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Day 12 in 100 words or less The group stages turned the corner and entered the final stretch on Monday. Cheap Air Max Free Shipping . Suddenly there was a different vibe in the air in Brazil. A wind of caution and a realization that one moment could be the difference in staying or flying home. The games were more timid but there were still plenty of enormous talking points. Mexico 3-1 Croatia Nine months is a long time. Just ask a pregnant lady. Yet, apparently, we were told, it wasnt enough to change the fortunes of Mexican soccer. It was the late summer of 2013 and in a crucial World Cup qualifier, Mexico travelled to Columbus to take on their despised rivals, USA. The Mexicans needed it more but they were pathetic. Two goals in the second half didnt tell the entire story, the visitors were battered. The next act has been a story already told many times. Mexico didnt back into Brazil, they lay down on the ground and USA, Graham Zusi in particularly, dragged them there. They were supposed to still be a shambles, given little chance to progress. Suddenly two games in, they were excellent but the goal had not been accomplished. It was time for Croatia. It was time for the Herrera and Herrera show. Mexico had at least been as good as Brazil over the first two games and on Monday, after all three teams had played each other, it was clear that El Tri were indeed the most in-form team during group play. The standings didnt reflect that, after all Mexico were denied two goals against Cameroon which cost them the goal difference tie-breaker, but this team defended better than Brazil, countered better and, Cameroon aside, finished better than them, too. The latter was cemented with three precise finishes on Monday, killing off Niko Kovacs side with an arrogance that had been lacking for too long in Mexican football. The scenes to follow were in complete contrast to nine months earlier. A disjointed bunch had become a united force. Strike rivals Oribe Peralta and Javier Hernandez embraced, the newly formed brilliant back three high-fived and Paul Aguilar sprinted towards his coach and dived into his arms. Herrera fell immediately on to the floor but he didnt care how it looked. Mexico had turned it around, led by a true midfield maestro in Hector Herrera who did it all. The World Cup has unearthed some truly wonderful young stars and on a day when captain marvellous Rafa Marquez made history, Herreras heroics shouldnt go unnoticed. In a group with Paulinho, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, he was, without question, the best midfielder during group A play in Brazil. Brazil 4-1 Cameroon Some of it was all too easy to predict. Neymar got his goals, Cameroons defence was suspect and the scoreline reflected a rout in Brasilia. And then there was the bit that few saw coming. Three weeks today, this team plans on showing the World Cup to the people of Brazil. In the tournaments first two weeks, they have done nothing to show why they deserve it. The key sixth man in a formation (in front of a back four and holder) has been important in this tournament and in Paulinho, Brazil have an out-of-sorts player. Luiz Felipe Scolari told anyone willing to listen that he cared little for club form but his loyalty will be tested now with the Spurs man. Fernandinho, who replaced him and scored, is likely to come in for the game against Chile. There will be no replacing Marcelo and David Luiz, however. The defensive pair may send Thiago Silva to the hospital soon. The PSG defender is a wonderful player but how much longer can he continue to do three jobs? Fred got his goal, which shouldnt have counted, but remains a problem up front, Oscar and Hulk disappear out of games, too. World Cup winners have started slower before but the hosts have no more time for mistakes. Netherlands 2-0 Chile It is fitting that the finest player, to date, at the counter attacking World Cup, is one of the worlds best in transition. Arjen Robben skippered his side to glory on Monday, in a game that just may have huge consequences later in the tournament. It was a game that requires few words but which leads to many significant storylines heading into the knockout stage. Chile, who look like potential World Champions for parts of two games, never replicated their tempo and pressing that left opponents stunned. It was a pedestrian performance that now hands them Brazil in the last 16. Brazil. The same opponent who got in their way the last two times they have made it past the group stages. It is a matchup that terrifies Chile and it should based on how they played on Monday without Arturo Vidal. Brazil, too, however, will be terrified. They wanted no part of Chile this early. The Dutch, meanwhile, march on. Mexico will be tough but is very winnable as is a likely quarterfinal tie against one of Ivory Coast, Greece or Costa Rica. Dont look now but Louis van Gaals men have suddenly become real contenders. Spain 3-0 Australia It had a feeling like a testimonial match. David Villa scored and later left the game in tears as his international career closed. The strikers position in the squad should have been questioned but no one will question his position amongst the greats on this special team. Without him, they would not have been World Champions. The majestic Andres Iniesta got his 100th cap and gave us another glimpse at greatness with a sublime pass for Fernando Torres to score. There were hugs all around at the final whistle and they will continue into Tuesday when Spain fly home to Madrid. They leave Brazil a broken team, full of superstars of yesterday but the next time they fly to a World Cup you can guarantee they will be one of the favourites once again. Man of the day Nominees Andres Iniesta - what a pass, what a player. Please give us one more World Cup. Arjen Robben - amazing to think the