Four matches remain in the FIFA World Cup. France will face Belgium, and England will face Croatia. The winners of these matches will play in the finals. Another match will occur prior to the final to determine who comes in third place. The big question is, who will win it all?
Although this World Cup has been unpredictable with Spain and Germany's early departure; I think I can somewhat infer who will win it all. I think it will come down to either France or Belgium. Croatia has been a very good team but it is quite unlikely for them to win given the fact that they are facing against England. Croatia played quite well in the group stages but struggled later on. That leaves England, France and Belgium. I don't think England can win it, they lost to Belgium and just using a bit of logic, the winner of the Belgium/France match should theoretically beat England. This leaves us with Belgium and France. Now, this get's a little tough.
I can't quite say with certainty who will win it, but I can go with my gut. Based on previous games and the overall potential of these teams, I think France will win their second world cup. But Belgium will put up a great fight. So there you have it. The final ranks are listed below. Ironically, Belgium will be ranked lower than England even though Belgium is clearly better based on their previous encounter.
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The final match of the quarterfinals between Russia and Croatia was intense. Though the beginning was not particularity eventful, once the first goals were scored, the match's intensity increased exponentially. Russia put up a tremendous fight and kept the Croatian side on their heels, yet, it was not enough to advance. Croatia was the dominant side in possession, pass accuracy and overall play-making. The game did not really pick up until the 31st minute where Russia scored. Minutes later, Croatia replied back. It was all tied up heading towards the second half. Right near the end of the second half, a good opportunity for Croatia came up, but they lost it. This one was going to extra time.
After 10 minutes of extra time, Croatia scored! Russia was now on the verge of elimination. The pressure could be felt, and the room that was defined by a mix of joy and happiness quickly turned into anxiety. Until, late in the second half, Russia scored! They equalized. The player who scored was actually Brazilian by birth. After 120 minutes, the game was going to be decided by penalty kicks.
Croatia ultimately came out victorious by a small margin. Russia played very well however, and to make it this far is quite an accomplishment.
The semi-finals quick off on Tuesday as Belgium take on France, and continue on Wednesday with a match between Croatia and England. These final matches will be extremely exciting. Follow me on Instagram to stay up to date as I post videos and stories covering the world cup. @omsol9
Today we will find out which teams will join Belgium and France in the semi-finals. England is facing off against Sweden and Russia will face off against Croatia.
England and Sweden played a very tight game, but England proved to be the more powerful force from the start. They scored two goals against the Swedish side and will advance to the semi-finals.
Croatia and Russia faced off later in the day. Russia barely made it past Spain, and Croatia is arguably a stronger force. I think Croatia will win this one.
Today marks the start of the quarterfinals, where the top 8 teams face off for a chance to make it one step closer to the finals.
Earlier today, France faced off against a strong Uruguay. France were the favourites from the start. The absence of Uruguay's striker Cavani have France an even bigger advantage. Giroud came in and delivered for the French. A beautiful header by Griezmann towards the goal gave France the lead. 60th minute France scores again. France ultimately wins it advancing to the semi-finals and eliminating Uruguay. They will join either Belgium or Brazil in the semi-finals.
Belgium, though a very tough force, barely made it past Japan. They were now up against a much more powerful opponent. Belgium has been improving steadily and boy did they show their true colors here. They beat the Brazilian side! Yes, you heard that right! 12 minutes in, a deflection by the Brazilian defense leads to a goal by Belgium. Then, in the 31st minute, Belgium scores again! Just when it seemed set in stone, Brazil scores. Now, they have to make something happen. With only 15 minutes left, Brazil needed to score. Many good attempts were made but nothing could result from them. Belgium ultimately took this game. This Belgium side has played exceptionally well, I am looking forward to their match against France!
Brazil also played very well. I would like to take a more in depth analysis of Neymar as a player and person. Neymar was born in the slums of Brazil. He was quite poor and faced a lot of obstacles on his way to become one of the best soccer players in the world. At the age of 4 months, he nearly died; an oncoming vehicle collided with the family car and injured Neymar. It is quite interesting to see a person like this who came from very difficult life circumstances rise to the occasion and make it so far. Although, Brazil did not advance, they will still go down in history as one of the best teams with one of the best players.
