The golden gates of football’s Olympus may yet swing open Sunday to admit Lionel Messi.
On a cool, wet, night long on discipline and distressingly short on artistry — an anti-Messi evening if there ever was one — the planet’s greatest player reached his first World Cup final, and Argentina’s first in 24 long years, 4-2 on penalties following a dire, defensive 0-0 draw through 120 bob-and-weave minutes against the Netherlands.
While this could still wind up being Messi’s tournament (although it’s doubtful German boss Joachim Low lost any sleep watching the dire goings-on at Arena Sao Paulo) Wednesday night belonged to others, to mere mortals. (Photos: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images; Victor R. Caivano/The Associated Press)
Brazil fans were decked out in their finest World Cup attire for Friday’s quarter-final against Colombia. Find updates, photos and analysis in Postmedia’s live blog. (Photos: Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images, Hassan Ammar/The Associated Press, Natacha Pisarenko/The Associated Press)
Uruguay striker Luis Suarez could once again be in trouble after appearing to bite an Italian opponent Tuesday in a key World Cup qualifying game.
The incident, visible on television replays, showed Suarez apparently bite the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini as the pair clashed in the Italian penalty area. It happened about a minute before Uruguay scored in the 81st.
Suarez was chasing the ball and was blocked by the Italy defender. He buried his mouth briefly in Chiellini’s shoulder and the Italian player fell over, apparently in pain and clutching the shoulder. Suarez reeled away holding his mouth.
Uruguay held on to beat 10-man Italy 1-0 and qualified for the knockout stages. Italy, a four-time champion, was eliminated. (Photos: Julian Finney/Getty Images; Clive Rose/Getty Images; Andrew Medichini/The Associated Press)