Netherlands vs Costa Rica - World Cup 2014 LIVE: Latest from Day 24 including news from Brazil and reaction to Argentina 1-0 Belgium - Live coverage - The Independent

Netherlands vs Costa Rica - World Cup 2014 LIVE: Latest from Day 24 including news from Brazil and reaction to Argentina 1-0 Belgium

Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Day 24 of the FIFA World Cup. Marc Williams and Samuel Stevens here with all the latest news and action from Brazil including the tournament's final two quarter-finals where, first, Argentina have beaten Belgium before the Netherlands play Costa Rica

  • Hello and welcome along to the Independent's coverage of Day 24 from the Brazil 2014 World Cup with Marc Williams. 

    It's quarter-final day number two and another pair of belters to enjoy this Saturday! First up, Lionel Messi's Argentina face-off against Belgium and then the Netherlands play Costa Rica later on. 

    We'll have all the build-up, team news and talking points leading up to the live action, which kicks off at 5pm this afternoon!

    With all that to come later, we'll also have a look back to yesterday's action where Brazil booked a semi-final match-up against Germany.

    The hosts will have been rocked to the core about the news that their boy-wonder, Neymar, will play no further part in this summer's tournament after suffering a broken vertebra in the win against Colombia. We'll have the latest develops from this big news too! 

    Plenty to get through on a jam-packed day of World Cup action then, so let's get going! 


    7/5/2014 10:35:51 AM
  • Our poll! 

    We have put our poll up again and today it's an easy one, who will win tonight and join Brazil and Germany in the semi finals??

    Have your vote as to who you think will win this afternoon and don't forget to get in touch with us here. Just hit the 'Make a Comment' button above and get involved! 
    7/5/2014 10:42:29 AM


  • Neymar out!

    First up today then, the big news coming out of Brazil about the one and only Neymar! 

    The boy-wonder, scorer of four World Cup goals this summer and his team's talisman and spiritual leader will play no further part in the tournament. 

    It really is a sad day all round! 

    Neymar suffered a broken vertebra in a challenge with Camilo Zuniga which went unpunished. 

    Brazil's team doctor confirmed that the 22-year-old star would play no further part in the World Cup.

    The out-cry of grief will be huge in Brazil and what does this mean for their title chances??

    Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar has confirmed that Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra during the match with Colombia.

    He told Brazil's SportTV: "It's not serious in the sense that it doesn't need surgery, but he'll need to immobilize it to recover.

    "Unfortunately, he's not going to be able to play," said Lasmar, adding that he expected the recovery period to take at least a few weeks.



    7/5/2014 10:56:54 AM


  • What now without Neymar?

    Where does this injury to Neymar leave Brazil as we hurtle towards the business end of this World Cup?

    Simon Rice takes a closer look into how Brazil add up without their young star, what impact his absence will have upon the team and who Big Phil can turn to now…

    They don't have long to come up with a plan B as Brazil face up against Germany in the first semi-final on Tuesday!

    During this World Cup, it's been clear that Neymar is the stand-out player in the side. On top of four goals to his name, Neymar also provides the creative spark that lifts the hosts above being an average side. In last night's win over Colombia he provided the corner for Thiago Silva's opener and won the free-kick that David Luiz blasted into the top corner.


    7/5/2014 11:10:47 AM
  • All about Neymar! 

    There's plenty of reaction to the big news about Brazil's Neymar blow. 

    After Brazil's team doctor revealed that Neymar would play no further part in the World Cup there was an outcry of emotion from Twitter and all social media, with some of the biggest stars across the globe expressing their grief.



    Public enemy number one in Brazil is now the man who injured Neymar, Colombia's Camilo Zuniga.

    The defender came out after the game to say how he never meant to hurt his opponent and that he was just doing his job. 

    Not sure how that will go down on the streets of Sao Paulo and across the host nation...

    Despite the rough nature of the challenge that flattened the Brazil number 10, Zuniga defended himself after the match by insisting he was "playing for the shirt from my country, not with the intent to injure".

    And finally, crowds have gathered outside the Sao Carlos hospital where Neymar is receiving treatment to show their support for their favourite man. 

    Fans flocked to the hospital but didn't get the positive news they were praying for! 

