The Tale of Quarter Final Underdogs: Colombia, Costa Rica, France and Belgium

Going by reputation in the quarter final of the FIFA World Cup 2014, Colombia, Costa Rica, France and Belgium are the underdogs. Based on big names and form the semifinal line up by experts was drawn after Group Stage as Brazil, Netherlands, Germany and Argentina. We are just four quarterfinal matches away from the expected semifinal line up. Yet, are the other four teams real underdogs!!

FIFA World Cup 2014: Points Table, Schedule and Results in Indian Standard Time, Goal Statistics, Goal Scores, Groups and Team Qualification
History and Records: History of All Previous Editions, History of Hattricks, Who Reached Top Four in Previous Editions!!
Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D, Group E, Group F, Group G, Group H

Colombia has impressed the most with 4 straight wins and 11 goals which is second highest to Netherlands. 22 year old James Rodriguez is already heading the race to Golden Boot with 5 goals, leading the likes of Neymar, Messi and Muller. They have provided emphatic wins. Their Quarter final opponents Brazil may have the reputation of being the best in the Football World historically, but at present they appeared patchy in the last 4 matches. Remove Neymar Jr. and the hosts are an average team. That gives Colombia an equal chance to win and reach their first semi final.

Costa Rica is the most dangerous among the four underdogs. They have not only remained undefeated in last four matches, but more remarkably have topped a group which had 3 major teams, all of them being at least one time champion of World Cup. They defeated Uruguay and Italy, and drew with one. Their second win against Italy surprised FIFA so much that breaking the rules of testing randomly maximum two players from a team after a match, FIFA went on to test seven of their players. All of them emerged clean. Their opponent Netherlands has emerged as the best attacking team of the tournament scoring the highest 12 goals in 4 matches, winning all. The trio of Robben, Persie and Sneijder is destroying everyone. But Costa Rica has a good defence, while the defence of Netherlands is still not upto the mark.

France, historically, cannot be counted as underdogs. But, based on the form below World Cup and the comparatively inexperienced young team, they have certainly surprised many by reaching the Quarter final. Historically, they have lost the quarter final only once in the World Cup. They have scored 8 goals, just a goal less than their opponent Germany. The team’s attack has emerged as one of the most probing one. Germany, on the other hand, is one of the strongest teams, but they have struggled, even against Algeria. Their defence is one of the weakest. For French forwards it is a mouth watering option. Their game is a match between equal, based on the performances of last four matches of both teams.

Belgium was considered the dark horse of the tournament. If not any other match at group stage, then their Round of 16 matches vs USA certainly proved why the experts are going gaga over them. They also have a strong attack and a good defence too. Their opponent Argentina has survived for four matches. In every match they are appearing average till the point Messi finds the way out and takes them forward. So far all the teams have contained Messi for maximum period of the game but failed at the final moments. The team which stops Messi till the end of game, can create the upset. Belgium appears to be the time.

The four underdogs are perceived to have lesser chances against the favorite fours Brazil, Netherlands, Germany and Argentina. Yet, if not all of them then at least some of them looks set to surprise the world. Although even if all four of them surprise, then remember they deserve it. Based on the World Cup 2014 performance and the opponents they face in the quarter final, among the four, the top two favorites are Costa Rica and France.

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