Good evening, night owls, obsessives, shift workers and insomniacs! Well, what a day it has been, with Australia and the Netherlands playing the most thrilling match of the tournament so far and Spain and Chile following that up with a fair amount of drama of their own. Our last match today is between Croatia and Cameroon, and one of these teams may well be eliminated from the competition within a couple of hours from now. Croatia put in a solid ninety minutes from their opening match against Brazil and were a little unfortunate to come away from it empty-handed, while Cameroon were less than impressive against Mexico and were, in some respects, lucky to have escaped having lost by just the one goal.
If there’s one player worth tuning into this match for, it’s Real Madrid’s Luka Modric. Elegant and ghost-like, Modric is quite simply a joy to watch. He’s worth the price of admittance on his own, and it’s difficult, on the basis of what we saw from them against Mexico last week, to imagine that Cameroon will be able contain him. And what Modric brings to the Croatia team is extremely valuable. He is an orchestrator, a conduit through which the vast majority of their best football is played. And I would be surprised if Croatia weren’t too strong for Cameroon this evening. Having said that, however, stranger things have happened before and, let’s face it, we’re learning to expect the unexpected at this tournament. Markus Murphic and I will be back shortly before kick-off to guide you through the match. And probably quite a long way off topic, as well.
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