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Messi delivers again

Rashneel Kumar
Thursday, July 03, 2014

THE Messi-ah delivers again.

Lionel Messi wasn't the scorer this time around but he was the one who provided the perfect pass to Ángel di María who scored in the extra time to help Argentina beat Switzerland 1-0 in the 2014 World Cup top 16 competition yesterday.

It took 118 minutes for the Argentines to break the deadlock and kudos to the Swiss for holding well in defence.

Argentina dominated the match. The South American giants had 61 per cent possession, took 29 shots from which 22 were on target and earned 13 corner kicks.

In contrast, Switzerland took 14 shots from which only seven landed on goal and had to pull 20 saves in the match.

Discipline wise, Switzerland committed 28 fouls to 19 of Argentina's and was booked twice while the winners collected three yellow cards.

And if you think the Argentina versus Switzerland match was a perfect appetiser to your Wednesday morning, then the Belgium versus USA match should have been your main course.

Again, Belgium was very superior in attack despite slightly less favourable in possession, had to score the winner in the extra time.

A back-to-back goal from Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku was enough for the Belgians to seal the 2-1 win. USA scored the consolation goal through Julian Green.

It's down to top eight now. France takes on Germany, Brazil plays Colombia, Argentina will battle Belgium while Netherlands will face Costa Rica in the quarters this weekend.

At this stage, scoring goals matters the most and so far top teams in the run for the title — Brazil, Germany, Netherlands and now Argentina — have struggled to find the target.

Off the field, CBS looks at the impact of World Cup on the social media.

Facebook

The numbers are somewhat staggering on the different platforms. Facebook reports that 220 million people on Facebook have made one billion World Cup-related posts, comments and likes.

One of the busiest days on Facebook was during Saturday's match between Brazil and Chile with 31 million people conducting 75 million interactions.

The top age group participating in World Cup on Facebook is men between 18 and 24. The top country participating in the buzz is Brazil, and is followed by the United States.

Twitter

Since the World Cup began in early June, there has been about 300 million Tweets related to the soccer tournament.

This volume of tweets has made the World Cup one of the most talked about events on Twitter. This is nearly double the number of Tweets during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, according to Twitter. The game with the greatest conversation was the Brazil versus Croatia game with 12.2 million Tweets.

The most re-tweeted tweet so far in the tournament has been from Italian soccer player Mario Balotelli, who sent a Tweet about the possible outcome from a game his team played against Costa Rica. His Tweet, "If we beat Costa Rica I want a kiss, obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen," was re-tweeted about 176,000 times.

Google

Search engine Google has a webpage dedicated to World Cup search trends and tracks interesting tidbits about the tournament.

Through 54 games yesterday, Google reported that there has been about 1.5 billion World Cup related searches.

Other interesting searches on Google include:

Searches for "what language is spoken in Greece" spiked by 2.5 times during the Costa Rica versus Greece match,

During the Netherlands versus Mexico match, there was three times as many searches for "cooling break" than for the winning goal,

At kick-off of the US versus Germany game, searches for the match were higher than searches for anything else in the United States,

Italy cared more about its soccer team than how to "move like Jagger" last month.

Google reported that there was 60 times more searches for the World Cup than the Rolling Stones who were playing in Rome during the early stages of the tournament.





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