The knockout round of the World Cup is usually the best part. So far, though, two games have been decided by penalty kicks, which is a darn shame, in my opinion. They should go back to golden goal. There'd be a loooooot more tension that way, and that's always fantastic. If you weren't able to catch any World Cup action, we'll catch you up here at the Coffee Companion, where we recap this weekend's sports headlines.
– The Orioles had a rough final 3 ½ innings yesterday in a 12-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, during which the bullpen surrendered nine runs. The bullpen, plus the looming suspension of Manny Machado, will provide the club with a myriad of challenges leading up to the All-Star break.
– Speaking of All-Star break, Nelson Cruz was invited to participate in this summer’s Homerun Derby, but he said he likely won’t participate.
– While the Ravens wait to hear Roger Goodell’s ruling on Ray Rice’s discipline, it appears that the team might be going with the running back by committee approach. There are also a few guys the Ravens want to sign to contract extensions before the upcoming season, including Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker.
– Tomorrow is the big day! Maryland will officially enter the Big Ten on July 1, and officials say the school is ready to make the transition. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is a former ACC guy, having played basketball at North Carolina. Small world.
Brazil, Costa Rica advance on penalty kicks
– Brazil opened the World Cup’s knockout stage by gutting out a win over Chile on penalty kicks. They’ll need to play a lot better to get a win in the quarterfinals over Colombia, which hasn’t lost a game all tournament.
– The Netherlands straight stole one from Mexico in the game’s final two minutes and stoppage time, winning 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. This was the sixth-straight World Cup where Mexico reached the round-of-16, but lost. The Dutch will play Costa Rica, which beat Greece in penalty kicks to keep its Cinderella run alive.