The group stage is over, the round of 16 washed; quarterfinals have just simmered down and now on to the crescendo. The opening rounds of the World Cup gave many spectators the lure they wanted, especially here in the United States. Even after the elimination of the US Men's National Team to Belgium, the magic of the World Cup has enthralled many merely by watching the superstars perform. The time has come to the final four in the tournament with Brazil taking on Germany and Argentina will be taking on the Netherlands. In some ways these giants were thought to make it this far in the tournament now.
The next game Tuesday will be the large semifinal between the hosts Brazil and Germany. The quarterfinal on how both teams reached the semifinal were both tricky and unfortunately for Brazil their quarterfinal result is rather more pyrrhic than decisive. The match up Germany had in the earlier game on Friday was against France. Both Germany and France showed their dominance in the group stage; also they showed how they could also stutter. France in the group entertained a very drool 0-0 match against Ecuador in the group; Germany also had a tough but also very thrilling 2-2 draw against Ghana in the group stages. Although the Germans at times this tournament looked a bit slow, they have been physical enough to get the job done. Germany had a tough ordeal to get as far as they have, 1-0 against France after 90 minutes and stretched to 2-1 after extra time against Algeria.
Brazil on the other hand entertained two tough South American opponents in the knockout phase of the tournament. The match against Chile stretched the hosts, being forced to play 120 minutes and take the game to a stressful penalty kick showdown. Which Brazil emerged victorious over the Chileans after Chile, Brazil faced a tough much-hyped Colombia, who was led by the young talisman James Rodriguez. The match against Colombia pushed and beaten the Brazilians physically but the score board had a different story. The Selecao found themselves ahead in the early stages of the match after Thiago Silva struck home a goal off a set piece. David Luiz would add the second from a beautifully taken free kick to make the dreams of many Brazilians come to a possibility. Despite conceding a penalty kick later in the match Brazil was able to withstand the onslaught and prevailed 2-1.
Although there are some notes to take into the Selecao's semifinal against Germany on Tuesday. Brazil will be without Thiago Silva, who is rated as one of the best defenders in the world today. Thiago Silva is suspended for the semifinal game against Germany for an accumulation of yellow cards. Thiago Silva is not the only player who will not be able to play in the semifinal; Neymar suffered a broken vertebra after being kneed in the back by Colombia's Zuniga. Neymar will not only be out of the semifinal but more than likely done for the remainder of the tournament. A broken vertebra is a rather serious matter, if one were to watch his post match video and saw how rigid the young man looked. It's a rather serious injury that will set both Neymar and Brazil back a bit.
Brazil will now take on the strong and physical Germany, who although had a few hiccups in qualifying in the knockout rounds against both Algeria and France. The Germans will be definitely looking forward to this match since it’s more than evident the advantage does goes to Germany. Two large questions loom over Brazil and their national team for the semifinal. Who will score the goals with Neymar out with a broken vertebra? Who will lock up the defense with Thiago Silva on suspension? Heads will now turn to Fred and Hulk in the form of attack to cover for the injured Neymar. The pressure has also fallen onto possibly Dante the Bayern Munich defender who unfortunately hasn't played his tournament but perhaps does know a thing or two in regards to the against some of his team mates at Bayern Munich.
The World Cup is slowly coming to an end, although hope is somewhat dwindling for the home side. Another factor to take into account in the first semifinal match, the twelfth man will more than likely be out in force. Brazilians will be behind their team, their Selecao, even though on paper Germany might enjoy being considered the favorite. Average Brazilians know what is at stake in this clash of titans Tuesday, one thing is also for sure the world and all of Brazil will be on pause for those possible two hours. The tension and stress that will be exhibited in this matchup will be one for the history books of sporting events.
Who would want to let these fans down?!?!