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Brazil faces Chile

Rashneel Kumar
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SO the first two matches in top 16 elimination rounds in the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been decided.

Brazil's 4-1 win over Cameroon early yesterday had guaranteed the host the top spot in Group A and the side will take on Chile which finished second in Group B after losing to Netherlands 0-2.

The Louis Van Gaal-coached Dutch will face Mexico in the second knockout match after the latter defeated Croatia 3-1 to finish second in Group A.

While Brazil and Mexico's qualification was anticipated although Croatia was a bit favoured over the Mexicans, many predicted defending champions Spain would join Netherlands from Group B into top 16 competition. But the Spanish bashing at the hands of Netherlands and the surprise loss to Chile resulted in their shock exit from the World Cup.

Spain, however, managed to get its first win after beating Australia 3-0 yesterday.

It's a dream run really for the Mexicans. They had a scrappy run in the World Cup qualification and only booked its place in the tournament after beating Panama through Graham Zusi's goal in injury time.

New manager Miguel Herrera has done a tremendous job with the side since taking over and has made them serious contenders of the World Cup title. Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa will be their main man in the knockout stage.

Mexico last played in the World Cup quarter-final in 1986. Will this be their year?

Netherlands, probably one of the unluckiest teams in the World Cup, made its intention clear after thumping Spain 5-1 in the opening group match.

With world class players such as Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie spearheading the attack, the Dutch has everything it need to win their first-ever World Cup title.

Robben with talented players around in the German club Bayern Munich has proved unstoppable and with the support of Van Persie upfront, the deadly duo are set to do a lot of damage to their opposition in the knockout stage.

Coach Van Gaal is a master tactician and has done well to ease through to the next stage.

Brazil, the pre-tournament favourites after Spain, is always on top of their game in World Cup.

They have won the event for the record five times and with the home support, the side should be able to advance into the quarters.

Chile is riding hot and after its win over Spain, the side has proved to be the giant killers of this World Cup.

Today, Italy will face Uruguay in a crunch decider followed by already qualified Costa Rica versus England match.

Colombia will play Japan followed by Greece and Ivory Coast match.

Off the field, here are the 10 most expensive teams in the World Cup from Forbes.

1. Brazil team is worth about F$1.3 billion and Neymar is the most expensive at $159.2m.

2. Spain - $1.2b. Andres Iniesta - $135.7m.

3. Argentina - $1.18b. Lionel Messi - $295m.

4. Germany - $1.125b. Mario Gotze - $110.5m.

5. France - $1.005b. Paul Pogba - $110.5m.

6. England - $893.5m. Wayne Rooney - $110.5m.

7. Belgium - $848.1m. Edin Hazard - $110.5m.

8. Italy - $813.7m. Mario Balotelli - $74.3m.

9. Portugal - $724.9m. Cristiano Ronaldo - $246.5m.

10. Russia - $474.8m. Igor Akinfeev - $48.9m.

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