Venue – Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador; Date – 6 July, 2014; Time – 1:30 am IST
It would have taken an optimist to predict that Costa Rica would be making it to the quarter finals of the world cup. The Tico’s have done just that as they now face the Netherlands to land a spot in the last 4.
This is perhaps one of the more even sided contests in the quarter final setup with both teams having similar fortunes. The Dutch are however slightly ahead owing to a higher firepower and they need to use that to unsettle the Central Americans.
The Dutch were expecting a good resistance from the Mexicans. However, it was the other way around as the South Americans almost gave the former champions a run for their money. It took two late goals from Sneijder and Huntelaar to seal the deal in what was otherwise a tense 90 minutes for Van Gaal’s men. They can’t afford to remain with the same complacency against Costa Rica and need to kill the game early on rather than leaving it too late.
The Tico’s on the other hand are on a dream run. Topping a group inhabited by Uruguay, England and Italy is an achievement in itself. They have played some wonderful football for all to see and have been one of the more popular sides in the tournament. With all that said and done, one thing that might bother them is the manner in which they entered the quarters. They left it until late, late into the penalty shootout to secure a last grasp win. If they are unable to kill a side of Greece’s caliber, then Netherlands will be a handful.
Where to Watch Live:
Viewers in Brazil can watch the match live HERE, while viewers in Argentina and South America can catch the action HERE. US viewers can access it on ESPN and ABC and click HERE for online. Australians can click HERE to watch the game online, and those in Africa can view the match HERE. In India, TV channels Sony Six and Sony Six HD will show the matches live and for online live streaming of the match, click HERE. In Pakistan PTV Sport is the only channel given right to broadcast all FIFA World Cup matches and click HERE for online live streaming in Pakistan. For Live Score, many channels and online websites are there but visit the official FIFA.COM website.
Netherlands – WWWW
Costa Rica – WWDW
Key factors in the match
• Robin Van Persie was touted to be the vital player for the Dutch in the tournament and he has been in fine form. However, his recent performances will make the critics think otherwise. The Manchester United striker was pretty much ineffective against Mexico and the Dutch can’t afford such frailties at this vital juncture.
• Costa Rica’s captain courageous Bryan Ruiz has been in sublime form. He has been the playmaker in all their games and has delivered efficiently. He has also chipped in with a couple of goals and will look to frustrate the Dutch defense.
• Considering the fact that this game heads to the penalty shootout, Costa Rica might actually fancy their chances. The Tico’s converted all their spot kicks against Greece and will be up against an inexperienced Dutch goalkeeping for starters.
• Robben and Sneijder have 6 world cup goals to their name and are one away from becoming the top scorers for Netherlands on the world’s biggest stage. They might just fancy their chances against Costa Rica.
• Netherlands have won 10 of their last 11 world cup matches including a 5-1 mauling of Spain
• Costa Rica are undefeated in 4 consecutive world cup games for the first time in history.
• The two sides face one another for the first time ever.
• The Dutch have come from behind to win their last 4 world cup matches.
Predictions: Let us have a look at what the big guns have to say:
Goal.com: 2-0 to Netherlands
BBC: 2-0 to Netherlands
SB Nation: 2-0 to Netherlands
Bleacher Report: 2-0 to Netherlands