It’s Argentina and Switzerland in the knockout round, but there could be another subtext to this Round of 16? Maybe. If there really is anyone who worried about Argentina for having to dig deep and work some bugs out of its approach, such as scoring late to win, there are once again two words to consider: Lionel Messi.
Argentina defeated Nigeria, 3-2, to close out Group F unbeaten, then waited to find out its next opponent in the Round of 16. Switzerland jumped up claimed it as the runner-up behind France in Group E and that puts the Swiss directly in Argentina’s path.
So it’s Switzerland’s turn to worry about Messi.
Argentina’s biggest star scored two more goals against Nigeria – he now has four – and almost single-handedly propelled Argentina into the knockout round on Tuesday in Sao Paulo.
But it’s true Argentina has had some close-calls, beating both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran by one goal, both low-scoring games – 2-1 and 1-0. The other characteristic? Messi scored a goal in them both. He tied with Brazil’s superstar, Neymar and Germany’s scoring machine, Thomas Muller, with a World Cup high of four goals.
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Now that Colombia is in the Round of 16 at the World Cup, what’s the ceiling for Los Cafeteros? Look up. It could be that the sky is the limit. Colombia dominated Group C, winning all three of its games, racking up nine points, scored nine goals while allowing only two, and demonstrating that it is one of the top teams in the world.
Uruguay, the runner-up in Group D, is Colombia’s opponent in the knockout round, and they will meet Sunday in Rio de Janeiro. Chances are that Uruguay may have its hands full.
A new batch of stars is emerging for Colombia, featuring the electrifying James Rodriquez and also Juan Guillermo Cuadrado. Rodriguez, better known simply as James, is making up for the absence of the injured Radamel Falcao, his teammate on the French club, AS Monaco.
At 22, James may be the best young player in the World Cup. And if Colombia is going to advance further than its best previous World Cup finish – the quarterfinals in 1990 – James could very well make the difference.
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Argentina’s march through the World Cup continues with its final Group F match, against Nigeria, in Port Alegre, Brazil.
But you can be sure that Argentina is already looking ahead to the Round of 16, a ticket that Argentina has already punched with a 1-0 victory over Iran. And yet the race is not yet over. Argentina has six points and leads Group F, but Nigeria can say something about that and remains in the conversation with four points. While Argentina was edging Iran, Nigeria was doing the same with a 1-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
So the top two teams in Group F collide, a meeting of Argentina scoring star Lionel Messi and the team-oriented defensive front of Nigerian Coach Stephen Keshi. Messi has scored a goal in both Argentina games while Nigeria has not allowed a goal in its two previous games.
Looking ahead to the knockout round, the Group F winner would play the second-place team from Group E, and that spot is far from decided, either France, Ecuador or Switzerland. And that Group F runner-up will play the Group F winner – France now leads.
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Colombia added to its rich soccer history, reaching the World Cup knockout round with a 2-1 victory over the Ivory Coast – combined with some good fortune. When Japan and Greece played to a scoreless draw in Natal, Brazil, it meant Colombia would advance from Group C to the round of 16 for only the second time in its World Cup history and for the first time in 14 years.
The pitch in Brasilia, Brazil, was littered with good news for Colombia. For the first time in its five appearances in the World Cup – 1962, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2014, Colombia won two matches. And it’s the first time Colombia has reached the round of 16 since 1990.
But it wasn’t easy against a challenging Ivory Coast team. It took goals from two left-footed kickers to put Colombia on the right foot. The victory required second-half goals from Juan Quintero and the eventual game-winner from James Rodriguez to move on.
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With a 3-0 victory over Greece and a second success over the difficult Ivory Coast, Colombia is ready to take on the rest of the world.
He’s the world’s best player and he’s Argentina’s brightest star, but that doesn’t mean Lionel Messi doesn’t have anything to worry about. Because he does. Messi is still in the shadow of the great Maradona, who almost single-handedly delivered a World Cup victory for Argentina in 1986. Messi needs a World Cup to prove his status on the biggest stage in football. He just moved a step closer.
“I know I have a responsibility, especially as captain, to the people of Argentina, but I try not to let the pressure get to me,” Messi said recently.
But the pressure is real. Argentina flamed out in the quarterfinals in the last two World Cups, in 2006 and 2010, and they desperately need the 26-year-old Messi, their goal-scoring machine, to come through. Messi scored only one goal in those two disappointing World Cups, but scoring hasn’t been much of problem for him – at least in qualifying. He had 10 goals in 14 games leading up to the World Cup.
And Messi did not disappoint from his position in the spotlight in Argentina’s World Cup Group F opener against Bosnia-Herzegovina, scoring what turned out to be the winning goal in the 65th minute of a 2-1 Argentine victory.
