Venue – Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador; Date – 2nd June 2014; Time – 1:30 am IST;
In the last match of the round of 16 fixtures, United States taken on dark horses Belgium. The match promises to be a cracker with both side evenly poised on the radar. Belgium have been tipped as dark horses to win the tournament and the Red Devils have done no harm to their reputation winning all 3 group encounters.
United States on the other hand were not even expected to make it out of the dreaded group of death. The fact that they overcame Portugal, Germany and Ghana to book their last 16 spot is indeed commendable. The match has received a split pot in terms of predictions as the Pundits have found it hard to pick a winner. But Belgium will fancy their chances owing to a higher star studded lineup who might just deliver on their day.
Key factors in the match
Belgium have conceded just one goal in this year’s tournament and is perhaps the most miserly side. However, it is their form in front of the opposition goal that is also a worry. They have scored only 4 goals in all their games combined and the U.S will capitalize on their inability to score more.
Clint Dempsey has been the lone man upfront for the Americans and he has delivered every time. The former Fulham man has invariably played a key role in all their goals and he will be heavily marked by the Belgians.
This will be Belgium’s toughest challenge yet in the tournament as they were relatively placed in an easy group early on. The U.S on the other hand have overcome sides likes of Germany and Portugal, which will make this clash a more relaxed one for them.
This is also a battle between sides blessed with great goalkeepers. Both Howard and Courtois came in with a reputation and they have lived up to their names. They will invariably play a major role in keeping the opposition attack at bay.
Where to Watch Live:
Viewers in Brazil can watch the match live HERE, while viewers in Argentina and South America can catch the action HERE. US viewers can access it on ESPN and ABC and click HERE for online. Australians can click HERE to watch the game online, and those in Africa can view the match HERE. In India, TV channels Sony Six and Sony Six HD will show the matches live and for online live streaming of the match, click HERE. In Pakistan PTV Sport is the only channel given right to broadcast all FIFA World Cup matches and click HERE for online live streaming in Pakistan. For Live Score, many channels and online websites are there but visit the official FIFA.COM website.
The US have qualified for the knockout stage in three of their previous four World Cups and are aiming to reach the Quarter Final for the first time since 2002
USA beat Belgium 3-0 the last time the sides met in a World Cup in the year 1930.
The last six Belgian goals at World Cups have come in the closing 20 minutes of games
Thibaut Courtois has never lost a game with the Belgian side in over the 20 matches he has represented them.
Predictions: Let us have a look at what the big guns have to say:
Goal.com: 1-0 to Belgium
BBC: 1-1 (Belgium to win on penalties)
Bleacher Report: 2-2 (USA win 4-3 on Penalties)