Live Coverage: World Cup live: July 2 - as it happened

Belgium's midfielder Kevin De Bruyne scores during the first half of extra-time in the Round of 16 football match against USA on July 1, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole's live news coverage of the 21st day of the World Cup in Brazil.

Welcome to Sports Mole's live news coverage from day 21 of the World Cup.

The quarter-final lineup was completed last night as extra-time wins saw Argentina and Belgium into the last eight.

We will be bringing you all of the latest news, gossip and reaction from the Brazil throughout the day.


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12.02pmAfternoon football fans. We are nearing the business end of the World Cup, with the quarter-final lineup completed last night. Sports Mole is the place to get your World Cup fix today.

12.08pmWe will be keeping you up to date with all of the reaction from last night's victories for Argentina and Belgium, Tim Howard's record-breaking display and the rest of the news from Brazil.


12.30pmKlinsmann is just one of many applauding Howard's heroics from last night as Everton's American keeper set a record for most saves in a World Cup game since 1966 - when records began.

12.44pmThe 35-year-old very nearly kept Belgium at bay, but Marc Wilmots' side scored twice in the early stages of extra time to qualify for the quarter-finals, in what was another pulsating World Cup match.

12.55pmBelgium's narrow victory means that all eight group winners have progressed to the quarter-finals of a World Cup for the first time, although that does not tell the full story of the last-16 ties.

1.06pmFive of the last-16 ties went to extra time, and Netherlands needed two late goals to edge past Mexico in 90 minutes. Only Colombia and France were convincing in advancing to the quarters.

1.16pmYohan Cabaye has pointed to Paul Pogba, who opened the scoring against Nigeria, as a main reason for Frances's success so far, and compared the Juventus star to Patrick Vieira.

1.27pmThere is no secret to Colombia's success, with James Rodriguez leading the race for the golden boot with five goals so far in the tournament, including a truly wonderful volley against Uruguay.

1.39pmThe 22-year-old Monaco winger has assumed the mantle of Colombia's talisman in the absence of injured striker Radamel Falcao, and has reportedly attracted Real Madrid's attention with his form.

James Rodriguez of Colombia celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second of the game with teammates Jackson Martinez and Teofilo Gutierrez during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June© Getty Images


1.48pmOne man who may be relieved that he won't have to mark the currently irresistible Rodriguez on Friday is Brazil anchorman Luis Gustavo, who is suspended for the match in Fortaleza. Manchester City star Fernandinho, though, has insisted that he is happy to deputise in a holding role.

1.58pmGustavo will be joined in missing the quarter-finals by Costa Rica defender Roy Miller, who has been ruled out of their encounter with Netherlands after suffering a foot injury in training.

2.08pmA reminder, in case some of you have not updated your wall charts, of the full QF lineup:

Brazil vs. Colombia

France vs. Germany

Netherlands vs. Costa Rica

Argentina vs. Belgium

Sports Mole will preview all of these ties in full later this week.


2.20pmWe have seen several managers step down following their side's elimination from the tournament - Cesare Prandelli of Italy, Safet Susic of Bosnia Herzegovina and Stephen Keshi of Nigeria, but millions of new American soccer fans will be relieved to know that Jurgen Klinsmann plans to stay.

2.31pmThe German has indicated that he will still be in charge of the USA at the 2018 World Cup, and believes that there is enough potential in his squad for them to improve again in Russia.

2.45pmTim Howard has been the name dominating the back pages, and internet memes, this morning after his 15-save display for the USA, but the Everton goalkeeper has admitted that his achievement means little to him considering that his side "fell short of their dream" in the World Cup.

Divock Origi of Belgium shoots against Tim Howard of the United States during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match on July 1, 2014© Getty Images


2.58pmThat's it from me for now. Sian Cowper will take you through the afternoon as Sports Mole continues to bring you the very latest opinions, reaction and news from Brazil.

3.12pmThanks Joe. Good afternoon all, we'll be continuing to keep you up to date with all the news from Brazil right the way until this evening. If you've been following the action from the knockout round, you'll probably remember the tackle that Blaise Matuidi made on Nigeria's Ogenyi Onazi, that forced the 21-year-old midfielder off on a stretcher. Well, FIFA have now confirmed that they will be taking no further action against the Frenchman, who was booked for the challenge.