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Radamel Falcao has been the star player for Colombia. But at the World Cup, center-forward Falcao has a different role. He’s the star cheerleader. Because he tore a knee ligament and had surgery in January, Falcao can’t play in Brazil, but he can encourage his Colombian teammates on the sideline.
Veteran former captain Luis Perea is also injured and will join Falcao on the sideline. They must have liked what they saw in Colombia’s first match.
Earning a reputation for fielding its best group of attackers in years, Colombia got off to a quick start in its first Group C match with a 3-0 victory over Greece. And Colombia still has a scoring star besides Falcao – Teofilo Gutierrez, who contributed a goal against Greece and is a danger whenever he’s in contact with the ball.
Relentlessly aggressive, Colombia, is just as strong when it doesn’t have the ball.
Coach Jose Pekerman said it’s obvious Colombia would like to have Falcao healthy and playing, but that’s not the reality. “We want to look forward,” Pekerman said.
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Dominicans can now send money with Xoom.com directly to a bank account at Banco Popular Dominicano within 15 minutes
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 9, 2014 – Xoom Corporation (NASDAQ: XOOM), a leading digital money transfer provider, today announced that Banco Popular Dominicano is offering Xoom’s fast deposit services to the bank’s checking and savings accounts in usually less than 15 minutes to the Dominican Republic. With the addition of Banco Popular Dominicano, Xoom expands its cash pickup network in the Dominican Republic to 576 locations, including Banco BHD, Caribe Express and Banco del Progreso. Xoom and Banco Popular Dominicano also offer Cash Pickup at more than 200 locations across the island.
“Banco Popular Dominicano and Xoom are committed to providing innovations that bring more convenience to our customers and their loved ones,” said Julian King, Xoom’s Senior Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Development. “By adding Banco Popular Dominicano to our network, we are providing customers more options when sending money to the Dominican Republic, and a seamless experience for both the sender and recipient.”
Dominicans will be able to receive their money faster, since they will be able to withdraw the funds from their Banco Popular Dominicano account anytime at more than 700 ATMs across the island. Traditionally, Dominicans receive money through home delivery or cash pickup during business hours. This new faster option gives them access to their money during evening hours, weekends and holidays through the Banco Popular Dominicano ATM network.
“Xoom is an exciting partnership for Banco Popular Dominicano,” said Francisco Ramírez, Banco Popular Dominicano’s Marketing Vice President. “Xoom shares our vision in providing a faster way for sending and receiving money in the Dominican Republic. The innovative bank deposit service makes money available for withdrawal at any of our ATMs in usually less than 15 minutes.”
Xoom customers can send money to the Dominican Republic any time from Xoom.com by clicking here: www.xoom.com/banco-popular. The site is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, from any internet-connected device. Banco Popular Dominicano processes bank deposits seven days a week, 23 hours a day. For customers who prefer cash pick up, Banco Popular Dominicano branch locations are open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Spanish Language App and SMS Text Alerts
Last year, Xoom announced that it is the first pure-play remittance provider to offer a Spanish-language App for Android and iOS phones. The Xoom App is unique in its simplicity, allowing Xoom customers to complete a quick send money transfer to their recipient with “one tap and one swipe.” This slide-to-send technique allows Xoom customers to send a money transfer to an existing recipient in just seconds.
Xoom offers customers a Spanish-language experience on its mobile App, their desktop and mobile sites and their 24-hour customer care center.
In addition to fast and simple money transfers on the go, Xoom customers can use the App to track the status of their money transfer as their money moves to their loved ones. Other key features of the Xoom App include the ability to review Xoom’s low fees, check exchange rates, contact customer service and access links to other Xoom services.
Xoom is a leading digital money transfer provider in 31 countries, focused on helping consumers send money in a secure, fast and cost-effective way using their mobile phone, tablet or computer. During the year ended December 31, 2013, Xoom’s more than one million active customers sent more than $5.5 billion to family and friends. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and can be found online at Xoom.com.
About Banco Popular
Banco Popular Dominicano is the first bank in the capital of the Dominican Republic, and is a leader in commercial banking and financial services in the country. In 2011, it generated assets of RD $205.553 million (about U.S. $5.265 million and € 4.000 million). Constituted in 1963, Banco Popular opened its doors in Santo Domingo, January 2, 1964. It has 200 branches and more than 700 ATMs across the country.
