2014 FIFA World Cup Predictions and Preview: Complete Schedule for Semifinals Games Starting Tuesday
There are only four teams remaining in this all-time great 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament.
To no one's surprise, the four national teams left are Brazil, Germany, Argentina and the Netherlands. All 19 previous World Cup Finals have been played and won by a South American or European nation. Never has another continent even made it to the finals, and with the elimination of Costa Rica, that isn't changing this year.
What could make this World Cup semifinals an all-time great one is that in both of these games, we get a rematch of a previous World Cup Finals. Tensions will be running higher than ever for fans, coaches and opposing teams. These four countries remaining have won a combined 10 World Cup championships and have appeared in a combined 21 Finals games.
Collectively, Europe has won 10 World Cups, while South America has won 9. It doesn't get any better than this.
Latin Post.com takes a look at the schedule and games for the quarterfinals, which start Tuesday:
(3) Brazil Vs. (2) Germany
The host nation is trying to raise their sixth World Cup Championship, extending their own record. Unfortunately, this will be by far their hardest task yet.
The most obvious reason being because of the injury to superstar scorer Neymar, who led the squad with four goals. To make things even harder, Brazil's team captain Thiago Silva is suspended for the game. Regardless of the injury and suspension, Brazil has one of the best coaches in Luiz Scolari and he will make the proper adjustments.
Germany is seeking revenge for their Finals loss against Brazil in 2002. This squad knows they won't have a better opportunity to defeat the Brazilians, giving the circumstances of their opponents' status. Germany's leading goal scorer this tournament has been Thomas Müller, with four goals. Also, keep an eye on Miroslav Klose, who is just one goal away from passing Ronaldo as the all-time leading scorer in World Cup history.
Germany certainly has the odds makers changing their minds after the vertebra injury to Neymar, and their defense and middle field is among the best. But Brazil will overcome and adapt with David Luiz leading the way. Brazil wins 2-1.
These two teams face off on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. EST on ESPN.
(5) Argentina Vs. (15) Netherlands
The Netherlands came in ranked No. 15 in the world by FIFA, and that fueled this team. The Dutch appeared in the last World Cup Finals in 2010, where they lost to Spain. This team is still on a mission to win their first-ever World Cup title, as they are 0-3 in the big game. The Netherlands have one of the best offensive teams in this year's World Cup. This will be the fifth time these two great soccer countries face off in the World Cup. The biggest one came in the 1978 Finals, when Argentina won 3-1 as the host nation.
Argentina is trying to win their third World Cup title, and Lionel Messi has been the main reason for why they have a chance. Aside from Messi's team-leading four goals, he's made precision passes. The biggest issue for Argentina will be whether or not they can stop this high-scoring Netherlands offense. Argentina wasn't as heavily tested as the Netherlands, as they were playing in a weak Group F, but that appeared to have no effect on them as they defeated Switzerland and Belgium in the knockout stages by allowing zero goals in both games combined. Another positive for Argentina: other players have been stepping up with defenses keying in on Messi, and this is the best country in the tournament when it comes to time of possession.
This game should go down to the wire. Two great nations fighting off for a chance to play in the finals. Lionel Messi will show why he's a superstar, and the Argentina ball possession factor will be the key contributors. Argentina wins in extra time 3-2.
These two teams will play each other on Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST on ESPN.