Netherlands vs Costa Rica Preview
On paper, it might seem like the easiest prediction of all 4 quarter final matches you can make, but think again. With stunners happening at every point in this World Cup, you simply have to sit back and grasp whatever is happening on the pitch. We are all in for hell of a ride.
COSTA RICA – REMEMBER THE NAME
Who would’ve expected in their wildest of dreams that Costa Rica would top the infamous Group of Death, let alone qualify? For the entire team spanning the entire squad, staff and their fans included; it must be one big fairy tale run. The Los Ticos entered the competition with the confidence and aura most nations should be looking to project. Such is their spirit on and off the pitch, delivering what is required of them and getting the job done.
Up until this moment in the tournament, every game for the Costa Ricans has been tough, considering their opponents. Being ranked no. 28 in the entire world, taking down Italy and Uruguay in back to back matches and holding down their fort against a helpless England side is absolutely incredible. Moving onto the pre quarters, their next team were the Greeks, who also managed to qualify in their group on the last match-day. Of course, as it stood, Costa Rica were in a better condition to oust Greece from the World Cup and they did just that when matters were taken to penalty shootouts. Their first 5 penalty takers were spot on while Greece failed to convert two of their 5, pushing the Los Ticos to the quarter finals.
Bryan Ruiz has been one of the star performers for his side. An additional responsibility as captain has brightened his game to a whole new level. In the 4 matches thus far, he’s snatched up 2 important goals out of the entire 5 goals his team has scored in this competition till this point. He has been phenomenal, making brilliant runs into the box and providing those much need through balls to Joel Campbell, who has also been on fire from the start. His pace is something to look out for. He can shrug of defenders in the heat of action and put the ball in the area of openness or simply make a dart towards the box. Statistically speaking, he’s made 11 successful solo runs into the area which is fantastic.
DESTRUCTIVE AND READY – NETHERLANDS
Louis van Gaal has his team prepared and ready for the thrill of playing good football against a side that has proven their worth by far in this year’s World Cup. The Oranje have been the most dominating of teams in the 32 squads that arrived in Brazil two weeks ago. Those horrible memories of the 2010 World Cup must be still lingering in the back of every Holland fan’s mind and likewise every player’s mind. They’re back and here to demolish anything that comes between them and the trophy.
With the likes of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie to lead the squad, everyone’s expectations for the country are sky high. After stellar performances against Spain and Chile in the group stages to edging out a solid Australian side, the Netherlands had annihilated every team, topped their group with the maximum numbers of points, striding into the pre quarters where they went up against a revised Mexico side. Ochoa, their God-mode goalkeeper was impeccable and only a last minute bust from Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder propelled the game into extra time where a debatable penalty was awarded to the Dutch. At that point, failure was not an option and Huntelaar put the ball where it belonged and here they finally are.
Sneijder will play a key role in this match. His vision and clear cut passes are what Holland need at this stage of the World Cup. Also Robben will be the designated winger-striker drifter and will look to take his goal tally to the highest point, as well as Robin van Persie. Nigel de Jong won’t be available for this match after grabbing an injury in the match against Mexico.
Netherlands vs Costa Rica Lineups:
Netherlands: Cillessen, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, Van Persie (c), Sneijder, Robben, Kuyt, Wijnaldum, Depay
Costa Rica: Navas, Acosta, Gonzalez, Umana, Borges, Bolanos, Campbell, Ruiz (c), Diaz, Gamboa, Tejeda
Netherlands vs Costa Rica Match Facts:
- Costa Rica are unbeaten in 4 WC games for the very first time.
- Netherlands have won 10 of their last 11 WC matches, with the only blip in this run being their 2010 final defeat against Spain.
- This will be the first ever meeting between the Dutch and Costa Rica.
- Seven different players have score for the Netherlands at this WC.
- Sneijder has played more WC games than any other Dutchman. (15)
Facts compiled from Dailymail.
Netherlands vs Costa Rica Prediction:
Netherlands 3 – 2 Costa Rica