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Preview of FIFA World Cup 2014 Quarter Final round

Friday, 4 July 2014 - 5:04pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk

The World Cup till the Round-of-16 has been entertaining so far and it is about to get even more exciting as the FIFA World Cup 2014 on July 4 with Germany playing France for the first Semi-Final spot.

With eight teams fighting for footballs ultimate prize, the FIFA World Cup 2014 has reached its vantage point, from where millions worldwide will rejoice the victory of their supported teams and at the same time, millions will be left heart-broken with the exit of their teams.

With just a day left for the Quarter-Final, here is preview of each of the quarter-finalist:

AFP

France: Les Bleus qualified for the Round-of-16 as the winners of Group E with seven points. The French were impressive in the group stage as they scored eight goals in the opening two matches (three against Honduras and five against Switzerland). However, they were held in a goal-less draw with Ecuador. They were up against Nigeria in the Round-of-16. Though they won the match 2-0 on that night, they struggled against Nigeria. Nigerian goal-keeper Vincent Enyeama blocked numerous goal attempts from the French side, and with that kind of form, they match was likely to head towards the extra-time. However, Paul Pogba broke the dead-lock on the 79th minute with a fantastic header. But to add to Nigerian miseries, defender Joseph Yobo slotted the ball into his own net in injury time, which doubled the lead for the Les Bleus. France will face star-studded Germany for the quarter final round. It will be a mouth watering clash as both the teams are equally good. France keeper Hugo Lloris has kept three clean sheets, where-as German goal-keeper Manual Neuer has kept two clean-sheets. Karim Benzema is the top scorer for France with three goals and Germany's Thomas Muller has four to his name. Both teams are out to prove a point as France will seek their first World Cup since 1998, despite reaching the final in 2006. The Germans have been waiting even longer as their last World Cup trophy was won in 1990 and they finished the last two World Cups in the third place consecutively. This match will be the most exciting match of the quarter final round.

France: Last four matches - W/W/D/W

Goals Scored: 8 (10 with two own goals)

Average Goals Scored per Match: 2

Average Shots on Target (%): 60%

Average Attempts per Match: 19.3

Fouls Committed: 47

Yellow Cards: 5

Red Cards: 0

Average Distance Covered per Match: 107km

Passes Completed: 1087

Pass Completion Rate: 80%

AFP

Germany: The Germans are aiming to end their 24-year wait for World Cup glory. The last time they won the World Cup, it was 1990, under the management of legendary Franz Beckenbauer. But since then, the Germans have failed to win it. The closest they came to win the World cup was in 2002, but lost in the finals to Brazil as Ronaldo outshined the Germans, scoring two goals on that night. After finishing in the third place for two consecutive World Cups, Germany have a point to prove this World Cup. In their opening match against Portugal, Thomas Muller outclassed the opponents by scoring a hat-trick, with Mats Hummels adding the fourth goal which completed a historic victory. Against Ghana, the Germans struggled to record a victory. Despite taking the lead in the second in the 51st minute, Ghana were quick to respond. André Ayew equalized on the 54th minute and Asamoah Gyan gave Ghana the lead in the 63rd minute. But the twist in the tail was yet to come. substitute Miroslav Klose equalised the score on the 71st minute, two minutes later after coming on as a substitute for goal-scorer Mario Götze. With that goal, he equaled Ronaldo's record of 15 World Cup goals. In their last group match against USA, Germany won the match with a modest score-line of 1-0, with the goal from Thomas Muller. After topping the Group G, Germany faced Algeria. Being the stronger side, Germany struggled through-out the match as they weren't able to break the Algerian defense. Infact, Algerian attack seemed to be more deadly as the German defense was vulnerable. With the extra-time on, Germany were under pressure to perform. Two minutes into the first half of the extra-time, André Schürrle gave Germany the mutch required lead. Mesut Ozil doubled the lead in the 120th minute, with Abdelmoumene Djabou grabbing a consolation for Algeria a minute later. For Germany to progress to the semi's, they must work on their fragile defense to compete against France. Germany might have a tough time ahead as seven of their players are ill and mid-filder remains a doubt due to an injury.

