Netherlands vs Costa Rica: Battle Of Styles

Out of their previous four FIFA World Cup™ appearances this is the best display to date by Costa Rica as they are in the quarter-finals for the first time in their history after a penalty shootout against Greece in a match that ended 1-1 after extra time.  The Netherlands secured their spot after a late Arjen Robben goal before Klaas Jan Huntelaar slotted a 94th minute penalty against Mexico.  In a nutshell, both teams had to wrestle their way to the quarters.

Arena Fonte Nova will play host to this rare encounter; a first between these two teams.  The Oranje stamped their authority and started sending a message to all participants with a 5-1 victory over defending champions Spain in their opening match.  From there on they bagged two more victories; a 3-2 win against Australia and a 2-0 victory over Chile.

The Costa Ricans surprised everyone with a 3-1 victory over Uruguay.  As if that was not enough they went on to defeat Italy 1-0 and secured a 0-0 draw against England to ensure they topped group D without a scratch.  This was a surprising display by a side that on paper was eliminated before even kicking the ball.

With football being the least logical game on Earth, Jorge Luis Pinto’s Los Ticos are now in the quarter finals after they defeated the Greeks 5-3 on penalties having held on despite having only ten men on the pitch for the most part of the match.  Goals for the Oranje have been coming from just about everyone; Leroy Fer, Memphis Depay and Stefan De Vrij to mention a few of the lesser expected goal scorers.  As expected, Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben are at their peak netting six goals between them.

Costa Rica will count more on the heroics of goalkeeper Keylor Navas and their captain Bryan Ruiz who has scored two of his side’s five goals at this tournament.  This is a battle between two sides with different qualities.  The Oranje are a free scoring side with 12 goals in four games and will be looking to score against the highly defensive Costa Ricans.  Louis Van Gaal might have to do without the services of Nigel De Jong who suffered an injury ten minutes into the match against Mexico but his technical approaches are yet to disappoint.