    7/5/2014 11:34:35 AM


  • Brazil 2 Colombia 1!

    It wasn't all about Neymar yesterday, there was the small matter of a World Cup quarter-final at stake. 

    In the clash between two of South America's most exciting sides, Brazil managed to just get past Colombia thanks to a David Luiz special. The Chelsea man smashed home a free-kick from all of 35 yards out to give the host nation the win!

    Thiago Silva bundled home to give Brazil the lead but there were nervy scenes at the death thanks to James Rodriguez's late penalty. 

    Read the report from what was a belter of a game! 

    It is not just Brazil’s players who need counselling for their nerves, it is the whole country. They beat Colombia to set up a semi-final between the nation that has won more World Cups than any other and the greatest tournament team in the competition’s history. For Luiz Felipe Scolari it will stir memories of Yokohama 2002 and Brazil’s fifth World Cup.




    7/5/2014 11:48:30 AM

  • That Luiz stunner!

    It's all about genetics according to David Luiz who said that it was his genes that aloud him to score that amazing goal yesterday. 

    Luiz unleashed one of the goals of the tournament which ultimately proved decisive against Colombia and he revealed just how he managed to score such a special goal after the game.

    Read about what Luiz put his goal down to here...

    "I think it's my genetics. I was born with legs like these. Today was great because I hit the ball at the perfect point.

    "I'm happy I can help my team like this."




    7/5/2014 11:59:26 AM
  • Plenty, as always, going on around the Indysport's website, go check out the best of it this Saturday lunchtime! 







    7/5/2014 12:03:12 PM


  • Game, set and Mats!

    Yesterday's early game saw the Germans make their own piece of World Cup history. They became the first side ever to reach four consecutive semi-finals at the biggest tournament of them all.

    Some achievement for a side that is supposedly underachieving...

    Germany beat a French side that failed to properly turn up in the all European quarter-final clash and Mats Hummels' flicked harder was enough to settle the tie. 


    On march Die Nationalmannschaft to their fourth successive World Cup semi-finals, a record for any country. This is not a lavishly talented German team and given opportunities to score further goals they displayed none of the old ruthlessness we expect of them but, well, they got the job done. Mats Hummels scored the winning goal with just 12 minutes of the game played and the Germans closed the deal with confidence.



    7/5/2014 12:16:36 PM
  • Some pictures from the Germany v France game yesterday! 







    7/5/2014 12:24:50 PM


  • Mats' dream has come true!

    What must it feel like to score the winning goal in a World Cup quarter-final? Us mere mortals will never know but Mats Hummels certainly does!

    Hummels was nearly speechless at the end of Germany's victory yesterday but he did manage to describe his feelings as a dream! 

    The defender's header after just 12 minutes was enough to see off France yesterday and the Borussia Dortmund man hopes it's not the last highlight for Germany this summer either!


    "This is the next dream to have become reality and the next positive moment here in Brazil and I hope it's not the last either," 

    "I hope it's not over now and that we can manage to win again in five days' time."


    7/5/2014 12:31:47 PM
  • James and the giant… grasshopper?

    It would seem that even the animal kingdom can't get enough of James Rodriguez at this World Cup!

    After J-Rod slotted home Colombia's penalty conciliation goal late night, a giant green insect landed on the goal-scorer!

    Viewers of a squeamish nature might want to turn away now!


    7/5/2014 12:42:41 PM
  • As we are racing our way towards the first kick-off of today, let's recap on today's headlines!

    - Neymar is out of the World Cup after suffering a broken vertebra in the win over Colombia.

    - David Luiz says it was 'genetics' that allowed him to score his wonder-goal free-kick.

    - Mats Hummels says his winning goal over France was a dream come true

    - And finally, Paul Pogba…


    7/5/2014 12:55:03 PM
  • Let's turn our attentions to tonight's action! 

    We've got Argentina v Belgium up first followed by Netherlands v Costa Rica! 
    7/5/2014 1:00:58 PM


  • Can the Noodle satisfy the cravings?

    Angel di Maria was incredibly frustrating against Switzerland in the last round but did come up with the goods when it counted.

    The Real Madrid winger wasted countless chances but scored the vital goal to send Argentina through. 

