Thursday featured some more terrific action at the 2014 World Cup, as there were some exciting matches during Day 8 that put a few teams in good position in their respective tables.
While some teams have already secured spots in the knockout stage, there are still plenty of matches left in group play. The action will continue on Friday, with teams like Italy, France and Honduras looking to secure wins.
Now that the second week in Brazil is underway, let's take a look at the latest group standings and scores after Day 8.
Day 8 Scores
|Day 8 Scores|
Updated Group Table
|2014 World Cup Tables|
Day 8 Fixtures
Colombia 2, Ivory Coast 1
Despite some missed opportunities early in the match, Colombia were able to finally pull it together and capitalize with some great goals in the second half, giving them an exciting 2-1 win over Ivory Coast.
A scoreless first half was still filled with plenty of intrigue. Less than 30 minutes in, Colombia had a great opportunity on a counterattack, with Teo Gutierrez given a wide open chance to find the back of the net on a beautiful cross. However, his left-footed volley went wide, missing out on a huge opportunity to strike first.
The two teams entered half-time scoreless, but things picked up in a hurry early into the second half. In order to provide a spark, the Elephants brought in 36-year-old striker Didier Drogba. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Drogba had scored seven goals in his last 10 appearances for the Ivory Coast.
The Elephants were hoping that bringing in Drogba would provide the spark that they needed. After all, he was able to help them go from down 1-0 to up 2-1 shortly after being subbed in against Japan. His presence did get things going, but not in the way that his team hoped it would.
Shortly after Drogba was brought in, Colombia scored on a beautiful header from James Rodriguez. Michael Cox from ESPN FC believes that Rodriguez has been the most impressive player for teams who played two games so far, as he's already recorded two goals and two assists.
Just six minutes later, substitute Juan Quintero was able to provide another big-time goal to put Colombia up 2-0. However, Gervinho refused to go down without a fight, taking matters into his own hands with an impressive goal of his own to make it 2-1.
While they had plenty of opportunities, Ivory Coast couldn't capitalize and score the equalizer, giving Colombia their second win. They were left feeling that they could have done better.
''I must say that we didn't deserve to lose,'' Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi told Steve Douglas from the Associated Press. ''It was very experienced Colombia team who waited for us to make mistakes.''
With six points in Group C, Colombia have emerged as an intriguing contender that will be looking to make a deep run in the knockout stage.
Uruguay 2, England 1
In order to keep their title hopes alive, England needed to at least force a draw against a talented Uruguay team. However, they weren't able to pull it off, losing 2-1, and they'll now be hoping for a miracle to advance to the knockout round.
In his first World Cup match of the season, Luis Suarez looked just fine, getting started with a goal in the 39th minute to draw first blood and give Uruguay the 1-0 lead. England had their fair share of opportunities as well in the first half, but couldn't capitalize. Wayne Rooney had a number of chances early, including a point-blank header that bounced off of the crossbar.
According to Squawka, Rooney had three missed chances early, with all coming very close to going in as you can see in the graphic below.
However, after coming up empty so many times, Rooney was finally able to help England get on the board to tie things up in the 75th minute, giving him his first career goal in the World Cup.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, it took Rooney 10 games and 29 shots before finally getting that first World Cup goal.
While the Three Lions kept the pressure up after their game-tying goal, Suarez was able to answer shortly after. Thanks to a miscue from Steven Gerrard, Suarez was able to get the ball and outrun the England defense, getting his second goal of the game.
That goal ended up being the deciding factor, with Uruguay getting back into the competition in Group D. While it was another tough loss for England, this one isn't because of Rooney. According to WhoScored, Rooney actually was tied for the highest match rating in the game with Suarez at 7.9.
England coach Roy Hodgson feels that his team did well, but understands that they simply haven't been able to do enough in their first two games.
"I don't know. I don't know what you want me to say," Hodgson said about the state of his team according to Martin Rogers from Yahoo! Sports. "In both games we showed some elements of playing good football. We are a team that is making progress. But results decide everything and both results have been negative."
Uruguay will now be fighting for a spot in the knockout round with Costa Rica and Italy, while England will be playing one more match and likely be heading home.
Japan 0, Greece 0
After all of the excitement during the first two games of the day, Japan and Greece's match seemed a bit dull, with the two coming to a scoreless draw.
The first half was completely controlled by Japan, yet they were unable to make the most of their opportunities. Along with taking eight shots to Greece's four, they also controlled possession 75 percent of the time.
While neither side was able to get on the board in the first half, Japan did get some help after Greece captain Kostas Katsouranis was ejected after receiving his second yellow card. With the red card, Katsouranis became the first Greek player ever sent off in a World Cup, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Even with a man down, Greece continued to play physical against the smaller Japan squad. Early in the second half, Georgios Samaras received a yellow card as well. A few minutes later, Japan decided it was time to bring in Shinji Kagawa, the dynamic playmaker from Manchester United, to try and get more opportunities near the goal.
Unfortunately for Japan, they were never able to crack Greece's stingy defense that allowed just six goals in 12 qualifying matches, leading to a 0-0 draw.
Both teams now have just one point through two games in Group C. With Colombia already at two wins and Ivory Coast picking up a win of their own, things are now getting desperate for both Japan and Greece as they try to grab a spot in the knockout stage.
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