World Cup 2014: Day 26

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Brazil head into the clash with Germany tomorrow evening with their hopes of reaching the finals dented by the injury to Neymar, who has pretty much carried the pretty much average host nation to the semi-finals so far. The Barcelona man got his tournament off to a flyer with a double in a 3-1 win against Croatia in the opening game, and although neither he nor his team-mates were able to find a way past Mexico in a 0-0 draw the final group game saw a 4-1 win against Cameroon, with another double from the youngster. Fred and Fernandinho were also on target as the host nation secured top spot in Group A, ahead of Mexico. The second round saw another tough encounter, this time against Chile, and despite Brazil taking the lead through new PSG signing David Luiz, Chile hit back through Alexis Sánchez, and the game went to penalties. Brazil triumphed 5-3, with Neymar grabbing the vital spot-kick while Jara failed.

Last time out in Fortaleza they ensured qualification for the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Colombia. Captain Thiago Silva gave the hosts the lead, and David Luiz made it 2-0 before Colombia hit back from the spot in the 80th minute through Rodriguez. It proved to be too little too late, however, as Brazil held on for the win, although at the expense of both the injured Neymar, and Thiago Silva, who picked up a second booking and will also miss the clash in Belo Horizonte.

Germany began their tournament with a resounding 4-0 victory over Portugal, added by the red card to Pepe, thanks in large to a hat-trick from Thomas Müller and a goal from Mats Hummels. Like Brazil, Germany also drew their second group stage game as they fought out a 2-2 draw with Ghana in Fortaleza. Mario Götze gave Germany the lead, but they needed a Miroslav Klose goal to secure the point after falling 2-1 behind. The final game saw them come up against USA, managed by former Germany star Jurgen Klinsmann. The former Spurs man had his USA side very well organised, and it took a moment of magic from Müller to ensure the win and see Germany finish top of the group. The second round saw Germany again face a well organised side, as this time Algeria held out for a 0-0 draw to take the Germans to extra time. Chelsea man Schürrle eventually broke the deadlock in the 92nd minute, before Özil doubled the lead, although Algeria did pull one back right at the death. It was a single goal again in the quarter finals that took them through, this time coming early on from the head of Dortmund centre half Mats Hummels. Last time the two sides met, back in 2011, Germany were triumphant with a 3-2 victory, although it was the same scoreline for Brazil the time before, way back in 2005. Germany have in large looked a very well organised side, with plenty of options in attack, and with the abscence of the two Brazilian stars, I fancy Joachim Low’s to eke out another victory in this one.

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Author: siepod

Massive technology geek Former runner looking to rediscover two working knees Ex Personal trainer currently looking to escape self imposed fitness exile Manchester City season ticket holder until 1998 & again from 2002 to present Atlético Madrid season ticket holder 1999-2001 & still follow from afar Love creative writing, and former journalist for Opta Soccer, Planetfootball & Sky Sports Former games tester, researcher and designer for Gremlin Interactive, Infogrames & Dinamic Multimedia

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