    Now his country needs him to perform again and make them not just the Messi show.


    Angel di Maria is the one they are all praying for today because he is the man most capable of making Argentina something more than the Lionel Messi show, and turning the team into something less ordinary.

    7/5/2014 1:08:06 PM

  • Fellaini has nothing to prove!

    Marouane Fellaini hasn't lit up this tournament in the way that he, his country and Manchester United fans would have hoped. 

    Despite not playing his best football, far from it in fact, the midfielder maintains that he has nothing to prove ahead of tonight's quarter-final tie. 

    His future at United is still unclear but if he can turn up and perform tonight, there will be far greater happiness around the Fellaini camp.

    “I don’t need to prove anything. I played football for eight years as a professional so I don’t need to prove [anything],” he said yesterday, placing himself on the radar for the first time at this World Cup after something of a self-imposed exile following the traumas of Old Trafford.

    7/5/2014 1:15:11 PM
  • Five things!

    We here at the Independent are a generous bunch and we've come up with five reasons for why Argentina will win tonight and… five reasons why Belgium will win too!

    Both sides are unbeaten so far in the competition, won all four of their games and have the same overall goal difference for the tournament but neither have yet really lived up to their billing.

    Something must give tonight! 

    Have a look at both sets of positives and make up your minds about who will win this mega clash!

    Argentina up first! Messi, Belgium aren't tested, experience, Belgium's future will come, and fate are among their reasons why they will claim victory tonight! 


    As for Belgium, they have youth, Hazard, Courtios, cool heads at the back and a winning mentality on their side.


    7/5/2014 1:31:00 PM


  • Argentina need more than just Messi!

    Rafa Benitez, former Liverpool boss, has had his say in the Independent's build-up to tonight's first game. 


    Read what the Napoli manager had to say. 

    There is a problem with Argentina, though. There is too much dependency on Messi and it is very risky. When you are managing a player as good as that, of course you do things to get the best out of him. But you can never know that he will always be able to do things. If there was a player who we knew would be able to reach the level every time he walks over the line on to the field then he would be a very special one. He doesn’t exist and that kind of certainty doesn’t exist. It’s why we love football. Things are unpredictable. Problems and challenges are created for us to cope with. What I am trying to say is that some of the other players in the Argentina team – who have not been playing with pace or continuity – must correct that and show the level.

    But, Belgium boss, Marc Wilmots, believes that Argentina already have found the balance that they need to win the title and that they do not just rely on Messi. 

    People tend to focus on Lionel Messi, rightly so. But this morning I watched the Argentina v Switzerland match and their team is not one player, but a whole. 


    7/5/2014 1:43:12 PM

  • The key men!

    Who will decide tonight's game then? Argentina v Belgium will showcase some of the best talent in world and here we've picked the best of the best.

    Do you agree with our selections? If not, have your say by just hitting the 'Make a Comment' button above and let us know who you are looking forward to seeing tonight. 





    7/5/2014 1:55:14 PM
  • What about the other game on tonight, I hear you cry! 

    Well, the Netherlands play Costa Rica in the late game so let's have a closer look into this one.
    7/5/2014 1:57:19 PM


  • Sneijder time!

    Wesley Sneijder came good for the Dutch in their last game after he scored the goal that helped to turn around their Last 16 tie against Mexico.

    The Galatasaray man has had a mixed time of late on the international stage but is now starting to the repay his manager's faith in him. 

    Louis van Gaal dropped Sneijder before the World Cup and took away his captain's armband but reinstated him to his starting line-up.


    Salvador is the home of capoeira, the Brazilian martial art; a walk through the streets of the old town offers the sight of local men performing their bewildering mix of kicks and spins and acrobatics and Sneijder would surely appreciate their remarkable athleticism and energy given he owes his own presence in Brazil to a similar discipline: kick-boxing.


    7/5/2014 2:13:14 PM


  • Diving Robben is a problem!

    Costa Rica's coach Jorge Luis Pinto has admitted that he fears Arjen Robben will dive to win the match tonight. 

    Pinto did say that he thought Robben is one of the greatest players in the world at the moment but he wants Fifa and tonight's match officials to keep an extra close eye on the Bayern Munich star.


