On the 2nd quarter final day it produced two more even matches with Argentina taking on Belgium and Holland taking on surprise package Costa Rica.
The earlier match was Argentina v Belgium and it was settled by an early Gonzalo Higuain goal set up by… you guessed it Lionel Messi who is really carrying his country like a certain someone called Maradona. That goal was enough to win the match for them and they knocked out the young Belgium side who have lived up to their expectation and will definitely be real contenders for tournaments to come.
In the later match it was Holland who eventually won on penalties against Costa Rica who have definitely gone above their expectation of finishing in the bottom spot of group D (unfortunately occupied by England). They defended for much of the match and they were right to because of Holland’s attacking trio of Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder. All of whom took the first 3 penalties for Holland which I think is the right way to do it in that you get off to a good start by your 3 best players scoring which gives you a real advantage instead of saving the best till last when it might be too late.
The main story was the decision of new Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal who replaced his keeper (much to his frustration!) in the 120th minute with Tim Krul presumably because he was better at penalties but it was a real surprise and I have never seen it before. Fortunately for Van Gaal it was the the correct decision and Holland won 4-3 on penalties to set up a semi final clash against Argentina which I think will be very close but Argentina should just edge it meaning a Germany v Argentina final. I want a Brazil v Holland final because Brazil have to be in it until the end and Holland are the only remaining team never to win it and have been runners up three times!