The final quarterfinal matchup in the 2014 World Cup will take place between Costa Rica and the Netherlands. Clearly, the latter will be considered the favorite on paper, but the resilience of the underdogs have carried them past the likes of Uruguay, Italy and even England, which means they can overcome their latest task.
Costa Rica have been on a fantastic run of form as they have been getting past one tough opponent after the other. Quite frankly, they should have been eliminated by Greece, who absolutely dominated them — especially since the Central American side played down a man for well over half an hour. They still managed to hold on strong with their defense and almost scored on the counter, but they eventually prevailed via a shootout from the spot.
Now, they face a Dutch side that outplayed and defeated Mexico, a team that is vastly more talented than the Costa Ricans. If they are to make any noise tomorrow, the defense, midfield and offense will have to show no fear and play their hearts out.
Joel Campbell will have to step up his game tremendously to find his form from the group stage. If he plays as poorly as he did against Greece, his country will not have much to look forward to besides a chance or two from captain Bryan Ruiz.
Wesley Sneijder, Dirk Kuyt, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie are all likely in their final World Cup as the youngsters behind them are developing their game perfectly. Therefore, they will all need to come together once again to put on a performance that will lock their spot in the semifinals. In fact, it is safe to say that they will work the hardest going forward to make sure that finding the net is their top priority.
Prediction: Netherlands 3, Costa Rica 1
The way Costa Rica have been playing makes this scoreline seem unfair, but this is their first quarterfinal, which means that nerves will be there. As for the Dutch, they know not to take this game lightly so they will be going all-out.