World Cup Quarter-Finals: What We Can Expect from the Last 8

wcp

 

RIO DE JANIERO – The group stage has long since ended; the round of 16 reached its conclusion on Tuesday. All of a sudden the 2014 FIFA World Cup has gone from 32 teams to eight, and by Saturday night the participants will have dwindled to four.

Where the first phase of the tournament featured a swashbuckling, take-no-prisoners approach that resulted in some high-profile upsets, the first knockout round was a cautious, organised affair in which the goalkeepers were often the stars.

The quarter-finals could well be similar, what with the spectre of victory becoming ever closer, and in none of the four ties does there seem to be a clear-cut favourite (although if this World Cup has taught us anything, it’s that the favourite’s tag never meant anything, anyway).

France vs. Germany

Quarter-finals: France vs. Germany

July 4, Rio de Janeiro (kick-off 9 p.m. PST)

There is a case to be made that France have been the World Cup’s most consistent team to date, although it’s also arguable that if any side should be tipped to lift the trophy on July 13, it’s Germany.

Friday’s match at the Maracana will settle the question.

Brazil vs. Colombia

Quarter-finals: Brazil vs. Colombia

July 4, Fortaleza (kick-off 1 A.M. PST/4 p.m. ET)

Brazil passed a massive test in the round of 16, seeing off a feisty, capable Chile side that dominated the match for extended stretches.

Naturally, there are two ways to look at their victory on penalties in Belo Horizonte.

Argentina vs. Belgium

Quarter-finals: Argentina vs. Belgium

July 5, Brasilia (kick-off 9 p.m. PST/Noon ET)

Argentina have yet to play to their capabilities at this World Cup, and they’ve won four matches on the bounce. In other words, they’re finding ways to get results—a quality that should serve them well in the quarter-finals.

Belgium, meanwhile, have also won four matches without playing particularly well. And like their quarter-final opponents, they’ve also developed a habit of leaving their goalscoring until as late as possible.

Netherlands vs. Costa Rica

Quarter-finals: Netherlands vs. Costa Rica

July 5, Salvador (kick-off 1 A.m. PST/4 p.m. ET)

 Play tends to stall when teams using three centre-backs and a pair of wing-backs go head-to-head. They cancel each other out. But as Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal displayed against Mexico in the round of 16, he has the tactical nous to make adjustments on the fly.

On the other side of the ball, Costa Rica have passed every test they’ve faced at this World Cup, from high-profile matches against Italy and Uruguay to a tense affair with Greece that culminated in penalty kicks.

 

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final Semi-finals Quarter-finals Round of 16
BRAZIL
CHILE
Brazil
BRA
Chile
CHI
FT
1-1
PSO (3 – 2) 
COLOMBIA
URUGUAY
Colombia
COL
Uruguay
URU
FT
2-0
FRANCE
NIGERIA
France
FRA
Nigeria
NGA
FT
2-0
GERMANY
ALGERIA
Germany
GER
Algeria
ALG
FT
2-1
AET 
BRAZIL
COLOMBIA
Match 57
04Jul
Brazil
BRA
Colombia
COL
17:00
FRANCE
GERMANY
Match 58
04Jul
France
FRA
Germany
GER
13:00
[W57]
[W58]
Match 61
08Jul
[W57]
[W58]
17:00
[L61]
[L62]
Match 63
12Jul
[L61]
[L62]
17:00
[W61]
[W62]
Match 64
13Jul
[W61]
[W62]
16:00
[W59]
[W60]
Match 62
09Jul
[W59]
[W60]
17:00
NETHERLANDS
COSTA RICA
Match 59
05Jul
Netherlands
NED
Costa Rica
CRC
17:00
ARGENTINA
BELGIUM
Match 60
05Jul
Argentina
ARG
Belgium
BEL
13:00
NETHERLANDS
MEXICO
Netherlands
NED
Mexico
MEX
FT
2-1
COSTA RICA
GREECE
Costa Rica
CRC
Greece
GRE
FT
1-1
PSO (5 – 3) 
ARGENTINA
SWITZERLAND
Argentina
ARG
Switzerland
SUI
FT
1-0
AET 
BELGIUM
USA
Belgium
BEL
USA
USA
FT
2-1
AET 

ROUND OF 16

 

About the author

Rana Hadi

Rana Hadi is working with PakistanTribe.com as a web-producer. He has good command on social and current affairs.

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