5th July – Saturday
Match Venue: Estádio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasília
Stadium Seating Capacity: Over 69,000 Football fans
Expected Global Audience: Nearly 4 billion
Argentina beat Switzerland and Belgium knocked out the USA to make it to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Quarter Finals. Let’s take an honest look at the performance of the two lucky quarter finalists in this World Cup so far to find out which one is the stronger team.
Argentina has appeared 15 times in the FIFA World Cup and currently sits at 5th position in the official FIFA Ranking.
Performance in Group Stage (Group F)
Argentina dominated the Group stage and knocked out Bosnia and Iran to come out on top with 9 points, with Nigeria coming in second with 4 points. The team from Argentina did not score a single tie.
Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina (2-1)
Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked at 21st position and lost to Nigeria in addition to Argentina in the Group stage. The only victory the Bosnian team recorded was in the match against Iran. Bosnia was barely holding on.
- Goal Scorers: 27 year old Argentine Forward and world favorite Lionel Messi scored a goal in the 65th minute
- Performance: Argentina had 55% ball possession and made 5 attempts to score with 10 saves, no off-sides and only 1 yellow card
Argentina vs. Iran (1-0)
Iran ranked at 43rd position in the official FIFA ranking and lost every match in the Group stage, landing 4th position in Group F. Judging by the Iranian team’s fitness and readiness, beating Iran was clearly a walk in the park for Argentina.
- Goal Scorers: Argentine’s Lionel Messi scored a goal in the first minute of the extra time as none of the two were able to score
- Performance: Argentina had 70% ball possession and made 9 attempts to score with 4 saves and no off-sides.
Argentina vs. Nigeria (3-2)
At 44th position, Nigeria was powered by pure passion and had performed admirably. Nigeria beat Bosnia, lost to Argentine and tied with Iran in the Group stage before being knocked out by France in the Round of 16.
- Goal Scorers: Argentina’s Lionel Messi scored the first goal for his team in the first minute of the extra time after the first half, and 24 year old Argentinean Defender Marcos Rojo cemented the win by scoring the 2nd goal in the 50th minute of the game.
- Performance: Argentina had 57% ball possession and made 13 attempts to score with 1 save and 1 offside. The Nigerian defense performed well with 10 saves, as well as the attack which attempted to score 7 times.
Performance in Round of 16
Argentina vs. Switzerland (1-0):
Switzerland has appeared 9 times in the FIFA World Cup and currently sits at 5th position in the official FIFA Ranking.
Switzerland lost to France but beat Ecuador and Honduras to make it to the Round of 16.
- Goal Scorers: The match between Argentina and Switzerland was a tough one considering Switzerland’s defense which made 20 saves. If it wasn’t for Argentina’s Ángel di María scoring a goal in the 118th minute, things could have gone south for Argentina in the extra time.
- Performance: Argentina had to put on an aggressive game against Switzerland with 61% ball possession, 22 attempts to score, and 7 saves. By the end, Argentina had 3 yellow cards and Switzerland had 2.
Belgium has appeared 11 times in the FIFA World Cup and currently sits at 11th position in the official FIFA Ranking.
Performance in Group Stage (Group H)
Belgium dominated the Group stage and knocked out Russia and Korea Republic to come out on top with 9 points with Algeria coming in second. The team did not score a single tie and won all of its matches with a 1 goal margin over the competition.
Belgium vs. Algeria (2-1)
Before it lost to Belgium, Algeria tied with Russia and beat Korea Republic to make it through the Round of 16. It took a team like Germany to knock Algeria out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Algeria ranked at 22nd position and was the second team from Group H that made it to the Round of 16, alongside Belgium.
- Goal Scorers: Belgium’s Midfielders Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens scored goals in the 70th and 80th minutes respectively
- Performance: Belgium dominated the match with 65% ball possession and 10 attempts to score. Algeria was able to save face thanks to its defense which recorded 8 saves but was not able to break through the Belgian defense and ended with only 1 recorded attempt to score.
Belgium vs. Russia (1-0)
Russia, ranking at position 19 in the official FIFA ranking, came well motivated but was not able to give a performance of international standards.
- Goal Scorers: Belgium’s Divock Origi scored a goal in the 88th minute of the match. Russia remained unable to score
- Performance: Belgium had to put up a fight with 53% ball possession and 7 attempts to score alongside Russia’s 6 attempts to score. Both teams recorded 6 saves and Belgium ended with 2 yellow cards.
Belgium vs. Korea Republic (1-0)
Korea Republic ranked at position 57 in the official FIFA ranking. Korea Republic was clearly visible as the weakest in Group H before finishing in fourth place and going home.
- Goal Scorers: Belgium’s Defender Jan Vertonghen scored the single goal of the match in the 78th minute
- Performance: The Korea Republic gave Belgium a tough time. Belgium recorded 49% ball possession with 11 attempts to score, and ended with 1 Red Card and 1 Yellow Card. Korea Republic made 12 attempts to score with 9 saves.
Performance in Round of 16
Belgium vs. USA (2-1)
Belgium knocked out the USA in the Round of 16 match, but not without having to put up a fight.
- Goal Scorers: Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Forward Romelu Lukaku scored goals in the 93rd and 105th minutes of the match.
- Performance: Belgium fought with 47% ball possession and made 27 attempts to score. The USA team recorded 18 saves and 9 attempts to score with 1 goal in the 107th minute.