What a great finish to the quarterfinals! The matches were incredibly close, with Argentina winning by Gonzalo Higuain goal against Belgium and Netherlands winning on penalties against a brave Costa Rica. Only four teams remain in the tournament with Brazil still marked as favorites to lift the World Cup.
Today’s match includes the host nation Brazil against the ever consistent Germans. Germany might have an advantage with Brazil’s captain Thiago Silva suspended and wonderkid Neymar Jr. out for the rest of the World Cup. Brazilians are finding their feet and showed up against Colombia at last, and turned out to be the deserved winners. Germans were as efficient in possession and showed great defensive organization against France, who frankly never looked like they would score. The Germans started out on a high note thrashing Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal 4-0, but have failed to impress ever since. They have won each game by a margin of a goal only, with commanding goalkeeping displays by Neuer. Brazilians are guilty of complacency and have followed a similar path.
Here are some cool facts: Brazil have dominated Germany on head to head record, winning 12 times and losing only 4 times. But, Brazil have won just one of their last four World Cup matches against UEFA opposition and Germany’s only defeat in their last nine matches against South American opposition at the World Cup came in the 2002 final versus Brazil (h/t Dailymail).
Anything can happen in this matchup, and I am predicting a very, very close match.
Players to watch: Miroslav Klose and Mesut Özil (Germany), Luiz Gustavo and Oscar (Brazil).
Germany win 1-0.
Man of the match: Thomas Müller.