Half of the 2014 FIFA World Cup semifinal field is set. Today, the other two semifinal teams will earn the right to keep playing next week.
At noon Eastern time, former champion Argentina takes on Belgium at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia.
Lionel Messi is one of the candidates for both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards in this year's World Cup, honoring the best player and top scorer respectively. Messi has scored four goals in four matches for Argentina, which is undefeated so far in the tournament.
Belgium, coming off an extra-time win over the United States, is not lacking in confidence as they head into this quarterfinal match. Red Devil players and their coach alike feel Argentina is perhaps too reliant on their superstar striker, Messi.
“We are not favorites against Argentina but there is a lack of balance in their team,” Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots told The Independent. “We will make sure we play well against a stronger opponent. I do not worry about what happened in the past and I certainly don’t think it will happen again.”
These two countries met in the semifinals of the 1986 World Cup, where Argentina, led by striker Diego Maradona, beat the Belgians on their way to the championship.
This match will be televised on ABC, ESPN2, and Univision.
The Netherlands meets surprising Costa Rica at 4 p.m. Eastern time at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.
The Costa Rican squad, nicknamed "Los Ticos," have taken this tournament and their countrymen by storm, defeating Greece in extra time to reach the quarterfinals for the first time ever. During group play, Costa Rica defeated former champion Italy and Uruguay and tied England to reach the Round of 16.
Zach Dyer reports for The Christian Science Monitor that a win over the Dutch would provide a huge psychological boost to the Central American nation.
On the other side, the Netherlands has been here before, reaching the World Cup quarterfinals five times in the past, including the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
This match will be televised on ESPN and Univision.