Half the games have been played, and in the next four days, half the remaining games will be played. After Friday, the pace will slow for the knockout rounds.
But for now, there are 30 countries whose teams have hopes and aspirations of winning the Cup. For some, they may be a very long shot, and they may need help to even play another match. For some, the apparent birthright of the knockout phase is at risk. For others, great performances make the dream more plausible. Regardless, Tuesday morning,, there were 30 nations dreaming, and in the next four days, 14 of those dreams will be dashed.
Some matches will be tactical, but in many the teams should be playing all out, and I expect some great games in the third quarter of the World Cup.