THE BLOG

Live From Brazil - The Last Eight Teams

07/07/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 03/09/2014 10:59 BST

This year's world cup has been exceptional on so many levels - almost to the point that it's sad to see any of the teams go; couldn't we just let the World Cup go on for a little bit longer this year?

We're down to the last eight teams in the competition and the excitement has pretty much hit boiling point already!

The first knock-out stage has provided us with some absolutely scintillating football. First we had Brazil taken to penalties by a stubborn Chile side. Brazil have had their critics so far this tournament - but make no mistake, the teams they haven't beaten have been exceptionally tough. Their next opponents are the on-fire Colombia, who will be keen to prove they're the dominant force in South America right now ahead of Argentina and Brazil. James Rodriguez was electric and helped Colombia beat a Suarez-less Uruguay with a couple of goals (and a stunning potential goal of the tournament!).

The Netherlands urgently resurrected their world cup hopes against Mexico. Two goals in the dying minutes of the game helped see them through to face the surprising Costa Rica side. Costa Rica held off a strong Greece side and eventually out manoeuvred them on penalties. The Netherlands will fancy their chances in this quarter final, but must be careful not to take anything for granted!

Germany fought hard to defeat an incredibly well organised Algeria side. I'm not sure anyone would have predicted quite how well Algeria fought against Germany. They gave absolutely everything and credit to Germany - despite not looking their best they managed to hold it together and seal the win. They'll be up against a France side who seem able to push past their opponents without too much fuss.

There was heartbreak for the USA. Record numbers have been out to support the USA team this year - and they've been very impressive. It's sad to see the outstanding Tim Howard head home after THAT performance, but it's the much fancied Belgium team that head through at the USA's expense.

Belgium will be up against a stuttering Argentina side. Argentina left it late to finish off Switzerland (only two minutes left of extra time!) and they'll need to be firing on all cylinders if they're to progress as far as they'd like in this competition.

We have four absolutely massive games coming up on Friday and Saturday and I absolutely cannot wait! The World Cup has already been phenomenal - and right now I'm feeling like the final 8 games could seriously reach a level unlike anything we've seen before!

Follow Layla and her adventures in Rio on twitter @laylaloves

And here is the first of Layla's World Cup series shows - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFYIAPIalzU&feature=youtu.be