This morning starts off with what could be one of the best matches of the tourney as Belgium takes on the land of Lionel Messi, Argentina. As we saw against the USA (BOOOO!) Belgian captain Vincent Kompany is actually ready to play and be a headache for the opposing side, they had the energy to score quickly going into extra time, and they’ve got subs that are great at coming into the game and making a difference. Argentina gets back Sergio Aguero (like Kompany, another Man City standout) today after it looked like he would miss the rest of the tourney with a hamstring injury. Argentina’s defense hasn’t been as organized the the Belgians, but they should be strong enough to turn this into a low scoring, but intense affair. Low scoring with arguably the world’s best player? Because Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has kept Messi from scoring the past seven times Barcelona played Atletico Madrid.
In the afternoon the Netherlands take on Costa Rica as they look to keep steamrolling in their 2010 World Cup loss revenge tour. For all the high scoring fun of the Oranje, Costa Rica’s scrappy underdog story is just as intriguing. No one expected them to get out the group stage besting both Italy, England and Uruguay — both with hopes to go far in the tourney — much less have the strength to win in a shootout. Can they finally stop the highest scoring (and some same the most dive-happy) team in the World Cup? There is some hope. The Dutch fell behind to Mexico before scoring twice at the end of the game to pull out a win, so if Costa Rica can hold off stars Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, there is a chance they can pull off a miracle run to the quarterfinals.