England is back! The game was all tied up until the 57th minute where the Colombian player held onto Harry Kane preventing him from getting the ball. This game the English side a penalty kick that was shot in. This one seemed to be going to England. Yet, in the 93rd minute, Colombia made magic and scored it in on a corner kick. The game went on to extra time and ultimately penalty kicks. England finished the job making them advance to the quarter finals.
Sweden and Switzerland faced off hours later. This one was very close but ultimately the Swedish side prevailed. Now, the quarter finals are set. We have 8 teams left, and four matches between them. Here is how the bracket looks:
It seems like Mexico always has trouble advancing to the quarter finals. The infamous " Quinto Partido Curse" keeps preventing Mexico from advancing to the quarter finals. This will be their 7th time in a row, losing at the round of 16. Granted, they faced off against a very powerful Brazilian team. The game was very intense from the beginning. But, Brazil held a clear advantageous over Mexico, ultimately winning 2-0. Brazil will now advance and face off either Belgium or Japan.
Hours later, Belgium faced off against the last remaining Asian team, Japan. Japan came in playing great from the start. No goals until the second half, Genki Haraguchi comes in and shoots it in for Japan. Minutes later, Takashi Inui scores for Japan, giving Japan a huge lead with only 40 minutes left. Then, a huge comeback happened. The 69th minute, Belgium scores. There were only 20 minutes left however. Could Belgium tie it up in time? Yes, they did! Fellaini scored leaving both sides with two. In the 94th minute, all hell broke loose, Belgium scored and finished the deal. The Japanese side played exceptionally well however. I could see them be a big threat in the future if they continue to improve like this. Belgium however, came out the better team.
Belgium will now face off against Brazil. This will be a very close game, but I will have to go with the underdogs here and give it to Belgium.
Happy Sunday! And Happy Canada day!
Today was historical; I never thought these FIFA matches would be so close. The day started out with the 2010 FIFA world cup champions facing off against the hosts, Russia. Initially, it seemed as if Spain would come out victorious, but as the game progressed, I realized that Russia had a very good chance at winning it. And they did just that.
12 minutes in, Sergei Ignashevich accidentally deflects the ball in giving Spain the upper hand. Spain was leading this game until the arrival of Artem Dzyuba who scored a penalty shot in. The game continued until neither side was able to make something happen. This one went to extra time. Even then, nothing was happening. After the end of extra time, a penalty shoot-out was next on the list.
This was Russia’s first penalty shoot-out. Andrés Iniesta from Spain scored first. Russia however, responded right back. The game was now tied. Spain’s Piqué scored the next one. Russia responded right back. The game went on until Spain missed their third shot. Russia however scored their third and was now on the verge of advancing. Spain takes their fourth shot and hits it in, tying the game up. Then, Russia responded right back with their fourth goal.
Spain had to hit the next one in, otherwise they were out. Iago Aspas came in determined to do just that. In fact, he was very close if it was not for the “big foot” of the Russian goalie. Right when the ball was going towards the net, the foot of the Russian goalie made contact with the ball moving it far from the goal. Russia came out victorious and boys were they happy! This was the first time the Russian team advanced to the quarterfinals since the breakup of the Soviet Union!
Hours later, Croatia was up against Denmark. Just when I was about to go and grab a drink, Mathias Jørgensen scored for Denmark at the first minute of the match. Minutes later, Mario Mandžukić of Croatia comes in with the equalizer. Then there was silence. No goal was scored and even after 90 minutes of play and extra time, the game remained tied at 1-1. This match was also going to penalty kicks. A very close finish and a final goal by Croatia propelled them forward to the quarter finals.
Denmark and Spain were eliminated. Now, we will see Croatia, a former member of Yugoslavia(part of the Eastern bloc) face off against the Russians. This one will be very interesting. We know one thing for sure; one of them will place in the top four.
Tomorrow there will be two interesting matches. Mexico v. Brazil and Belgium v. Japan. I think the Mexico v. Brazil match will be very close, but I have to give this one to Brazil. The match between Belgium and Japan should be a clear victory for Belgium, although Japan has played quite well in the past so you never know.