Six of the seven Tottenham players to travel to Brazil made it to the Last 16, with only Benoit Assou-Ekotto missing out.
Paulinho’s Brazil qualified for the Quarter Finals after a tense penalty shootout versus Chile. They took the lead through David Luiz but were pegged back by Alexis Sanchez. Both sides had chances to win it, but only Julio Cesar could prevent an impressive Chile side during the shootout. Paulinho was an unused substitute but was seen encouraging his teammates during the intervals, showing brilliant signs of leadership. Luis Gustavo’s suspension means Paulinho could face Colombia in the Last 8.
Next, Hugo Lloris’ France had to struggle to beat Nigeria 2-0 with a Paul Pogba header and an Own Goal to make it into the quarter finals. Lloris’ goal was threatened on few occasions but our ever reliable keeper was too difficult to beat. A tough tie vs Germany lies ahead, with a place in the semi finals at stake.
Unfortunately, due to a rumoured knocked, Nabil Bentaleb was an unused substitute as Algeria faced heartbreak in their Last 16 tie. The North African side had several chances, notably to danger man Slimani, but were unable to take them. Their heroics took the tie took extra time, when goals from Schurrle & Özil broke Algerian hearts. They did pull a goal back in the 119th minute but it was a case of ‘too little too late’ for Bentaleb & Co.
Finally, Jan Vertonghen started for Belgium in their tie versus the USA whilst Mousa Dembélé and Nacer Chadli started on the bench. He impressed playing at left back, a position he’s not always keen to fill, providing several brilliant crosses and almost scoring one of the goals of the tournament in the second half. The game finished 0-0 and was the fifth game out of eight to go to extra time. Within two minutes, Kevin De Bruyne put Marc Wilmots’ side 1-0 ahead before Romelu Lukaku – A reported Spurs target – doubled the lead, with De Bruyne grabbing the assist. However, Julian Green pulled one back for Klinsmann’s USA, which ended up being a solitary consolation. Belgium now face Argentina in the Last 8.
Well done to Hugo, Paulinho and the three Belgians for qualifying and commiserations with Nabil for being knocked out – see you at Hotspur Way soon! Good Luck to our boys that are waving the Spurs flag in Brazil – our support is with you.
Also, well done to ex-Spurs men Jürgen Klinsmann and Clint Dempsey for getting the USA to the Last 16, a phenomenal achievement considering the group they were placed in. Clint with two goals in the group.