foul on Arjen Robben by Rafael Marquez, to cap a miraculous turnaround.

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Lightning can indeed strike twice in the same spot (box) in two minutes!

Timeout5. First timeout

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The intense heat in Fortaleza where Holland and Mexico met on Sunday brought the famous timeouts into play for the first time in the competition. Due to the heat, match referee Pedro Proenca announced the first timeout just after the half hour mark in the first half of the game.

The break lasted three minutes and allowed the players time to fully rehydrate and get their breath back. The intense heat in Fortaleza saw temperatures over 30 with levels of humidity above 90 per cent – more than the levels stipulated by FIFA when allowing for stoppages to the games.

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In the group stages, there was a short pause in the Portgual and USA game but it was not the official stoppage that the referee called for in the Castelao stadium on Sunday.

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