Venue – Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza; Date – 5th July 2014; Time – 1:30 am IST;
Teams battled it out in the last 16 round of the FIFA World Cup to land a spot in the coveted quarter final lineup. They are now just two steps away from making it to the grand finale and the level of competition has risen ten folds. All the mediocre sides have been eliminated from the tournament and the playing field is now even. It gets down to who has the will power to overcome the odds as we take a look at the preview for our first quarter final lineup.
A crunch penalty shootout saw hosts Brazil escape the jaws of defeat as they edged past a buoyant Chile side. The match was dominated by the opposition who held the bulk share of possession and Brazil were clearly outplayed. They eventually nailed the contest no doubt, but the manner of the outcome will be a worry for Scholari’s side. They are expected to be the ‘dominant home side’ in the tournament and Brazil have been anything but that. Apart from a couple of good performances, they have collectively been a mediocre unit and Columbia will look to take advantage of this.
The Columbians on the other hand have not set a foot wrong. They have won all their 4 encounters convincingly and have been a sensational footballing unit. They were clearly the standout side in the Pre quarters and they will be more than ready to create history once again as they are pit against the hosts. They hold all the aces in the match and will look to take advantage of a fragile Brazilian defense.
Brazil – WDWW
Columbia – WWWW
Key factors in the match:
James Rodriguez was hailed by many as the player of the tournament in the group stages and who can blame them? The Monaco medio has had a phenomenal world cup with 5 goals and a bunch of assists under his belt. He single handedly sank Uruguay and will look to replicate similar form against Brazil.
Both South American sides will be very familiar with the surroundings and the playing field will be even. The hot conditions will have little effect on the game as the sides square off.
Neymar was the sole bright spot in Brazil’s last game and the midfielder will have to be fit in time for the crucial clash. He suffered a knee injury against Chile and is yet to train with his team since then. His absence will remove the teeth from an otherwise mediocre Brazilian attack.
Julio Cesar is the very reason why Brazil is still in the world cup. The QPR man made some crucial saves in the shootout against Chile to keep his side alive. He has peaked at the right time and will have to stand guard behind a shaky Brazilian defense.
* Brazil have drawn their last 4 matches against Colombia in all competitions.
* Colombia have won their last 5 matches in FIFA World Cup
* Brazil are undefeated in 20 of their last 22 matches in FIFA World Cup.
* James Rodriguez has 5 goals to his name and is very much in line to win the golden boot.
Predictions: Let us have a look at what the big guns have to say:
Goal.com: 2-1 to Columbia
BBC: 2-0 to Brazil
SB Nation: 2-1 to Columbia
Bleacher Report: 3-1 to Columbia