Whoever said there is magic in football was apparently right. If not, how come 32 nations began the race and it is now left with four to determine who eventually captures the most coveted soccer cup in the world?
Last week Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil and Germany took their chances further afield.
Germany edged out France, Argentina denied Belgium the opportunity, Brazil took out Colombia and Netherlands got the scare of their lives when minnows Costa Rica took them to regulation time only to succumb during penalty shootouts to bow out.
Brazil — Will go against Germany on July 8 and it is possible that the Brazilians would put their striking cylinders on but winning narrowly against Colombia should give the Brazilians another opportunity to make it to the finals on July 13th.
Germany — Lothar Matthaus who lifted the most precious trophy in 1990 as captain of the German team is aware that Germany has reached the semi-finals for the fourth time in succession and may be keen to go all the way. Against Algeria, the team was sloppy but it would seem that Germany picks up their game one at a time. Against Brazil is quite another story and many are waiting to celebrate.
Netherlands — Their luck came against Mexico and got scared by minnows Costa Rica, surviving on penalties. Arjen Robben and his team-mates should know by now that this is the time to shine. Against Messi, the Dutch can no longer allow situations to take them by, and Louis Van Gaal can find a way to ensure a chance for the finals.
Argentina — Put up some performance against Belgium but playing against Netherlands should remind Messi and co that they have work to do. Against Belgium, Messi could not drive home a begging chance, but the Dutch cannot be tempted with such chances and Angel Di Maria and Pablo Zabalet will need more support for the finals on July 13.