Quarterfinals of a FIFA World Cup is where the real business begins, the top teams collide with one another and sparks start flying. The World Cup has seen some memorable game at this stage of the tournament, with upsets galore. We take a look at 10 such World Cup Quarterfinals that caught the eye and have been remembered ever since.
10. Brazil 1 – 2 Belgium, 2018 World Cup Quarterfinal
Kevin de Bruyne scored the goal of the tournament with his right foot as Brazil responded only once through Rene Augusto in reply to Belgium’s two on the night.
9. Netherlands 0 – 0 (4 – 3) Costa Rica, 2014 World Cup Quarterfinal
Two of the best teams in the tournament collided in the Quarters, with Netherlands taking on the Costa Ricans.
Netherlands, powered by Robben, Sneijder and van Persie lacked bite and Brian Ruiz and Costa Rica looked to pull away. The game finished goalless and Netherlands beat Costa Rica 4-3 on penalties.
8. Russia 2 – 2 (3 – 4) Croatia, 2018 World Cup Quarterfinal
After Denis Cheryshev’s early strike rocked Croatia, the 1998 Semifinalists responded with Kramaric’s strike.
Vida and Fernandes scored for Croatia and Russia respectively in the second half to take the game to penalties. Rakitic scored the deciding penalty for Croatia to take them through to the Semis.
7. Brazil 2 – 1 Columbia, 2014 World Cup Quarterfinal
Colombia were riding high on a certain James Rodriguez when they met hosts of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil in the Quarterfinal of the tournament.
David Ospina was on fire as he made a record 17 saves in the game but couldn’t keep out David Luiz’s cracker of a freekick which won it 2-1 for the 5 time champions.
6. Argentina 0 – 4 Germany, 2010 World Cup Quarterfinal
This was the dream World Cup for Argentines, with country legend Diego Maradona joining hands with Lionel Messi as coach and captain of the national team.
However, all was well until the Quarters when Germany thrashed Argentina 4 goals to nil. The disappointment and sorrow was visible for all to see as Maradona resigned from his position right after the game.
5. Germany 1 – 1 (4 – 2) Argentina, 2006 World Cup Quarterfinal
Be it any World Cup, Argentina and Germany are always outright favorites for the crown. To pitch these two against each other in the Quarterfinal stage is any bookie’s dream.
They squared off in the 2006 Quarterfinal. The game finished 1-1 in extra time after the Argentine goalie was stretchered off the pitch. The Germans held their nerve in the shootout to deny Argentina passage into the Semis on their home turf.
4. England 0 – 0 (1 – 3) Portugal, 2006 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinal
The 2006 World Cup was a World Cup of defenders for many a reason. It was also the last time a defender in Fabio Canavarro won the Ballon d’Or.
A dull game otherwise, England and Portugal waged attack after attack, without finding the net in 90 and then 120 minutes. The English temperament was tested in the shootout and Portugal proved to have nerves of steel as they overcame England 1-3 on penalties.
3. Spain 0 – 0 (3 – 5) South Korea, 2002 World Cup Quarterfinal
In what was meteoric rise to fame for the hosts South Korea in the 2002 World Cup, they overcame European powerhouse Spain in the Quarterfinals to set up a date with Germany, who eventually beat them in the Semis.
The Spanish team was already in a controversial situation, given the recent changes in the team and the Asians rallied powerfully in front of the home support to hold Spain to a 0-0 draw.
They held their nerves in the penalty shootout as well, clinching a clinical 5-3 win over their favored opponents.
2. France 0 – 0 (4 -3) Italy, 1998 World Cup Quarterfinal
A match that will be remembered only for the penalty shootout and not for the 90 minutes of game time, France’s clash with Italy in the Quarters of the 1998 World Cup lacked bite and poise as it finished a stale 0-0 after extra time.
The penalties proved to be the crunch as Italy fumbled in front of the French home crowd to hand eventual champions France a 4-3 penalty win.
1. Germany 0 – 3 Croatia, 1998 World Cup Quarterfinal
Croatia shocked the World when they overcame the mighty Germans on a sticky night in Lyon, France in the Quarterfinals of the 1998 World Cup. When the tie was first pitched, it looked like a simple night’s work for the German team.
However, Croatia had other plans as Jarni’s long ranger in the first half and Vlaovic and Suker’s clinical finishes in the second half dumped tournament favorites Germany out of the World Cup.