Germany: Last four matches - W/D/W/W

Goals Scored: 9

Average Goals Scored per Match: 2.3

Average Shots on Target (%): 70%

Average Attempts per Match: 16.5 

Fouls Committed: 39

Yellow Cards: 2

Red Cards: 0

Average Distance Covered per Match: 117.2km

Passes Completed: 2560

Pass Completion Rate: 80%

AFP

 Brazil: The hosts, having the backing of the entire nation, are expected to win their record sixth World Cup. However, Brazil haven't been convincing. In their first match, Brazil gave Croatia an early lead as defender Marcelo slotted the ball into his own net. Neymar equalized the score minutes later. But later into the second half, Neymar gave Brazil the lead with the help of a controversial penalty. In their second match against Mexico, Brazil were held to a goal-less draw as Mexican goalie Guillermo Ochoa denied Brazil much needed goals. The Brazilian players seemed to lack form against Mexico. It their last group match against Cameroon, the Brazilian were much better as the won the match 4-1, confirming themselves as the Group A leaders. They faced Chile in the Round-of-16.  The hosts took the lead in the first half as defender David Luiz capitalized form Neymar's corner. However, fourteen minutes later, Chile winger Alexis Sanchez equalized the score. After the equalizing goal, Chile's performance improved, which gave Brazil a tough time. With match headed into the extra-time, Brazil were under pressure to take the lead. On the 120th minute, Chile striker Mauricio Pinilla nearly broke millions of Brazilian hearts as his strike came off the cross-bar, giving the Brazilian team a mini heart-attack. With the match headed to penalties, Julio Cesar named himself as Brazilian hero as the saved three penalties. Marcelo Díaz, Mauricio Pinilla and  Alexis Sánchez had their penalties saved from Cesar. For the quarter final round, Brazil are up against Colombia, who have proved to be one of the strongest teams of this World Cup as they won all the four matches they have played. James Rodriguez will surely be the man to watch out as currently, he is the top goal scorer in this World Cup as the youngster has scored five goals in four matches. 

Brazil: Last four matches - W/D/W/D-Penalties Victory

Goals Scored: 8

Average Goals Scored per Match: 2

Average Shots on Target (%): 70%

Attempts per Match: 17.5 

Fouls Committed: 65

Yellow Cards: 8

Red Cards: 0

Average Distance Covered per Match: 109.3km

Passes Completed: 1551

Pass Completion Rate: 70%

AFP

Colombia: This team has been the biggest surprise of the tournament so far. Colombia won all of their group matches. They won their opening match 3-0 against Greece, 2-1 against Ivory Coast and 4-1 against Japan. In the Round-of-16, Colombia were up against Uruguay. Colombia displayed their true potential as they outplayed Uruguay, winning the match 2-0. James Rodriguez scored the goal of the tournament in this match. It is the best goal of the World Cup so far as he chest controlled the ball out side the Uruguayan D-Box before unleashing a thunderous volley for a goal on the 28th minute. Five minutes into the second half, James Rodriguez scored his and the team's second goal of the night, confirming Uruguay's World Cup exit. James Rodriguez has been the star of the tournament so far as the 22-year old has scored in every match he played, taking his goals tally to five. At the moment, he is the number one contender for the Golden Boot. With Colombia playing impressive football, struggling Brazil might have a tough time in their semi-final clash as the team has been fragile in many places, especially in attack as their centre-forwards aren't performing up to the mark. Like Rodriguez, Neymar has been the main man for Brazil, scoring four goals so far. Wearing Pele's iconic No.10 jersey, Neymer is constantly under pressure to perform for the team and deliver the nation their record sixth World Cup trophy.

Colombia: Last four matches - W/W/W/W

Goals Scored: 11

Average Goals Scored per Match: 2.8

Average Shots on Target (%): 70%

Attempts per Match: 11.5

Fouls Committed: 68

Yellow Cards: 3

Red Cards: 0

Average Distance Covered per Match: 104.5km

Passes Completed: 1224

Pass Completion Rate: 70%

AFP

Netherlands: They shocked the entire world on their opening day match against as they thrashed former world champions 5-1. The Dutch were a goal down on the 27th minute, as Xabi Alonso gave Spain lead with a penalty. But what happened later, no one expected that to happen. Netherlands responded with five goals. Both Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben had two goals to their name with Stefan de Vrij scoring the fifth. This was a reply by Netherlands for their 2010 World Cup final loss to Spain. Against Australia, Netherlands had to fight hard for a victory. Robben gave the Dutch the lead on the 20th minute, but Australian veteran Tim Cahill responded a minute later by equalizing the score with a fantastic left-footed volley. Surprisingly, Australia took the lead on the 54th minute as Mile Jedinak scored a penalty. But Netherlands were quick to respond as on the 58th minute, Van Persie equalized for the Dutch and ten minutes later, substitute Memphis Depay sealed the victory for Netherlands. In their last group match against Chile, the  Dutch outplayed Chile as goals from Memphis Depay and Leroy Fer confirmed the third consecutive group stage victory for the Dutch. When Netherlands were up against Mexico in the Round-of-16, they were expected to record an easy victory. But to everyone's surprise, Giovani dos Santos scored four minutes into the second half. Netherlands were struggling to find an equalizer as Mexican goal-keeper Guillermo Ochoa put up yet another spectacular performance. Mexicans were trying their level best to contain the Dutch, but on the 88th minute, Wesley Sneijder equalized the score. Into the injury time, the Dutch were seeking for a winner, which they got after winger Arjen Robben was brought down in the Mexican D-Box. Substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar easily converted from the penalty spot, taking Netherlands into the next round. The Dutch will face Costa Rica in the quarter final round. Costa Rica, like Colombia surprised the world as they emerged as group toppers from the 'Group of Death', with the likes of England, Uruguay and Italy in their group.

