This Friday marks the beginning of the Elite Eight in the World Cup. The schedule follows the normal mid-morning and mid-afternoon game. EJSIC is here for a quick preview of each of Friday’s games.
Netherlands v Brazil
Friday, 10 am EST, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Results to date:
Netherlands – W 2-0 v Denmark, W 1-0 v Japan, W 2-1 v Cameroon, W 2-1 v Slovakia
Brazil – W 2-1 v North Korea, W 3-1 v Ivory Coast, D 0-0 v Portugal, W 3-0 v Chile
Analysis: Holland is one of two teams to be perfect so far (the other is Argentina), but they now face their toughest test in five-time champion Brazil. If the Netherlands wants to shake the stigma of “best country to never win a World Cup,” they’ll have to beat the best ever.
Brazil has transformed its play under former player turned manager Dunga. Their defense-first mentality has led to a disappearance of the Joga Bonita football fans grew accustomed to. However, the flashy play is still their at times and their offensive attack is as deadly as ever.
Holland also boasts their own unique brand of football referred to as Total Football. Holland has traditionally put more emphasis on offense in comparison to their European rivals.
So when these two teams meet Friday, something has to give. Will Total Football withstand Dunga’s raw mentality or will the Brazilian superstars do as always and win?
Prediction: Brazil 3-2
Uruguay v Ghana
Friday, 2:30 PM EST, Soccer City Stadium
Results to date:
Uruguay – D 0-0 v France, W 3-0 v South Africa, W 1-0 v Mexico, W 2-1 v South Korea
Ghana – W 1-0 v Serbia, D 1-1 v Australia, L 1-0 v Germany, W 2-1 v United States
Analysis: Uruguay has been a surprise of the World Cup. They dominated Group A and did not allow a single goal. If we’ve learned anything from South Africa 2010, it is that South American teams have been the class of the field.
On the other side is Ghana, the last African team alive in the first African World Cup. They’re not only playing for their country, but for the entire continent. Of the two teams, Ghana has looked more suspect, but their talent is undeniable.
Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez have scored five of the six Uruguay goals while Asamoah Gyan has added three of his own for Ghana.
Both teams have played well defensively to date with some theatrics for needed goals. Which team will come through this time?
Prediction: Ghana 2-1 (extra time).
Be on the lookout for an EJSIC Live Blog for the Brazil v Netherlands game and possibly one for Uruguay v Ghana.