First day of quarterfinals ends with Germany and Brazil advancing to the semifinals. Germany vs France and Brazil vs Colombia were like two sides of a coin. Germany and France both played with caution, being careful not to concede. Very few chances came France’s way, and Neuer was up to the task once again. The game was at a slow pace and it looked more like an afternoon stroll than a World Cup quarterfinal, and Germany won the game 1-0 thanks to Mats Hummels’ header. On the other hand, Brazil vs Colombia was a cracker of a match. High tempo passing, aggressive pressing, swift counters and meaty tackles made the contest much more entertaining. Brazil stepped out of their slumber at last and played some good football but Colombia wasn’t intimidated one bit. After a brave display, Colombia crashed out with a narrow 2-1 defeat.
Day 2 of quarterfinals features Netherlands vs Costa Rica, and Argentina vs Belgium. All 4 teams barely scraped past their opponents in the round of 16 matches and I expect players to be burnt out after playing 120 minutes of grueling football a week ago. Belgium are proving to be the dark horses of the tournament, just like everyone expected. The likes of Hazard, De Bruyne, Mertens and Lukaku aren’t easy to hold back, and it’s no surprise Belgium hasn’t lost a single game. But, in Argentina they find a team with Lionel Messi. Messi put in match winning performances over and over again dragging his team over the finish line in the dying moments. While this match might look easy on paper for Argentina, I expect a very close match and I predict 2-1 victory for them. Man of the match? Messi, of course.
Many of us might feel that Mexico was “Robbened” in the round of 16 game against Netherlands. Cruising towards a win with 10 minutes remaining, Mexico lost the match thanks to a Sneijder goal and a debatable penalty. Netherlands have looked weak at the back keeping only one clean sheet in 4 matches. While Costa Rica doesn’t have much firepower up front, their collective efforts will prove to be a tough match for Netherlands. Joel Campbell of Costa Rica is expected to play the match of his life, and Robin van Persie must put up a better showing than his match against Mexico. I predict a 3-1 victory for Netherlands, with Robben winning the man of the match award. The matches start in a few hours, let’s get the snacks and drinks ready and enjoy the action!