Los dominicanos ahora pueden enviar dinero con Xoom.com directamente a una cuenta bancaria en el Banco Popular Dominicano en menos de 15 minutos.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Abril 9, 2014 – Xoom Corporation (NASDAQ: XOOM), un proveedor líder en transferencias digitales de dinero, anunció hoy que el Banco Popular Dominicano está ofreciendo los servicios de depósitos rápidos de Xoom en las cuentas corrientes y de ahorros en la República Dominicana, generalmente en menos de 15 minutos. Con la adición del Banco Popular Dominicano, Xoom amplía su red de pago en ventanilla en la República Dominicana a 576 sitios que incluyen al Banco BHD, Caribe Express y al Banco del Progreso. Xoom y el Banco Popular Dominicano también ofrecen pago en ventanilla en más de 200 puntos en toda la isla.
“El Banco Popular Dominicano y Xoom estamos comprometidos con ofrecer innovaciones que le brinden más conveniencia a nuestros clientes y a sus seres queridos”, dijo Julian King, Vicepresidente Senior de Xoom para Mercadeo y Desarrollo Corporativo. “Adicionando al Banco Popular Dominicano a nuestra red, ofrecemos a nuestros clientes más opciones cuando envíen dinero a la República Dominicana y, una experiencia sin interrupciones tanto para el remitente como para el destinatario”
Los dominicanos podrán recibir su dinero más pronto, puesto que podrán retirar los fondos de sus cuentas en el Banco Popular Dominicano en cualquier momento, en más de 700 cajeros automáticos en toda la isla. Tradicionalmente, los dominicanos reciben el dinero entregado en sus domicilios o por pago en ventanilla en horas hábiles. Esta nueva opción más rápida, les da acceso a su dinero durante la noche, en fines de semana y días festivos, a través de la red de cajeros automáticos del Banco Popular.
“Xoom ofrece una asociación estimulante al Banco Popular Dominicano”, dijo Francisco Ramírez, Vicepresidente de Mercadeo del Banco Popular Dominicano. “Xoom comparte nuestra visión de ofrecer una manera más rápida de enviar y recibir dinero en la República Dominicana. El innovador servicio de depósitos bancarios, permite que el dinero esté disponible para retiro en cualquiera de nuestros cajeros automáticos, generalmente en menos de 15 minutos”
Los clientes de Xoom pueden enviar dinero a la República Dominicana en cualquier momento desde Xoom.com, haciendo clic aquí: www.xoom.com/banco-popular. El sitio web está disponible 24 horas al día, siete días a la semana, 365 días al año, desde cualquier dispositivo conectado a Internet. El Banco Popular Dominicano procesa los depósitos bancarios siete días a la semana, 23 horas al día. Para los clientes que prefieren el pago en ventanilla, las sucursales del Banco Popular Dominicano abren de lunes a sábado de 9:00 AM a 7:00 PM y, los domingos de 9:00 AM a 1:00 PM.
App en español y alertas por texto SMS
El año pasado, Xoom anunció que es el primer proveedor especializado en envíos de dinero que ofrece una App en español para teléfonos iOS y Android. La App de Xoom es singular por su sencillez, ya que permite a los clientes de Xoom realizar un envío rápido de dinero a su destinatario con “un toque y un barrido”. Esta técnica de deslizar para enviar permite que los clientes de Xoom envíen dinero a un destinatario existente en tan sólo segundos.
Xoom ofrece a sus clientes una experiencia en español en su App móvil, en sus sitios web de escritorio y móviles y en su centro de atención al cliente 24 horas.
Además de envíos de dinero rápidos y sencillos sobre la marcha, los clientes de Xoom pueden usar la App para rastrear el estado de sus transferencias mientras el dinero viaja hacia sus seres queridos. Otras características claves de la App Xoom incluyen la capacidad de revisar las bajas comisiones de Xoom, verificar tipos de cambio, contactar a servicio al cliente y enlaces de acceso a otros servicios de Xoom.
Acerca de Xoom
Xoom es un proveedor líder de transferencias digitales de dinero en 31 países, dedicado a ayudar a los consumidores a enviar dinero de manera segura, rápida y económica, usando su celular, su tableta o su computadora. Durante el año terminado el 31 de diciembre de 2013, los más de un millón de clientes activos de Xoom, enviaron más de $5.500 millones a familiares y amigos. La compañía tiene sus oficinas principales en San Francisco y se puede visitar en línea en Xoom.com.
Acerca del Banco Popular
El Banco Popular Dominicano es el principal banco en la capital de la República Dominicana y, es un líder en banca comercial y servicios financieros en el país. En el 2011, generó activos por RD$ 205,553 millones, (cerca de US$5,265 millones y € 4 millones). Fundado en 1963, el Banco Popular abrió sus puertas en Santo Domingo el 2 de enero de 1964. Tiene 200 sucursales y más de 700 cajeros automáticos en todo el país.