3.15pmFormer Netherlands international Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has been praising his country's performance at the tournament. In particular, the former Chelsea striker believes that Louis van Gaal has had a positive influence on the squad, who will play Costa Rica in the quarter-finals this weekend.

3.31pmSticking with the Netherlands, winger Arjen Robben has said that the side are "on a mission" after losing in the final four years ago.

He told FIFA.com: "I think we are on a mission together, and when you come to a World Cup it's not to enjoy the weather and enjoy the beach in Rio. You're here to win matches and to go as far as possible.

"I don't think the expectations were that high before the tournament and, as a result, we can be very proud of where we are.

"We have to stay focused. Costa Rica have a very good team, they have already proved that in their group, which was very tough, with Italy, England and Uruguay in there. They've been really impressive and we'll have to prepare very well if we're going to beat them."


3.51pmDuring Germany's extra time win over Algeria, you may remember a bizarre free kick, which involved several members of the Germany squad lining the ball up, before Thomas Muller appeared the ball over on the run up, then attempt the recover by running beyond the wall in a bid to collect a chip from Toni Kroos. Well, the striker has now claimed that he didn't fall, it was all part of the plan.

4.15pmAs has been mentioned earlier on, all of the talk today has been about Tim Howard's remarkable performance in goal for the USA last night. Despite the team's 2-1 defeat in extra time, the Everton keeper made 15 saves, setting a new World Cup record. Belgium captain Vincent Kompany has been among many paying tribute to Howard's performance:


4.32pmNow that the round of 16 matches are all complete, FIFA have been analysing all of the statistics from the matches so far in Brazil. As you can see from this tweet from the tournament's official account, Michael Bradley has covered the most distance of any player, while Argentina's Javier Mascherano is the most accurate passer:


4.42pmSeveral coaches have already left their roles following their side's exit from the tournament. However, the Ghana FA have confirmed that they won't be making any changes, insisting that they have "full confidence" in Kwesi Appiah.

5.01pmOne coach who has left his team is Switzerland's Ottmar Hitzfeld, who announced his retirement following a 31-year coaching career after his side's exit from the competition last night. He's been in charge of the national side since 2008, and several members of the World Cup squad have been paying tribute to him.

5.29pmFollowing the USA's exit from the tournament last night, Tim Howard has taken to Twitter to describe representing his country as a "tremendous honor". His 15-save performance has been a hot topic on social media all day!


5.46pmSo the quarter-finals will get underway on Friday, with an all-European clash and two South American teams going head-to-head. You can now read our previews for both of those matches:

Brazil vs. Colombia

France vs. Germany


5.57pmIt was a big night for Romelu Lukaku yesterday, as he scored the first World Cup goal of his career in Belgium's 2-1 extra time win over the USA. Afterwards, the Chelsea striker admitted that he "almost cried" when he saw the ball go into the back of the net.

6.15pmThere's a potentially big story coming out of the Netherlands' training session today. According to the Daily Mail, striker Robin van Persie left the pitch with heavy strapping around his left thigh. Although there's no word on the extend of any injury, he would be a huge loss for the side if he was unavailable for their quarter-final against Costa Rica.

6.35pmFive of the eight round of 16 matches ended up going to extra time, testing players' fitness levels and determination, and leading to some to call for teams to be allowed to make a fourth substitution during the additional 30 minutes. Former France and Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier, who is currently part of FIFA's technical study group, admits that he thinks it would be a good move.

6.59pmThe quarter-final between Brazil and Colombia has potential to be one of the matches of the tournament. Brazil have looked superb at times, but needed penalties to beat Chile, while Colombia seem to play better with every match. Former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla believes that it will be a comfortable win for his country.

7.00pmWell that's all from me today, but Joe Fish will be back to keep you up to date for the rest of the evening.

7.12pmThanks, Sian. The mind games ahead of the quarter-finals have already begun, and Belgium captain Vincent Kompany has invited Argentina to attack them when they meet in Brasilia on Saturday, suggesting that the Europeans have a "pretty good chance" of winning if the match is end-to-end.