once petulant winger is now a mature, all-around star leading his nation. Rafa Marquez - the captain always finds a way to get in the headlines and his header sent Mexico on their way. Hector Herrera - he can pass, tackle, run, take set pieces and shoot. Future captain and star for Mexico. Neymar - the Golden boot could be on for Mr Box Office after a brilliant brace against Cameroon. The winner Rafa Marquez - has now scored in three World Cups for Mexico and led their defence brilliantly against Croatia. Maza Rodriguez and Hector Moreno are far better having the captain beside them. Whats next? Italy vs Uruguay and Costa Rica vs England (Noon/9am). Japan vs Colombia and Greece vs Ivory Coast (4pm/1pm) Burning question for tomorrow Can Mario Balotelli produce a consistent performance and be as clinical as his Uruguayan strike opponents? Stat of Day 12 Neymar scored the tournaments 100th goal when he opened the scoring against Cameroon. Air Max Sale . Viewers in the Jets region can watch the game on TSN Jets at 6:30pm ct/7:30pm et. The game is also avialable on TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg at 7pm ct. Cheap Air Max .A. Dickey, even though he was coming off a Cy Young Award in 2012. Many felt the Jays would regret giving up righthanded pitcher prospect Noah Syndergaard and catcher Travis DArnaud over the long haul. https://www.airmaxchina.us/ . -- Albert Pujols is thrilled to have a reason to forget about his first two disappointing seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. ATLANTA -- A right foot injury has taken away Logan Forsythes ability to be an everyday player for the Padres in the last month of the season. Forsythe has to pick his spots to contribute, and he made the most of his opportunity against the Braves. Chase Headley hit a tying homer and Forsythe drove in the go-ahead run in San Diegos two-run eighth and the Padres beat Atlanta 4-3 on Friday night to spoil Braves rookie David Hales debut. Forsythes pinch-hit, go-ahead single off Scott Downs drove in Tommy Medica. "Its not an injury where you can go out every day and perform like you want to," Forsythe said. Forsythe said watching the single fall in centre field "absolutely" made the pain in his foot go away. "When I got around first, I was like, its really rewarding, especially getting a win here," Forsythe said. "Thats just big for us, especially in the first day (of the three-game series)." San Diego rallied after Hale pitched five scoreless innings and struck out nine, the most by a Braves pitcher in his first major league game. "He was outstanding," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We couldnt ask for anything more. It couldnt have been scripted better." Justin Upton and Brian McCann hit home runs off Ian Kennedy in the third inning to give the Braves a 3-0 lead. The Padres scored two runs in the seventh and tied the game on Headleys leadoff homer off Jordan Walden (4-3) in the eighth. Walden walked Medica, who moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Forsythes single. Padres manager Bud Black had Alexi Armarista, a left-handed hitter, introduced as a pinch-hitter but opted for Forsythe after Gonzalez brought in Downs, a left-hander. "Downs is a good pitcher," Black said. "We just wanted to get a right-handed bat." Headley said the Padres "kept battling and having good at-bats. I felt we kept the pressure on, even when they made pitches to get guys out, it was just a battle." Nick Vincent (5-3) had three strikeouts in the seventh. Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect eighth before Huston Street got the final three outs for his 30th save. Kennedy didnt allow a hit until Upton led off the third with his 25th homer to left field. Discount Air Max. . Freddie Freeman walked and scored on McCanns two-run homer, a high shot to right field. Kennedy has allowed 25 homers, the second-highest total in the National League. San Diego loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh on singles by Medica, Ronny Cedeno and Rene Rivera off Luis Ayala. Medica scored on pinch-hitter Jesus Guzmans infield single off Luis Avilan. After Will Venables grounder forced out Cedeno at the plate, Chris Denorfias fly ball to right field off David Carpenter drove in Rivera, cutting Atlantas lead to 3-2. Hale struck out the side in the first, including Headley and Kyle Blanks with runners on first and third following singles by Denorfia and Jedd Gyorko. The clutch pitching by the rookie in the first inning set a pattern. Hale struck out Gyorko to end the third with a runner on second and fanned Cedeno to end the fourth with a runner on third. Hale, from Marietta, Ga., near Atlanta, was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Sept. 5. He filled in for left-hander Paul Maholm, who was skipped in the rotation due to a sore left elbow. An MRI on Wednesday showed no serious injury. Downs, a left-hander, was cleared after being examined before the game for a non-displaced fracture to the tip of his right ring finger. NOTES: Hale, from Princeton University, struck out Venable, also from Princeton, for his first out. ... Kenshin Kawakami (2009) and Bob Dresser (1902) each had eight strikeouts in their first major league games for the Braves. ... Padres manager Bud Black said 1B Yonder Alonso, who hurt his right hand on a check swing on Aug. 30, is "eligible to play defence" if needed but is not ready to hit. ... Braves OF Jason Heyward wore a protective flap on his helmet as he took batting practice on the field for the first time since his right jaw was fractured when hit by a pitch from the Mets Jonathon Niese on Aug. 21. The Braves hope Heyward can return before the end of the regular season. "Nothing is holding me back," Heyward said ... Braves RHP Kris Medlen will face Padres LHP Robbie Erlin on Saturday night. ' ' '
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