It was a sleepy day in the hunt for the Hyundai Young Player award at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Only Uruguay’s sturdy Jose Gimenez was in action in a losing effort. No players eligible for the award played in the day’s earlier game, a nerve-jangling contest that went to penalties before hosts Brazil could shake off Chile and cement their place in the quarter-finals
The first day of knockout action at these finals was decidedly light on young standouts. The tough up-and-comer, Gimenez, put in a solid shift in a 2-0 loss to Colombia, but like the rest of his team-mates in the rearguard, he was unable to do anything about the amazing play of James Rodriguez, who scored twice for Colombia and is turning into one of the true revelations of these finals.
The Colombians didn’t need their two young guns on the day, with Eder Balanta and Juan Quintero both watching the action from the sidelines as the Los Cafeteros booked passage to the quarter-finals in what is turning into an historic return to World Cup action for the South American side.
Next upSunday will see the Dutch duo of Memphis Depay and Terence Kongolo back in action against Mexico in the Round of 16 in Fortaleza. Depay made a name for himself last time out, scoring in a win over the Chileans, and he will be eager to keep it up as the tournament progresses. Kongolo made his tournament debut against Chile and looked lively despite only being on the pitch for a few minutes near the end.
In the game between Greece and Costa Rica in Recife, Stefanos Kapino could possibly figure for the Europeans.