Quarter-Final Review

With the excitement surrounding Yellowfin the past couple years with all its new software’s, updates and upside interviews, it’s hard to leave other uprising events out that the buzz is surrounding as well. This is the year of the 2014 Fifa World Cup and man has it been a thriller. From having the returning champs Spain, being humiliated and eliminated in pool play, to absolute broken hearts in the US as their journey ends after a record breaking performance by goaltender Tim Howard, it’s easy to see that this year’s world cup is one of remembrance. We head down to Brazil where we set the stage for the final 8 teams as they contend for the title.

As we are nearing the finals for this year’s World Cup, Brazil is taking the field with force. The home field advantage has given them an extra boost to their confidence and mentality of dominating the basin of green grass in hope of winning in their home country. The team has an impressive resume having reached the final stage seven times, more than a third of the World Cups held. Out of these seven appearances, Brazil has locked five championships under their belt with 2002 being their most recent. With this grand history behind Brazil, the mindsets are locked in and gleaming with a fiery rage to grasp the cup. The most notable player of the Brazil team is young Neymar da Silva Santos Junior. Sparking his team with the first goal of the cup, it was easy to see why he is the star of Brazil. He plays with an intense speed, smooth and silky handling skills and a shot that can pin point a target like a sniper rifle. Behind him are players such as Hulk, Fred, Oscar and Luiz, all of which are all-stars on their respected teams outside the Cup. Brazil is the favourite to win but other teams are looking to knock them off so that they may be the ones who come out as victors.

One team that has Brazil set in their target is Colombia. This young team has started the World Cup in style, having their best play in the pool ever. Being a very talented team scoring wise, and having a strong presence on defense, they have outscored their opponents 11-2 so far. The team is led by players such as midfielder James Rodriguez, goal scorers Teofilo Gutierrez and Jackson Martinez and defensive captain Mario Yepes. The Colombians are looking to knock Brazil out in what is going to be one of the most exciting and thrilling matches in the quarter finals. This match is the start of a new rivalry in South America and will be one of the matches you do not want to miss.

The graph below, conducted by the Yellowfin team using our very own software, shows the goal differential amongst the remaining teams. Illustrated are the numbers between the amount of goals scored and the amount of goals given up. For example- Colombia leads this category with having scored 11 goals. The amount of goals against is 2. As you can see by the graph, they are ranked first with a difference of 9 followed by the Netherlands, France and so forth. This stat is unique because it catches both sides of the field. Offensively, in a way, is shown by how many goals a team has scored and defensively in the sense that the higher the difference, the better your team is playing on the defense.

On the bottom half of the bracket lies Germany and France. Germany, who is arguably one of the best teams in the world, if not the best, moved through as a number one seed in a very competitive pool with USA, Portugal and Ghana. Germany, like Brazil, has a very good background, to show they are not a team to take lightly. They have also reached the finals stage seven times, but only wield three championships. They started their first game stronger than ever with goal scorer Thomas Muller claiming the first hat-trick of the tournament against Portugal. In this same game, they showed their defensive ability by shutting down one of the most dominant players in the game, Christiano Ronaldo.

Facing this other favored team in Germany is France. This will make for yet another thriller of a Quarter game. The two European teams won their pool play and have been shutting teams down left and right. It’s easy to say that Germany is the favourite in this match but France is looking to pull the upset and shock viewers. France has made it to the final four five times so far with one championship in 1998. Their most recent run, in 2006, resulted in their hopes being crushed by Italy when it came down to a penalty shoot-out where they were outscored 5-3. Their hopes are high for this tournament and they’re looking for redemption. Keep your eyes out for this team as this could be the upset of the tourney.

The last four remaining teams include the reigning runner-ups Netherlands, shocking Costa Rica, power house Argentina and the on fire team of Belgium. The Netherlands have had arguably the toughest schedule so far in this cup and haven’t lost a single match yet. Behind all-stars Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, The Netherlands have put up 11 goals and shut out a strong team in Chile. They started the Cup off looking for vengeance against their last opponent from four years ago, Spain. The Dutch came out strong and showed that they weren’t going to lose again. The outcome was 5-1 in favor of the Netherlands. They continued to bring this power and talent to the next game where they had a close one against the underdogs of Australia. They came out on top 3-2 with a game winning goal in the 68th minute by Depay. Persie and Robben also tallied a goal each. As they moved through the group stage, they had what would be their most difficult challenge yet, Mexico. This game was back and forth, and through the whole match Mexico seemed to have the game on lock down as they reached the final minutes with a lead of 1-0. But out of nowhere, the crowd erupted as Wesley Sneijder scored in the 88th minute. The game continued into extra minutes where the incredible happened, in the 94th minute, Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored. The stadium exploded with cheering as the Netherlands won the game. This set the stage for the quarters where they take on the Costa Rican team who made it past pool play but barely past the round of 16 against Greece.

Costa Rica isn’t the most powerful of teams, but have a lot of grit and play with a lot of heart. They are led by prominent players, Bryan Ruiz and Keylor Novas. Out of all the teams left in the bracket, Costa Rica has the smallest of odds to move on. Look for this game to be a competitive one and possibly a Cinderella upset.

The match up of the Quarters belong to the unbeaten, Argentina and Belgium. With Argentina being led by Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, it would normally be safe to say they have the match on lock down, but not this game. Marouane Fellani and the Belgium team are on a hot streak as they come out of pool play undefeated and beat a very tough and heart filled US team on Wednesday in the round of 16. Their hopes are high but their confidence are even higher. Out of all the quarter-games this year, this may be the most competitive one. Belgium is looking to make only their second appearance in the round of four and looking to go even further to reach their first final. They have a tough road ahead against the Argentina team.

This is a great year for the World Cup and all teams within it. Many hearts have been broken for teams like the US and Mexico, but others look to strengthen theirs as they continue towards the final game. Players are giving all they have, blood, sweat and tears, out on the field and are leaving us, the fans, with an even greater feeling of nerves and anxiousness as we watch our favourite countries battle on the field. The quarters are where streaks start and where performances will not be forgotten.

Can Neymar bring the cup to his home crowd? Can Messi claim his title as best soccer player in the world? Will Germany strip the cup from the grasps of the Brazil?

No matter the outcome, the 2014 Fifa World Cup is one for the books. Throw your jerseys on and choose a team, because history will be made as this will be one of the most exciting and memorable Fifa World Cups to watch.

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