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article imageWorld Cup: Europe or South America, the balance of power shared

By Kev Hedges     Jul 3, 2014 in Sports
Brazil has seen the best World Cup for decades — skilful play, last-gasp goals, smaller nations nearly upsetting the big boys and most of all a direct split between Europe and South America as to who holds the balance of power.
The quarter-finals are soon upon us on Friday and the tournament is delicately poised to see a European nation or a South American one win it! Hosts Brazil will face Colombia on Friday evening at 2100 BST (1600 EDT) in an all-South American showdown while European in-form nations France and Germany do battle at 5 p.m. BST (1 p.m. EDT) earlier on Friday.
Saturday's quarter final games see South America v Europe in both ties, although arguably Costa Rica is actually a Central American nation. The favourites Argentina will face Belgium, a tricky tie for Lionel Messi and his well-drilled side, while tiny Costa Rica, perhaps the surprise package of the tournament so far, must face the likes of Arjen Robben and the Dutch masters.
Whoever wins it will face off at the iconic stadium of Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday July 13 but all quarter-finalists have the chance to show where the balance of power lies between the two continents.
Brazil have not been as fluent or stylish in its game as previous teams may have and even Argentina look lacklustre at times but the Europeans have been split. The north European sides of Belgium, Holland, Germany and France have had an excellent World Cup thus far, whereas the southern giants of Italy, Portugal and Spain have had a World Cup as dismal and unsuccessful as the northern European countries have enjoyed success. One exception to the success of the north Europeans has to be the alarming decline of the team from England.
The semi-finals will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday July 8 and 9, while the third-placed play off kicks off the day before the final.
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