FIFA World Cup 2014 Quarter Final Matches
Argentina beat Belgium, 1-0, on Saturday, holding on after Gonzalo Higuaín’s half-volley gave them an early lead. Belgium pushed forward throughout the rest of the game but was lacking in offensive fluency, often resorting to floated crosses that Argentina’s defense cleared with relative ease. Argentina’s win was tempered by a first-half injury to star winger Ángel Di María, who appeared to hurt his thigh after his shot was blocked by Vincent Kompany. But the organization the team showed will give them hope entering the semifinal, along with the knowledge that Argentina could have won by a greater margin. Ezequiel Lavezzi hit the crossbar in the second half, and Lionel Messi was narrowly denied by Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in injury time.Belgium leaves the World Cup with the consolation that its team has a bright future, its young stars just hitting their prime for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
After 11 airtight knockout-round matches at this World Cup, this game was supposed to be a walkover. Costa Rica had performed bravely to reach the quarterfinals, but everyone expected they would be no match for the high-powered Dutch. Costa Rica very nearly proved everyone wrong once again, somehow holding the Netherlands scoreless for 120 minutes, before finally falling just short in the penalty shootout. Its dream World Cup run is now over, but not before it gave one last serious scare to a giant of world soccer. As extra time wore on and the game remained scoreless, it seemed as if maybe this was Costa Rica’s day. Indeed, Costa Rica almost stole the game late in extra time, denied only by a great save from Jasper Cillessen in the Dutch goal. But it was not to be. All four Dutch shooters confidently slotted home their penalties, while Tim Krul, who replaced Cillessen specifically for the shootout, made two saves to send the Dutch through to the semifinal. With this victory, The Netherlands will now meet Argentina next week. The first semi final match would be played between Brazil vs Germany on Tuesday 1.30AM Indian Standard Time.