Meanwhile, with the exception of Honduras, the Latin American nations have been shining.
Colombia and Chile have already qualified to the knockout stage as well with great performances and two wins each. With Costa Rica qualifying for the round of 16 thanks to their 1-0 upset win over four-time champions Italy on Friday, Latin America continues to be very well represented in World Cup thus far.
Costa Rica’s win was not only historic for their nation and for CONCACAF, it may lead to something potentially historic for Latin America.
This World Cup in Latin America could be the first World Cup ever that seven Latin American nations advance to the knockout stage.
[Related: Costa Rica delivers 1-2 punch ]
The most countries Latin America has had advance to the round of 16 in a single World Cup was six, which was during the last World Cup in South Africa in 2010 (Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, and Paraguay).
Now, Brazil could be home to seven Latin American nations advancing to the KO stage.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
Brazil is surely set to qualify for the round of 16, as they face a weak Cameroon. Argentina is strong and looks set to win Group F. As mentioned, Chile, Costa Rica and Colombia have already advanced. If Uruguay can defeat Italy, and if Mexico and get a win or a draw against Croatia—both of which are very possible—we will have our seven Latin American nations in the knockout stage.
The argument could be made that Latinos and Latinas could have eight nations representing them in the KO stages, as the United States—with its large population of Latin Americans—is looking good to qualify as well. And if Ecuador can get a win against France, that would be another Latin American nation in the KO stage.
[Related: CONCACAF nations on the rise in Brazil ]
CONCACAF has never had three nations qualify to the knockout stage in one single World Cup. Mexico and the United States have been the nations to usually advance. Only Cuba in 1938 has a CONCACAF-region nation other than Mexico and the US advanced to the round of 16 and beyond. But with Costa Rica’s win, the opportunity to make history is the most realistic it has ever been. Mexico needs a win or a draw against Croatia to advance, and the United States is looking good so far to advance as well. This World Cup could see CONCACAF with three nations getting past the group stage for the first time in history.
With so many fans from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador and Colombia making the relatively short trip to Brazil to fill the stadiums, every game featuring a Latin American nation feels like a home game. Of course, Brazil has the ultimate home-pitch advantage.
Some would say it is destiny that a Latin American nation wins this World Cup. Remember: every World Cup hosted in Latin America (1930, 1955, 1962, 1970, 1978 and 1986) has been won by a Latin American nation.
We shouldn’t be surprised if a Latin American nation wins the 2014 World Cup, we should be surprised if a Latin American nation didn’t win it.
Brazil 2014: The World Cup hosted in Latin America is turning out to be very Latin American.
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