The 2014 World Cup is drawing to an end. The most-watched sporting event in the world had extra excitement this year, with the United States making it to the round of 16. We are now down to the World Cup’s version of the Final Four, with Germany playing host country Brazil in the first semifinal game on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.
The second semifinal game features Argentina playing the Netherlands on Wednesday, July 9. Both semifinal games will be played at 4:00 p.m. EST. The semifinal winners will meet on Sunday, July 13 at 3:00 p.m. EST. The third place game will be played on Saturday, July 12 at 4:00 p.m EST.
Although soccer is a relatively low-scoring sport and it seems like anything can happen during a tournament, this year’s final four for the World Cup features four of the strongest teams in the world. In fact, the teams that comprise the final four were four of the top five nations in the world entering the tournament based on the World Football ELO Ratings as of June 2, 2014, shown below along with the more widely-known FIFA World Rankings.
World Football ELO Ranking prior to 2014 World Cup (FIFA World Ranking in parentheses)
1. Brazil (3)
3. Germany (2)
4 .Argentina (5)
5. Netherlands (15)
As we can see, the Netherlands may have been a surprise to fans who followed the FIFA World Rankings, but were less of a surprise to World Football ELO Ratings followers. And how have these teams fared during the 2014 World Cup?
Argentina are the only team to have a 5-0-0 (W-D-L) record, with no draws or losses. The Argentineans have also scored eight goals while yielding three goals against. The Netherlands have scored the most goals of the final four and have big-game experience as the 2010 runner-up. Here is a rundown and tale of the tape based on World Cup results to date.
Argentina (5-0-0), 8 GF, 3 GA
Germany (4-1-0), 10 GF, 3 GA
Brazil (3-2-0), 10 GF, 4 GA
Netherlands (4-1-0), 12 GF, 4 GA
Brazil entered the tournament as one of the favorites, but recent play has fans buzzing about all of the semifinalists. In the end, Brazil’s recent results and home-field advantage may both be reasons for increased value on Brazil — as the hosts huge crowd favorites.
Carlton Chin is a portfolio manager, quant researcher, and sports analysis contributor at Rant Sports. Please follow him on Twitter @QuantFacts, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your Google network.