Three cheers for Western Hemisphere teams at the World Cup, one for each that has gained admission to the knockout phase.
So far, the West has proved itself best. Brazil, Mexico and Chile moved forward Monday along with a geographical outlier, the Netherlands, as a pair of foursomes closed out play.
Brazil locked down Group A by polishing off Cameroon, 4-1. A concurrent match ended approvingly for Mexico, which needed at worst a tie and got better — a 3-1 victory over Croatia.
The first two matchups of the sweet 16 are set: Brazil-Chile, Netherlands-Mexico. Only Mexico holds a home-hemisphere advantage.
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