The FIFA World Cup™ 2014 has reached the business end with the final four teams all set for battle. It is the clash of the titans when host nation Brazil takes on Germany in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday. These two teams have played each other on 26 occasions with the Brazillians in the lead by 14 wins to six.
Both teams topped their respective groups but recorded a draw each in the process. The Selecao began their tournament against Croatia. The Croats took the lead through an early Marcelo own goal before Neymar scored two goals to seal the win.
The host nation put in a less than convincing performance against Mexico playing out to a draw. They found their feet going on to win their final group game against Cameroon 4-1. The Germans comfortably dismantled Portugal 4-0 with Thomas Muller scoring a hat-trick.
The Europeans were held to a draw by Ghana but recovered by beating the USA in their final group game. The knockout stages saw both teams needing extra time and for the Selecao a penalty shootout to defeat their opponents, Chile. Brazil found themselves on the back foot as Alexis Sanchez gave La Roja the lead but they soon equalised through a goal from David Luiz.
At the end of the 90 minutes it was deadlocked at 1-1 and there was no change after extra time resulting in a penalty shootout which the home side won 3-2. Joachim Low’s men were held to a goalless draw by Algeria in 90 minutes and needed extra time to come through with a 2-1 victory in their Last 16 clash. In the quarter-finals both teams came through comfortably defeating their respective opponents.
The Canarinhos faced Colombia in a mouth watering tie which was set up as one to watch. The Brazilian skipper Thiago Silva put his side in the lead and David Luiz extended their lead with a sublime free kick. The Colombians got a late consolation goal through a James Rodriguez penalty but were unable to overcome the host nation as they ran out 2-1 victors.
A Mats Hummels header gave the Mannschaft the lead against France and went on to be the goal that sent them into the semi-finals. Both teams are blessed with strength going forward with talent in the midfield. However Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men are without their top goal scorer Neymar who was injured in their quarter-final match against Los Cafeteros but they do still have a few candidates that can hit the back of the net.
The Germans are equally blessed with Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze and Hummels just to name a few. In terms of discipline the Germans have four cautions and are lucky not to have any suspensions going into the final four. Brazil have ten cautions and are without their skipper Silva who received a second yellow of the tournament against Colombia.
This is a definite battle that could go either way with both teams hoping to get into the final of the world football showpiece. The host nation will have the majority of support with an entire nation behind them but the Germans will have a number of supporters who have travelled across to help their team over the line.
Astonishingly the two most successful teams in the history of the tournament are meeting for only the second time in its 84-year history. The lone previous occasion was in Japan in 2002 when the South Americans overcame the Germans 2-0 in the final. On that day Scolari was Brazil’s coach. How much of a good omen could that turn out to be?