    “We are really worried about it and I would like to ask Fifa and the referees to watch Robben closely. I think he is one of the three or four best players in the world, [but] we have to say referees have to watch out. I hope the referee [Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan] and assistant referees are careful. I respect Fifa and the referees but I tell them to please watch out.


    7/5/2014 2:23:12 PM


  • Joel and Bryan!

    Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz are no strangers to English football fans but we are yet to see either shine quite like they have in Brazil on our shores. 

    Campbell's time at Arsenal will surely come while Fulham fans will be starching their heads as to why the Ruiz that turns out of them is so vastly different to that of Costa Rica's Ruiz!

    Here, Jack Pitt-Brooke looks at how Costa Rica's two young stars have lit up the tournament so far and could cause the Netherlands a real problem tonight.

    Campbell and Ruiz, with three goals so far, are truly doing it when it counts. They both had penalties to take against Greece last  Sunday night and scored them both, taking their team to the final eight. Win or lose today, these are the performances they will be remembered for.


    7/5/2014 2:32:59 PM

  • Pulling in the same direction!

    Louis van Gaal is happy that his Dutch side are all pulling in the same direction in their attempt to reach the World Cup semi-finals. 

    The Netherlands have won all four of their matches so far, scoring 12 times in doing so and have surprised many with just how good they have been in Brazil so far. 

    They have a very good chance of making it into the last four of the tournament and few would begrudge them from going one step closer than four years ago and winning the whole thing!


    “Although we don’t have the best starting 11, we certainly are among the best squads. By that I mean we have 23 players who are all pulling in the same direction. We support each other and the players compliment each other and that’s why we have got some strong results here. Even if we lose, the Dutch team will fight every single minute to become world champions.

    7/5/2014 2:44:43 PM
  • Another five things!

    We had it for Argentina v Belgium, so how about the same for this match-up too! 

    You would think the Dutch have this game already in the bag but Costa Rica have been a major surprise in this World Cup.

    Here's some reasons why each time will prevail tonight!

    The Netherlands up first, they have goals, total football, big game players, experience and the fact that they are favourites on their side. 


    As for Costa Rica, they can call upon the fact they came through the 'Group of Death', everyone loves the underdog,  the Dutch blow it, Navas and that it is time for a CONCACAF team to go far!


    7/5/2014 2:56:18 PM
  • Just one hour left to go until the football gets back underway over in Brazil! 

    Argentina v Belgium is coming up live at 5pm!
    7/5/2014 2:57:41 PM
  • Team news: The teams are in for the first game tonight, so let's take a look!

    Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Basanta, Demichelis, Garay, Mascherano, Biglia, Lavezzi, Higuain, Messi, Di Maria

    Subs: Campagnaro, Gago, Perez, Rodriguez, Orion, Fernandez, Fernandez, Palacio, Alvarez, Agüero, Andujar

    Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Van Buyten, Kompany, Witsel, Mirallas, Fellaini, De Bruyne, Hazard, Origi

    Subs: Vermaelen, Lukaku, Mignolet, Bossut, Mertens, Defour, Lombaerts, Dembele, Januzaj, Vanden Borre, Chadli, Ciman
    7/5/2014 3:05:44 PM
  • Team news: Some big decision made by both bosses for tonight's quarter-final clash then.

    Argentina have left out Sergio Aguero with the Manchester City man being only good for a place on the bench. Ezequiel Lavezzi starts while Basanta and Demichelis also come in. 

    Marco Rojo misses out through suspension and he will be a big miss for the South Americans. 

    Belgium boss Marc Wilmots has kept faith with Divock Origi despite Romelu Lukaku's goal against the USA. 

    They are unchanged for their Last 16 match.
    7/5/2014 3:11:41 PM
  • Preview time! 

    Let's turn our attention to tonight's first game then. It's Argentina v Belgium live from the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia.

    The game gets going at 5pm, just about 30 minutes or so away, so how about a little match preview, shall we?

    Kostas Lianos talks us through the facts, figures and talking points.

    Remember, get in touch with us here by hitting the 'Make a Comment' button above!



    7/5/2014 3:23:30 PM
  • The fans inside the Estadio Nacional are gearing up for tonight's big game! 




