And there it is. The excitement, the tension, the drama all give way to...even more excitement, drama and tension.
Actually, this morning was fairly relaxing, given that Brazil and Portugal were almost certainly going through, and Ivory Coast and North Korea were almost definitely out. When Les Elephants scored two goals within five minutes, viewers perked up, wondering if they actually could do the unthinkable and knock out Portugal, who seemed content to keep a clean sheet rather than stress over actually putting the ball in the net. But the most they could do was beat North Korea 3-0, with Didier Drogba putting himself on the scoresheet again. Brazil versus Portugal was a tired, nasty affair, with cards flying throughout the first half, and anyone who missed it should count themselves relieved. With their goalless draw, Brazil took first, Portugal second, and Group G was done.
Group H, however, was nerve-wracking for nearly all teams involved. After Switzerland beat Spain in the first group stages, it seemed nearly inevitable that they would triumph over Honduras. And when Spain regained its form against Honduras, most assumed that they would easily beat Chile...leaving three squads with six points, and everything hinging on goal difference. So when Fernando Torres acted like a petulant child, throwing himself to the ground without so much being nicked by Marco Estrada, all those watching assumed it was the end for Chile after the referee flashed red. Yet Chile more than held on, managing to pull back another goal before settling into defense. Even if the Swiss had managed to beat Honduras with one goal, Chile would've made it. As it stood, Honduras beat back Switzerland with the help of many outstanding saves, and when Spain won 2-1, Chile celebrated as though they'd just beaten their betters.
Wondering what happens next? Here's your answer: