We’re down to the fianl four; Europe vs South America.
Germany and Brazil have won eight World Cups between them but have only played each other once, in the Korea-Japan 2002 World Cup Final.
Brazil came out victorious from the two meetings with Germany in the Confederations Cup:
(4:0) in the 1999 Guadalajara group stage;
(3:2) in the 2005 Nuremberg semi-final.
Without Neymar and captain Thiago Silva, Brazil will need the home support more than ever. Germany are saying that they’re without Angela Merkul, who has a meeting with the Chinese, and Philipp Lahm needs to be in bed at ten.
Holland and Argentina have met each other four times at the World Cup Finals; with Argentina only winning once (3:1aet) in the Argentina 1978 World Cup Final.
Holland have had their moments and so have Argentina. In terms of support, this is almost a home game for Argentina.
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.
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.
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.
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