    7/5/2014 3:30:44 PM
  • Tonight's stage!

    The Estadio Nacional in Brasilia is tonight's stadium of choice. It was renovated in 2013 in time for the World Cup and holds just under 70,000 fans!

    Tonight's game will be the penultimate of seven games to be held in the stadium with the final match being the third place playoff on July 12. 

    There hasn't be a single draw in the five matches here before, 16 goals in those five games and only one team has failed to score so far (France 2-0 Nigeria). 

    All things suggest an exciting game once again! 

    7/5/2014 3:37:30 PM
  • Some top stats about tonight's game! Which way is this one going?






    7/5/2014 3:40:39 PM
  • The players have just about finished their warm-ups in Brasilia, kick-off is under 15 minutes away! 




    7/5/2014 3:46:52 PM
  • 7/5/2014 3:46:57 PM
  • Our Poll!

    That'll do it for our poll today then and let's take a look at the results. 

    Well, just under half of you lot, 48%, think that Argentina and the Netherlands will be victorious tonight. Close behind with 36% is the outcome of Belgium and the Netherlands making it through.

    Not many of you are giving Costa Rica much of a chance though, with only 8% thinking that they will make it into the semi-finals with either Argentina or Belgium respectively.

    Interesting stuff and thanks very much for voting! 

    Remember, get involved throughout tonight's two games by just hitting the 'Make a Comment' button above!
    7/5/2014 3:51:44 PM
  • The players are in the tunnel and are about to make their way out onto the pitch. National Anthem time coming up and then it's game time once more over in Brazil! 

    After this game we only have five matches left (hasn't it gone quick!), so get yourself a drink this Saturday afternoon and enjoy some top quality World Cup football! 
    7/5/2014 3:53:53 PM
  • That's the sing-alongs done and dusted and it's time to get going inside a sun-baked Estadio Nacional! 

    Later we've got the Netherlands v Costa Rica for you live but for now it's Argentina v Belgium! GAME ON!  
    7/5/2014 3:58:46 PM
  • 0 min: Belgium, all in red, get us going here! Argentina are in their famous blue and white strips. Who will make it into the semi-final? Time to find out! 

    7/5/2014 4:01:38 PM
  • 3 min: Good start from Argentina here and they are first ones to make the crowd noisy. Lionel Messi pours froward through the middle and plays the ball out to the left-wing for Ezequiel Lavezzi. The PSG man tries to find Gonzalo Higuain in the middle but Vincent Kompany does well to clear. Lively start to this game! 
    7/5/2014 4:04:59 PM
  • 6 min: Deafening noise swirling around the Estadio Nacional and the stands are awash with colour, it's a truly magical spectacle! Javier Mascherano has been involved quite a bit in the first five and he brandishes an imaginary yellow card to the referee Nicola Rizzoli after Kevin Mirallas takes a dive, nothing doing though. 
    7/5/2014 4:08:13 PM
  • GOAL!!! Argentina 1 Belgium 0 Gonzalo Higuain!!
    7/5/2014 4:08:43 PM
  • 8 min: Lovely goal from Higuain! The Napoli man has barely been heard of at this World Cup so far but he has popped up here with a quality finish. Argentina flow forward again and the ball breaks kindly into Higuain's path following a deflection. He makes no mistake as he sweeps the ball into the far corner! Argentina lead! 


    7/5/2014 4:11:59 PM
  • 12 min: Well, everyone was calling for Argentina's big guns to turn up and perform and not just leave it all to Messi. Higuain has certainly turned up for them here! 

    Both sides take a quick breather after that electric start from the South Americans! How can Belgium respond? Nothing from them as of yet...
    7/5/2014 4:14:30 PM
  • Gonzalo Higuain's classy finish is the difference so far! 

    And didn't he celebrate it too! 

    7/5/2014 4:16:22 PM
  • 16 min: Jan Vertonghen, such a threat against the USA in the last round, gets going again well as he charges down the wing and puts in a killer ball. Ezequiel Garay takes absolutely no chances with it and bullets the ball out for a corner. The set-piece comes to nothing though. Signs of life from Belgium! 
    7/5/2014 4:19:46 PM
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