Cup Finals Blog

The World United Through Football

2014 World Cup – Second Round Previews

Saturday, 28th June

Brazil vs Chile in Belo Horizonte.

Brazil and Chile have met three times at the World Cup Finals.

The first meeting was in the semi-final at Chile 1962. Brazil won (4:2) with Garrincha and Vava both scoring twice.

At France 1998, Brazil beat Chile (4:1), in Paris; where goals from two free-kicks and a penalty, in the first-half, gave Brazil a comfortable lead before the break.

At South Africa 2010, Brazil disposed of Chile (3:0) in Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

Colombia vs Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro.

Colombia and Uruguay have only met once at the World Cup Finals.

Although Uruguay won the Arica group game (2:1) at Chile 1962, both teams went out to USSR and Yugoslavia.

Sunday, 29th June

Netherlands vs Mexico in Fortaleza.

Holland and Mexico have only met once in a World Cup Finals; at France 1998.

The St. Etienne group game, on 25th June, ended in a (2:2) draw; meaning both teams qualified for the Second Round.

Holland went on to reach the semi-finals; where they lost to Brazil on penalties.

 

Costa Rica vs Greece in Recife.

Costa Rica and Greece have never met each other before in world football.

Costa Rica’s best World Cup performance was reaching the last 16 at Italia 1990; where they lost to Czechoslovakia (1:4) in Bari.

Greece have made it through to the Second Round, at the third attempt.

Monday, 30th June

France vs Nigeria  in Brasilia.

France and Nigeria have never met at a World Cup Finals although they did play a friendly match in 2009. Nigeria won the game (1:0) in Saint-Etienne.

 

Germany vs Algeria in Porto Alegre.

Algeria and West Germany met in the group stage of Spain 1982. Algeria won the match (2:1) in Gijon.

The two teams also played a friendly in Algiers, back in 1964. Algeria won that game too (2:0).

 

Tuesday, 1st July

Argentina vs Switzerland in Sao Paulo.

Argentina and Switzerland have only met once at a World Cup Finals, in the England 1966 group stage.

Argentina beat Switzerland (2:0) in Sheffield; then lost to eventual winners, England (0:1) in the quarter-final.

 

Belgium vs USA in Salvador.

Belgium and USA played each other in a group game at the first World Cup, in Uruguay 1930.

United States won that game (3:0) and qualifed for the semi-finals; where they lost miserably to Argentina (1:6).

If USA were to win this game, they could meet Argentina again.

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June 27, 2014 Posted by | Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Brazil 2014, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Mexico, Nigeria, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA | , , | Leave a comment

Group B – Spain’s Reputation in Tatters

The World Cup holders’ billing as ‘the team to beat’ in Group B sank quicker than the Spanish Armada, as their fellow 2010 finalists, Holland, became the new team to back for a direct, attacking route to the knockout stage.

Oh, the pain in Spain as the current World and European champions looked a shadow of their former selves.

Perhaps the Dutch assault was inspired by an earlier penalty awarded against them for Diego Costa’s trailing leg theatrics.

As the perceived villains of the South Africa 2010 World Cup Final, Netherlands needed to restore their reputation as a footballing nation, and banish Spain’s to the archives.

Iker Casillas has never looked so all at sea with his hands by his side as Robin van Persie’s dipping header, just before half-time, floated over his head.

After watching Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique later pirouette cluelessly in front of him, to allow Arjen Robben a clear view on goal just after the break, Casillas himself flapped at a free-kick to play a part in conceding the third, and lost concentration to be robbed of the ball for the fourth.

Were it not for a double save later on, and an earlier rattle of the woodwork Spain’s total collapse could have been much worse than five.

A few hours later, Chile proved too hot for Australia and will probably relish their meeting with a deflated Espana in Rio de Janeiro, on Wednesday.

June 14, 2014 Posted by | Australia, Brazil 2014, Chile, Holland, Match Reports, Spain | , | Leave a comment

2014 World Cup Preview – Group B

As World Cup holders, Spain will want to – and should – reach the knockout stage. Much will depend on how the Spaniards get on in their opening match; against the Dutch, in Salvador de Bahia.

If Holland’s Louis van Gaal can forget about Manchester United for a fortnight and focus on the job in hand, we could be in for a treat.

It’s not guaranteed that both the European teams will advance from Group B, as Chile look a hot prospect for one of the places; especially if they start with a comfortable win against the Aussies in Cuiaba.

The Socceroos might steal a goal or two in their group matches but will most probably score zero points out of a possible nine.

Australia may only be making up the numbers in Brazil, but they could get lucky and host the tournament in 2022; if the Qatar bribery scandal gathers momentum.

June 11, 2014 Posted by | Australia, Brazil 2014, Chile, Holland, Spain | | Leave a comment

   

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