A header with his first touch from Leroy Fer

Louis van Gaal’s side will now face the Group A runners-up. The Dutch were without Robin van Persie, with Jeremain Lens leading the attack, while Dirk Kuyt took to the field for his 99th cap. However, the free-scoring Oranje struggled to penetrate their opponents early on. Chile went closest in the opening quarter of the […]

Villa and Spain bow out on a high

The 32-year-old had announced before the tournament that he will quit international football following Brazil 2014. Fernando Torres and Juan Mata were also on target to ensure Vicente Del Bosque’s men finished third in Group B, leaving Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos bottom. A match in which both sides had nothing but pride to play for began […]

Van Gaal: We definitely want to avoid Brazil

Having done so from a section that includes reigning champions Spain, Chile and an Australia team they had never previously beaten, it was hardly surprising to find coach Louis van Gaal found purring with contentment. However, as he told FIFA, he anticipates the Oranje’s final Group B game against the in-form Chileans being their toughest […]

Sammir: We’re too good to go home

While Croatia coach Niko Kovac is no doubt delighted with the tireless work of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic both on and off the ball, he needed something extra for his side’s all-important second group game against Cameroon. Which is why he turned to Sammir. Even if the Brazilian-born, naturalised Croatian midfielder was not the […]

Nerves for Brazil, pride for Spain

Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side will be strong favourites to see off eliminated Cameroon in their 100th FIFA World Cup™ match, but the Indomitable Lions are sure to be hungry to exit the tournament on a high.  Adding to the tension for the home fans, four Brazil players risk suspension if they collect another yellow card, […]

Belgium stay perfect, desperate Portugal deny USA

Along with Group C, they are the only sections where not one team has been knocked out ahead of the final round of first-phase matches. Thanks to their late winner against Russia on Sunday, Belgium are the only side from the last two groups to have clinched their place in the Round of 16. The […]

Attack the best form of defence for Algeria

What made that defeat even harder to swallow was the harsh press criticism aimed at Les Fennecs for sitting back and trying to hold onto their lead rather than push on and build on it. According to the detractors, Vahid Halilhodzic’s men might not have conceded late goals to Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens had […]