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Battle of the best

Rahsneel Kumar
Tuesday, July 08, 2014

BANG!

That's how explosive this World Cup semi-finals will be. B for Brazil, A for Argentina, N for Netherlands and G for Germany. Even the teams battling it out in the top four hinting you that. BANG!

Host Brazil will take on Germany in the first semis tomorrow at 8am followed by Argentina versus Netherlands match on Thursday.

From the start, the Joachim Löw-coached Germany were one of the favourites to win this World Cup.

This is the fourth consecutive time Germany has qualified for the World Cup semi-finals.

The Germans which have one of the most formidable squads play efficiently and near completely upfront and with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer guarding their goal, the team is defensively sound as well.

Brazil isn't the favourite hunting ground for the European nations, only South Americans have hoisted the World Cup title there. So Germany will be up against history as well when they face Brazil tomorrow.

For Brazil, Neymar's injury has left their attack crippled but Luiz Felipe Scolari have players on bench who are capable of filling the void left by the 22-year-old. They might be no match for Neymar but they are the best of the millions of talented footballers the country has.

Brazil has the best World Cup winning record having won the title four times. The last time the country hosted the World Cup was 1950 when the team made it all the way to the final, only to be upset by Uruguay in a match that somehow still haunts the country. The expectation is high among the fans and the team knows this well. Brazil hasn't played impressively so far but they are still the hometown favourite.

Germany has a slight edge over Brazil and no doubt, favourites to win this semis.

Well, there is no question that we might be lucky enough to be seeing one of the best World Cups in modern history but that hasn't stopped us from watching a few stinkers that make us wonder how we can get those wasted 90 minutes back (spoiler alert: you can't).

And so, for your viewing unenjoyment, CBC Sports looks at the worst matches at the 2014 World Cup (so far). Please do not look at the highlights for reference.

Iran-Nigeria, group phase

Score: 0-0

Why it was garbage: Iran did what it normally does, and sat back. Nigeria took advantage by doing nothing of note.

France-Germany, quarter-finals

Score: 1-0 Germany

Why it was garbage: France got nervous, Germany got defensive, and the first real heavyweight match up of the tournament was a major dud.

Costa Rica-England, group phase

Score: 0-0

Why it was garbage: A tournament-low 12 attempts on goal. England didn't care because it wanted to catch the early flight home. Costa Rica didn't care because it was already through to the knockout round. Nobody else cared because Luis Suarez bit someone while this match was on.

Any match involving Russia, group phase

Scores: 1-1 vs. South Korea, 0-1 vs. Belgium, 1-1 vs. Algeria.

Why they were garbage: Slow, plodding style focused on keeping 11 men in their third of the field. No imagination on offence. A parliamentary inquiry is forthcoming (this is not made up).


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