Daily Archives: July 6, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinal Review

what a miss

After spending long man-hours away on official duty, I’m back and from an Arsenal perspective, nothing much has been happening except the usual transfer rumors of the Gunners attempting to sign Lord Voldemort and that Chinese bloke, Chow, from the Hangover series.

However, the World Cup has reached its business end and four more teams were eliminated as we are now left with the four best teams in the competition. It began with the host nation taking on an exciting Colombia side with its crown prince, “Hames” Rodriguez on the spotlight. The young lad had scored five goals in the tournament, thereby leading the scoring charts and a lot was expected from him in the absence of Radamel Falcao.

The Brazilian’s began the game well with a goal from the captain, Thiago Silva, but one must wonder what was going through that defender’s mind as he left the danger man unmarked. Chelsea’s *coughs*… PSG’s David Luiz blasted in a peach of a free kick that breezed past David Ospina before he could even reach for the ball. Rodriguez managed to pull one back from 12 yards but it wasn’t enough as Brazil had enough in the tank to see them through to the semis.

Neymar's tournament-ending injury

That gotta hurt!

However, the game was marred by an injury suffered by Neymar after he was kneed in the back by Zuniga. According to the Brazil team doctor, Neymar fractured a vertebra in his spine but he doesn’t require surgery,

Unfortunately, he’s not going to be able to play. He is very, very sad.

“It’s not serious in the sense that it doesn’t need surgery, but he’ll need to immobilise it to recover.”

The second quarterfinal game between France and Germany was a nervy affair but all it took was a Matts Hummels header to settle the contest.

From an Arsenal perspective, it was disappointing seeing Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny watching from the dugout but the defender got a run out when Mamadou Sakho struggled for form and fitness on the pitch. Giroud also came in as a late sub but it was too little too late for the hunky lad to make an impact on the proceedings. On the German side of the Arsenal scale, Mesut Ozil started the game and was replaced by Mario Gotze, Lukas Podolski stayed on the bench while Per Mertesacker was out with the flu.

I guess his height probably played a role in him getting infected. He probably caught it before everyone else.

The third quarterfinal game was of keen interest to me because I wanted to see how the Belgian side was going to fare against a better opposition and as expected, they were found wanting. There was too many individualistic performances to the detriment of the team and it required an early Gonzalo Higuain strike to clinch the game.

Kevin De Bruyne had a couple of close shaves but there was also an injury concern for the mecurial Angel di Maria that actually had a hand in Higuain’s strike. Late on, Lionel Messi had a chance to put the game beyond doubt when he was one on one with Thibaut Courtois but he fired a tame shot at the goalie.

Finally, Costa Rica’s adventure came to an abrupt end after the lost on penalties to the Dutch. Holland pressurized the Costa Rica rearguard from start to finish and Wesley Sneijder must have been very frustrated to see two fantastic strikes smash the cross bar. Arjen Robben was his usual selfish and diving self and Robin van Persie auditioned for the miss of the tournament while topping the offside charts in the competition.

Right at the death, LVG summoned Tim Krul in place of Jesper Cillesen and the Newcastle goalie went on to save two penalty kicks to send his team to the semis.

There would be a break and the tournament will be on hold till the first semifinal on Tuesday. Till then, I’d probably be on red alert for any potential signing.


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