Netherlands: Last four matches - W/W/W/W

Goals Scored: 12

Average Goals Scored per Match: 3

Average Shots on Target (%): 70%

Attempts per Match: 13.8

Fouls Committed: 76

Yellow Cards: 5

Red Cards: 0

Average Distance Covered per Match: 110.2km

Passes Completed: 1360

Pass Completion Rate: 80%

AFP

Costa Rica: No one would have expected Costa Rica to qualify for the knock-out stage with the likes of Uruguay, Italy and England in their group. But to everyone's surprise, they qualified, as group leaders. They defeated Uruguay in their opening World Cup match and in their next match, they defeated Italy. They only match they failed to win was against England. In their Round-of-16 match against Greece, they were leading as their captain Bryan Ruiz scored on the 52nd minute. But Socratis Papastathopoulos equalized in the injury time, taking the match into the extra-time. The match eventually headed into penalties, with Costa Rica emerging as winners. They will be facing Netherlands in the quarter final round.

Costa Rica: Last four matches - W/W/D/D-Penalties Victory

Goals Scored: 5

Average Goals Scored per Match: 1.3

Average Shots on Target (%): 50%

Attempts per Match: 8

Fouls Committed: 81

Yellow Cards: 7

Red Cards: 0

Average Distance Covered per Match: 114km

Passes Completed: 1284

AFP

Argentina: They are one of the strongest teams in the World Cup. Lionel Messi, their captain, is the top scorer for the team with four goals.  Argentina defeated Bosnia 2-1 in their opening match. In their second match against Iran, it took Argentina 89 minutes to score the first goal of the match, with Lionel Messi being the goal-scorer. Against Nigeria, Argentina had a tough time as they equalized after every Argentina's goal. Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead twice, with Nigeria's Ahmed Musa equalizing the score on both the occasions. On the 85th minute, Marcos Rojo scored the winner on that match. Argentina played Switzerland in the Round-of-16. Though Argentina won the match, it was a narrow victory for the team as Angel Di Maria scored the winner on the 117th minute of the match, with the assist from Messi. Argentina have played decent football so far, but they have to avoid inconsistency to progress to the semi-final. They will be playing Belgium, the 'Dark-Horses' of the tournament.

Argentina: Last four matches - W/W/W/W

Goals Scored: 6 (7 with one own goal)

Average Goals Scored per Match: 1.5

Average Shots on Target (%): 60%

Attempts per Match: 19.3

Fouls Committed: 43

Yellow Cards: 4

Red Cards: 0

Average Distance Covered per Match: 110.8km

Passes Completed: 2112

Pass Completion Rate: 80%

AFP

Belgium: Touted as the 'Dark-Horses' of the tournament, Belgium won all their group matches. In their opening match, despite being a goal down, goals from substitute Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens sealed a hard fought victory for the Belgians. Against Russia, substitute Divock Origi scored on the 88th minute to record their second victory. Similarly against Korea Republic, Belgium scored in the 78th minute to win their third and final group game. Facing USA, Belgium once again failed to score in the first half of the match as both the winning goals form Kevin De Bryune and Romelu Luakalu came in the first half of extra-time. Though they won all their matches, they have struggled to score in a convincing manner. When they play Argentina in the quarter final round, they have to improve their performance or they may lose out on the World Cup.

Belgium: Last four matches - W/W/W/W

Goals Scored: 6 

Average Goals Scored per Match: 1.5

Average Shots on Target (%): 70%

Attempts per Match: 20.3

Fouls Committed: 72

Yellow Cards: 5

Red Cards: 1

Average Distance Covered per Match: 117.5km

Passes Completed: 1641

Pass Completion Rate: 70%

The Quarter-Final stage of the FIFA World Cup 2014 kicks-off at July 4 with Frace taking on Germany at Estádio Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro.




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