[www.inewsguyana.com] – The semi-final matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup features four teams who won despite not showing their best form in the quarter-finals. Brazil, Germany, Argentina and the Netherlands all managed to outlast determined last-eight opponents, in victories that owed more to resilience than dynamic, attacking football.
Here are the full results from the quarter-final stage:
|France vs. Germany||Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro||0-1||Mats Hummels|
|Brazil vs. Colombia||Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza||2-1||Thiago Silva, David Luiz, James Rodriguez (P)|
|Argentina vs. Belgium||Estadio Nacional, Brasilia||1-0||Gonzalo Higuian|
|Netherlands vs. Costa Rica||Arfena Fonta Nova, Salvador||0-0||Netherlands won 4-3 on Penalties|
Brazil vs. Germany, Tuesday, July 8th, 4pm Guyana time
Mesut Ozil Will Finally Deliver
If Germany is going to expose a deep and resolute Brazilian defensive structure, Ozil has to produce. That means the languid schemer has to take an active approach to getting on the ball.
In recent matches, the Arsenal man has had a tendency to stay glued to the flanks. That has prompted criticism in many quarters, with journalist Jan Aage Fjortoft the latest to have highlighted his struggles:
But Ozil is still an incredible talent. He is at his best when he roams. Whenever he receives the ball in halfway spaces between wide and central areas, he is a threat to thread a through pass into the path of a forward runner.
With players such as Thomas Mueller and Mario Goetze to aim for, Ozil must rediscover the creative touch that made him a star during the 2010 edition of this tournament:
Netherlands vs. Argentina, Wednesday, July 9th, 4pm Guyana time
Gonzalo Higuain Will Outshine Robin van Persie
Arjen Robben and Lionel Messi are the undisputed stars of the World Cup’s second semi-final. But the game could actually hinge on the performances of the two classic central strikers on display.
That’s where Gonzalo Higuain can outshine prolific Dutchman Robin van Persie. He’s not always a regular, but Higuain is an underrated presence leading the line.
He has strength, guile and natural quality as a finisher. The former Real Madrid striker netted the winner against Belgium, a goal that has revitalised him.
He has also linked well with Messi during the tournament. Count on Higuain setting his more illustrious teammate free to win the match and put Argentina in the final.
By contrast, Van Persie has been rather out of sorts in recent games. He was substituted during the last-16 struggle against Mexico before fluffing a series of chances against Costa Rica.
These semi-final games will be decided by the players listed here. Both Higuain and Ozil have been somewhat overshadowed or considered disappointments.
But they are each primed for a decisive contribution during the tournament’s penultimate stage.