World Cup 2014 Knockout Stage: Updated Bracket Predictions, 2nd-Round Schedule

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World Cup 2014 Knockout Stage: Updated Bracket Predictions, 2nd-Round Schedule
Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Brazil and Colombia were the first teams to make it through to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, the hosts beating Chile on penalties and Colombia downing Uruguay 2-0. 

They will now face each other in the last eight, but the final three quarter-finals are yet to be confirmed. Netherlands face Mexico on Day 17 while surprise packages Costa Rica take on Greece.

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France, Argentina, Germany and Belgium are favourites to make it through from the other last-16 matches. But there is always room for an upset at the World Cup, as Chile so nearly proved on Saturday.

Read on for an updated last-16 schedule and predictions for the remaining games.

World Cup 2014: Updated Schedule
Date Time (BST/ET) Fixture Prediction
June 29 5 p.m./Noon Netherlands vs. Mexico 2-1
June 29 9 p.m./4 p.m. Costa Rica vs. Greece 1-0
June 30 5 p.m./Noon France vs. Nigeria 2-1
June 30 9 p.m./4 p.m. Germany vs. Algeria 3-0
July 1 5 p.m./Noon Argentina vs. Switzerland 2-0
July 1 9 p.m./4 p.m. Belgium vs. USA 0-1

BBC Sport

 

Netherlands to Advance

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Louis van Gaal's Dutch side have, thus far, been one of the most impressive teams in the tournament. They have the quality to go deep and should make it past an inferior Mexico side when the two face off in Fortaleza on Sunday.

Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben have lit up the tournament, both scoring three goals apiece as the Dutch won each one of their group games.

Mexico provide a stern test, especially with Guillermo Ochoa in goal, who has been one of the keepers of the tournament and put in an inspired display to restrict Brazil in Group A, per BBC Sport:

However, there is too much quality in the Netherlands side for Mexico, and the Central American side look like they're falling at the last-16 hurdle once again, per football writer Tom Marshall:

The Dutch will likely face Costa Rica in the quarter-finals, giving them a relatively easy path through to the last four as they look to go one better than their runners-up spot in 2010.

 

USA to Upset Fancied Belgians

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

One of the most interesting games of the second round is the USA's matchup with a Belgian side much fancied as pre-tournament dark horses.

Despite winning all three of their group games, Marc Wilmots' side have been uninspiring thus far, stuttering to victories over Algeria, Russia and South Korea. 

While European football writer James Horncastle maintains that they have been impressive in grinding out results, they face their toughest test yet against the USA:

Jurgen Klinsmann's men managed to make it out of a group including Ghana, Germany and Portugal, and they look likely to upset Belgium's path to the last eight.

In Clint Dempsey the USA have a constant goal threat, and Belgium have not shown the quality many expected of them in the 2014 World Cup. 

The USA have enough quality to exploit their European opponents' weaknesses at the back and should be able to hold off a Belgium side who only managed edgy 1-0 victories against Russia and South Korea.

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