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World Cup 2014: Quarterfinals Set, What To Expect In Next Round

After the dramatic ending of the round of 16, the 2014 World Cup’s quarterfinals are all set. What can we expect in this stage, where the semifinalists will be decided?

Argentina and Belgium were the last two countries to qualify for the quarterfinals, and both matches went into extra time, although they managed to avoid the dreaded penalty kicks. We can expect more of the same in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals, drama and very close matches. Let’s take a look at how things will shape up in this phase.

France vs. Germany

When: Friday, July 4
Where: Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Time: Noon ET
Total Matches Played: 25
Goals Scored: 83
Head-to-Head: France (11), Germany (8), draws (6)

This classic match will surely be a thrilling quarterfinal at the 2014 World Cup, as two of the strongest teams in the tournament and arch rivals clash in the historic venue. Even though Germany was one of the heavy favorites to win the title, they have been shaky in their most recent matches and had to battle hard — in extra time — to defeat Algeria. France comes in with the advantage of fresher bodies and more consistency.

Brazil vs. Colombia

When: Friday, July 4
Where: Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza
Time: 4 pm/ET
Total Matches Played: 25
Goals Scored: 66
Head-to-Head: Brazil (15), Colombia (2), draws (8)

A South American clash and classic in the making, this 2014 World Cup quarterfinal will be as dramatic as they come. Brazil will be the overwhelming favorite in the stands, but Colombia has won many hearts in Brazil. For the host this match is a MUST win. There is no real option for Brazil and this was none more apparent that in the match against Chile, which they won in an exhausting game decided by penalty kicks. Colombia has an advantage, as they come in more fresh than Brazil and they have the top scorer of the tournament, James, and even though they have only beaten Brazil two times in history, this is a different Colombia.

Argentina vs. Belgium

When: Saturday, July 5
Where: Estádio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasília
Time: Noon ET
Total Matches Played: 4
Goals Scored: 14
Head-to-Head: Argentina (3), Belgium (1)

There is not much of a history between Argentina and Belgium, mostly because the Europeans have not been major players in the international stage. But both teams qualified for the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals by the skin of their teeth and even though Lionel Messi had the assist for Argentina’s winning goal, the Albiceleste still haven’t convinced their critics.

Belgium was responsible for sending the United States home in one of the most dramatic matches of the World Cup. American goalkeeper Tim Howard broke the save record, with 16 shots stopped, which means that the Europeans had plenty of opportunities to score. Both teams went into extra time in the round of 16.

Netherlands vs. Costa Rica

When: Saturday, July 5
Where: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
Time: 4 pm/ET
Total Matches Played: 0
Goals Scored: 0
Head-to-Head: 0

The Netherlands and Costa Rica meet for the first time ever in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals. A case of David vs. Goliath, this match promises to be full of drama and if Costa Rica can continue their magical run, they would make more history.

The Central American team shocked everyone when they ended up in first place in their very difficult group and have played with consistency and poise, becoming the first CONCACAF team to reach the quarters. Netherlands is an old pro, but they will have their hand full with the determined Costa Ricans. One thing is certain, nobody will underestimate Los Ticos, they have earned the respect of the world.

If you enjoyed the drama of the round of 16, you can expect more of the same in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals. How many matches will go into extra time? How many teams will go home on penalties? We will have to wait until Friday to find out. Fun fact: for the first time in World Cup modern era (32 teams) all groups winners are in the quarterfinals.

[Image via Twitter]