There remains two matches of the 20th edition of the World Cup. One for third place between hosts Brazil and the Netherlands. The other is the showpiece match – the final between Germany and Argentina.
‘Embarrassing’, ‘Catastrophic’, ‘A disgrace’ were just a few of the headlines coming out of Brazil following their side’s 7-1 mauling by Germany in Belo Horizonte.
It was a scoreline nobody was expecting and a it rocked the world of football.
Without Neymar and captain Thiago Silva Brazil collapsed into a second rate team – a well organized Germany side took full advantage to hand the hosts their biggest ever World Cup defeat.
While the football-crazy host nation were left licking multiple deep wounds Germany move on to their eighth World Cup final and will face Argentina.
In stark contrast to the Germany Brazil game – the other semi between Argentina and the Netherland’s was dull.
After 120 lacklustre minutes the South Americans went on to win the tie 4-2 on penalties, which was the only thrilling moment of the game in Sao Paulo.
The match will go down in the record books as the first World Cup semi-final to finish goalless after extra time – not the best of bragging rights.
The result was a fourth win in five World Cup shootouts for Argentina, who will meet Joachim Loew’s Germany in a repeat of the 1986 and ’90 finals.
Pointless third place play-off
The match for third place is not the favourite of Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal who is unhappy of contesting a game that he describes as ‘unfair’ and pointless.
It will be his last game in charge before being replaced at the helm of the national team by Guus Hiddink.
The third place playoff was introduced in 1934 and slowly but surely it has become a game few want to play.
Although Van Gaal is not relishing the fact of playing it, it will be much harder for his Brazil counterpart Luiz Felipe Scolari who would probably prefer to take a long holiday far from his homeland right now. A sentiment no doubt shared by his squad.
But if some kind of honour is to be restored it must be done quickly after their semi-final humiliation by Germany meaning Brazil are playing a must win game the Dutch would rather skip entirely.
Nigeria joins Suarez in FIFA doghouse
FIFA has suspended Nigeria from international football because of government interference.
Soon after Nigeria’s Last-16 defeat by France the country’s high court ruled that the federation would cease to run the national team, handing over the role to a government civil servant.
A definite no no for World football’s governing body whose rules stipulate that member associations are to manage their own affairs with no influence from third parties.
The blanket ban means no Nigerian team, including club sides, can play internationally.
The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and officials have been properly elected to the federation.
Luis Suarez knows a little bit about FIFA punishment and on Thursday had his ban from all football-related activity upheld after losing his appeal.
The Liverpool striker bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s final group stage game on June 24.
He was consequently banned for four months and nine competitive international matches.
Despite FIFA rejecting the appeal filed by the Uruguayan Football Association Suarez can take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.