FIFA 2014 Quarter Finals Predictions: Match #60 Netherlands vs. Costa Rica

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 1, 2014 9:16 AM EST

Final Score

Netherlands 4 Costa Rica 3 (Score after 120 Minutes 0:0)

REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
Netherlands' Robin Van Persie plays with his daughter Dina after a training session in Rio de Janeiro June 30, 2014, the day after their 2014 World Cup round of 16 match win against Mexico.

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Overview

Match number 60 is the fourth and final quarter final match.  The Netherlands won against Mexico during the last moments of the full time of the match to enter the quarter finals while Costa Rica defeated Greece in the penalty shoot-out.

Teams

The Netherlands: The Dutch have looked strong in this tournament, one of the strongest in group stages. Robin Van Persie's army looked invincible in their first three matches. Many already assumed the Netherlands to be the next world champion. However, its journey halted briefly when it faced Mexico in the "Round of 16." It was Mexico that scored first and took a 1-0 lead. The North American team was minutes away from going to the quarter-finals when Wesley Sneijder's equaliser brought the Dutch back to the game at the 88th minute of the match. This has been a world cup of last minute goals but no other team suffered such heartbreak like Mexico. While it was assumed that the match was heading towards the extra-time, Arjen Robben was fouled in the penalty box rather unnecessarily. Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored it for his team at the 94th minute and saved the day for the European giant. Now they will face Costa Rica, a team best known in this tournament as the giant-killers.

Costa Rica: One may wonder if Costa Rica's best performance comes only against the bigger oppositions. Nobody really talked about Costa Rica when Group D was discussed. It was more engaging to talk about which team would survive the "group of death:" Italy, Uruguay or England. The Central American team was written off even before the tournament had started. Neither Italy nor Uruguay nor England was able to beat Costa Rica which finished on top of the group table with 2 wins and 1 draw. However, its performance against a relatively weaker team like Greece was questionable. It failed to score in the first half. It could penetrate the Greek defence only once. It was Bryan Ruiz who scored the only goal by Costa Rica in normal time. The Greek refused to die as Socratis Papastathopoulos scored the equaliser at the 91st minute. Thanks to a fabulous save by Keylor Navas, Costa Rica won 5-3. However, the Netherlands will probably not judge this team by its performance against Greece as the Dutch are aware how lethal it can be against European biggies.

Head to Head

These two teams never played against each other before.

Key Players

Netherlands: Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder

Costa Rica: Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz

Date, Time & Venue

Brazil's time zone is UTC/GMT -3. The match starts at 5 pm (local time) on July 5, which means it is 6 am on July 6 in New South Wales, Australia. The match will be held at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

Prediction

Costa Rica will play better than what it did against Greece. It will be able to defend well against the Dutch goal-scorer. However, the Dutch will outdo Costa Rica and win it 2-0.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes / )
Netherlands' Robin Van Persie plays with his daughter Dina after a training session in Rio de Janeiro June 30, 2014, the day after their 2014 World Cup round of 16 match win against Mexico.
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