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World Cup Match Day 8: England

Before I get into this post, let's all please take a moment of silence for the fallen Spanish national team, who yesterday were unceremoniously and soundly beaten by the surging Chileans. From defending World Cup champions to Group B whipping boys—oh, how the mighty have fallen.

These Spanish fans are a) despondently watching Spain's World Cup go down the drain, or b) they just found out Ben Affleck is the new Batman. Photo: GOGO LOBATO/AFP/Getty Images

Well, that was depressing. And not just for the Spaniards, who were pegged by most to at least advance to the knockout stage. I picked Spain to advance out of their group in my World Cup bracket (my sincerest apologies, Dutch). Here—allow me to lighten the mood before we get into today's action with an adorable picture of a macaque playing with his pet kitten.

"I'm going to name you Mrs. Sprinkles and I'll love you forever and ever and ever." Photo: Laurentiu Garofeanu / Barcroft U / Getty Images

Today brings another crucial do-or-die game to the fore: Uruguay vs. jolly ol' England. The winner of this match keeps their advancement chances alive. The loser? First-class ticket (don't worry—they can afford it) to Depressionville, population: Spain. Desperation is a stinky cologne, and if you're unlucky enough to have Smell-O-Vision, this game might make you faint. But who cares, right!? Snap a clothespin on your nose and enjoy the action that is World Cup day eight!

Match to Watch: Uruguay vs. England 

"Brrrring me a victory— not too taxing, not too stressful. Ni!" Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images

The Three Lions are coming off a hard-fought loss to a dominant looking Italian side, while La Celeste are searching for answers after getting drubbed by a surprisingly in-form Costan Rican squad. The importance of this game cannot be understated—both teams have won World Cups in years past, and their supporters are pining for a return to glory. If Luis Suarez is healthy enough to make an impact, it could spell trouble for England. That's a big if, though. I like England for the win. My Pick: England 3, Uruguay 2

Player to Watch: Wayne Rooney

Believe it or not, this is Wayne Rooney's happy face. Photo:Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

England's badboy striker, Rooney has been a non factor for Queen and Country in World Cup play. He's played in three now, notching a whopping goal total of none. He's been phenomenal at Manchester United over the years and will be desperately looking to shake the World Cup monkey off his back (not the adorable kitten-having macaque monkey above, mind you). Look for him to find the net today and keep England's Cup chances alive for one more day.

 

Match Day Dish: Beer-Battered Fish and Chips (England)

The dish most synonymous with our former overlords, fish and chips can be a little confusing for Americans to comprehend. Below, I've bridged the language syntax gap: French Fries in England = Chips, whereas Potato Chips = Crisps The world is a strange place, indeed. High in protein, this dish must be mandatorily served with a pint of your choice. Make this for dinner after England's (possible) victory, take pictures, and send in to our Instagram contest for a chance to win (details here). Keep being fútbol fans, and have a great World Cup day eight! Cheers.

Beer-Battered Fish and Chips 

  • 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 3-inch pieces

    Beer-Battered Fish and Chips Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
  • 1 cup dark beer (such as Negra Modelo), divided
  • 1 pound baking potatoes, cut into (1/4-inch) strips
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
  • 3.38 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Combine fish and 1/4 cup beer in a medium bowl. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Place potatoes on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until browned and crisp, stirring after 10 minutes. Drain fish; discard liquid. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine remaining 3/4 cup beer, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl. Add fish to beer mixture, tossing gently to coat. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from bowl, shaking off excess batter. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn fish over; cook 3 minutes or until done. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve immediately with chips.