7.22pmThe Manchester City defender has acknowledged that Belgium have not been convincing so far in Brazil, but has blamed that on their opponents adopting defensive tactics against them.

7.35pmEverybody would probably agree that Marc Wilmots's side have slighting underwhelmed so far at the World Cup, considering the Premier League star power they have at their disposal, but perhaps they would benefit from playing an opponent who is as willing to attack as they are.

7.45pmGroup H rivals Algeria, South Korea and Russia all sat back with men behind the ball, and Belgium have struggled to break them down, as evidenced by their earliest goal in the tournament coming in the 78th minute. Maybe the quiet Eden Hazard and their other attacking talents would thrive in the game being more open. Argentina are unlikely to play cautiously, that's for sure.

7.59pmAfter defender Roy Miller was ruled out of the quarter-final against Netherlands, we have some more concerning injury news for Costa Rica fans, and it involves second-round hero Keylor Navas. The Levante goalkeeper missed training on Wednesday, but supposedly only as a precaution to rest a shoulder problem, and should be fit to take on the Dutch in Salvador on Saturday.

8.12pmNavas has been one of several goalkeepers who have impressed at the tournament, and one of several who are seemingly available in this summer's transfer market, with Levante reportedly helpless to prevent him leaving should a club trigger his €10m release clause.

Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas prepares to make a save as Greece's forward Kostas Mitroglou and defender Vasilis Torosidis try to score during the round of 16 football match between Costa Rica and Greece at Pernambuco Arena in Recife during the 2014© Getty Images


8.24pmAtletico Madrid are believed to have made an offer for Navas, but short of his asking price, while Arsenal and Liverpool are apparently leading the Premier League interest in the 27-year-old.

8.35pmMexico's Guillermo Ochoa is another who has shone in Brazil, particularly in keeping out the hosts in the two country's Group A 0-0 draw. His agent claims that he is wanted by "many clubs".

8.44pmElsewhere, Thibaut Courtois has continued to give Chelsea fans a sample of what they could be seeing in between the posts for the next decade, and is still unbeaten in 21 starts as Belgium goalkeeper, and Algerian stopper Rais M'Bolhi has been an unlikely star for the African minnows.

8.55pmAnd, naturally, any conversation on World Cup goalkeeping would be incomplete without mentioning (yes, again) Tim Howard's incredible display in defeat to Belgium last night. There will be little speculation on his future, though, with the US glovesman almost certain to stay at Everton.

9.07pmOf course, Howard is formerly of Manchester United, and the Daily Mail claimed on Tuesday that M'Bolhi could once have been a Red Devil too, but Sir Alex Ferguson turned down the chance to sign Algeria's number one, who is now at CSKA Sofia, after a one-week trail in 2010.

9.17pmReturning to Costa Rica matters for a moment, and, despite a couple of injury worries, defender Giancarlo Gonzalez has insisted that they are in the World Cup to win it now that they have made history by reaching the last eight. They play Netherlands in their quarter-final in Salvador on Saturday.

9.26pmBreaking news from Brazil is that the hosts' talisman, Neymar, who has dragged them unconvincingly through the tournament with four goals in as many games, has declared himself fit for their quarter-final against Colombia on Friday, after overcoming minor knee and thigh concerns.

Brazil's forward Neymar celebrates after scoring a second goal during a Group A football match against Cameroon on June 23, 2014© Getty Images


9.44pmMore fitness news, this time from the Germany camp, with Mats Hummels and Lukas Podolski both back in contention for their quarter-final with France at the Maracana on Friday. The Arsenal forward and Borussia Dortmund defender missed the last-16 win over Algeria through illness and injury.

9.56pmBoth men could come up against France vice captain Mamadou Sakho, who has admitted that Les Bleus are still playing with "rage" inside them following their unconvincing road to Brazil.

10.00pmThat's it from Sports Mole after one of the Brazil World Cup's quieter days. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to retune tomorrow as we preview the first two mouthwatering quarter-finals. Until then...

Lionel Messi celebrates with Argentina teammates Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo after opening the scoring against Nigeria in their World Cup Group F match on June 25, 2014
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