|World Cup 2014|
||vs|| Costa Rica
ScheduleSaturday, 5 July 2014 at 20:00 GMT / 21:00 UK / 01:30 IST
VenueArena Fonte Nova (Salvador)
Next Saturday, the former European champions Holland will take on the surprising Costa Rica team at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on what will be the second World Cup Quarter-Finals match of the day.
After easily winning their group, Holland almost suffered a major setback last Sunday at the hands of Mexico. The Central American team put up a quality performance, especially during the first 60 minutes of the match, and forced the Dutch side to battle until the dying moments of the match in order to avoid extra-time and what would have been a very sour defeat. Holland struggled to fit their team into Mexico’s hybrid 5-3-2 formation and after Gio dos Santos’ goal early in the second-half, things got even more complicated. Van Gaal understood what was wrong with his team and implemented some changes on his recent “conservative” approach, but his team only reached the equalizer on the 88’ minute thanks to a powerful shot by Wesley Sneijder. Two minutes later, the Portuguese referee pointed to the penalty spot after an alleged late tackle from Rafa Márquez on Arjen Robben. Huntelaar seemed, however, above all the controversy regarding the alleged late tackle and he scored, giving Holland the ticket to the Quarter-Finals.
For the match against Costa Rica, Louis Van Gaal will not be able to count on the contribution of the all-terrain midfielder De Jong, who will certainly lose the rest of the tournament due to injury.
As for Costa Rica, the match against Holland will mark their debut at a World Cup’s Quarter-Finals, since in the past they have only went as far as the Round of 16 stage in 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Costa Rica is by far the most pleasant surprise of the tournament, especially because they managed to finish at the top of their group with three powerful teams such as England, Italy and Uruguay behind them. Last Sunday, the Costa Rican team managed to eliminate another European team on the Round of 16 stage. Los Ticos sent Greece home after the penalty shootout, which topped a match where the Greek side was better but failed to materialize their dominance into goals especially because of Keylor Navas’ outstanding display.
For the match against the Netherlands, Jorge Luis Pinto will not be able to count on the contribution of Oscar Duarte, who was sent off on the match against Greece last Sunday.
Despite their less impressive performance against Mexico, Holland are firm favourites for next Saturday’s match.
Stats: W-5 L-0 D-0
Recent Form - WWWWW
Stats: W-3 L-0 D-2
Recent Form - WDWWD
The Netherlands (5-3-2) - Cillessen - Janmaat - Blind - Vlaar - Wijnaldum - De Vrij - Martins Indi - Fer - Sneijder - Robben - Van Persie
Costa Rica (4-3-3) - Keylor Navas - Y. Tejeda - Giancarlo Gonzalez - Acosta - Michael Umana - Junior Diaz - Gamboa - B. Ruiz - Bolaños - Joel Campbell