The only true way to sum up Germany's 7-1 massacre of Brazil is with the old idiom "when it rains it pours." Boy, did the Brazilians need their trench coats last night, because the Germans flat out dominated the game from start to finish. Brazil certainly missed the injured superstar Neymar and their team captain Thiago Silva, but nothing could have saved them from the 5-0 hole they dug just 30 minutes into the match. For what it's worth, the host team will play in the consolation game for third place, while the Germans anxiously await the result of the Netherlands-Argentina game.
Netherlands v. Argentina
The Netherlands have been ruthless on their route to the semi-finals, going undefeated in their first five matches with wins most notably over Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica. In the Round of 16, Holland defeated Mexico after a controversial call on Arjen Robben that led to a game-winning penalty kick in the 94th minute of regular time. In the quarterfinals, the Dutch faced unlikely opponent Costa Rica and sent them home in penalty kicks after heroic goalkeeping from substitute goalie Tim Krul.
Although Argentina's wins haven't been terribly convincing, the undefeated squad is geared up and ready for a chance to make it to their first finals game since 1990. They will be playing without star midfielder Angel Di Maria due to injury but still carry the victimizing threat of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentines narrowly escaped the Round of 16 thanks to a Di Maria goal in the 118th minute of extra time. Argentina then edged out Belgium after an early 8th minute rip from Higuain.
The mother site is calling this a clash of counter-attackers and they couldn't have said it better. Lionel Messi leading the counter for Argentina is the reason Netherlands fans had trouble sleeping last night while Robben's breakaway speed lurks the same threat. Nigel de Jong's likely absence from the men sporting orange is going to be a true to test to the form of Leroy Fer, who with one misstep, could easily be burnt by Messi and watch the ball sail into his own net. One thing is nearly certain, it'll be a better game than yesterday.
Players to watch
Netherlands: No. 11 Arjen Robben
Argentina: No. 10 Lionel Messi
Date, time, channel, stream
July 9th, 4:00 p.m., Netherlands vs. Argentina, ESPN, WatchESPN