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World Cup 2014: Day 18 - open thread

Happy Louis van Gaal day!

Robert Cianflone

With the Football World having just recovered from the nail-biting tension of Brazil's penalty shootout victory over Chile and been fanned conscious after James Rodríguez's spectacular brace against Uruguay, it's time it braced itself for more knockout stage action on Sunday. And it's not just any old knockout stage action. It's Louis van Gaal knockout stage action.

Today's games

Netherlands vs. Mexico, Fortaleza, 12:00 ET/17:00 UK

Our Supreme Leader Louis van Gaal has led his Netherlands team to three wins from three in the group stages, progressing into the knockouts as one of the most impressive teams in the tournament. They have genuinely looked capable of going all the way to the final for the second consecutive World Cup, and it's pretty tough to imagine an unspectacular Mexico eliminating them here. But if they do, look on the bright side -- more van Gaal for ourselves!

Costa Rica vs. Greece, Recife, 16:00 ET/21:00 UK

Costa Rica vs. Greece. Counter-attack vs. no attack at all. This one probably won't feature too many goals.

Today's United connections

The Reds are mostly Oranje for the day, with the Dutch team coached by our very own Louis van Gaal and starring our very own Robin van Persie. And if the rumours are to be believed, our soon-to-be very own Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Daley Blind, Memphis Depay and Arjen Robben. And quite possibly everyone else in the 23-man squad.

The final United connection is the Little Pea Javier Hernández himself, though he'll likely have to settle for a spot on the Mexican bench.

Other stuff

Your correspondent has written big previews for both of today's games: Netherland vs. Mexico and Costa Rica vs. Greece. There's also a lot more over at SB Nation Soccer. Make sure to check out the coverage over there throughout the day.

How to watch

If you're in the U.K., both games can be found on ITV. Across the Atlantic, ESPN and Univison have the games in the USA, while CBC have them in Canada. All have streaming options available. For other countries, check LiveSoccerTV.