FIFA World Cup

World Cup Schedule 2014: Fixtures, Kick-off Time Table, Predictions for Day 17

Netherlands' Robin van Persie celebrates with Netherlands' head coach Louis van Gaal after scoring a goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at the Arena Ponte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2014

The first two knockout-round matches at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were full of excitement, Brazil scraping through on penalties against Chile and James Rodriguez inspiring Colombia to victory against Uruguay.

Sunday sees the turn of the Netherlands, Mexico, Greece and Costa Rica as each side looks to a last-eight spot in the pursuit of World Cup glory.

B/R

The Dutch face arguably their toughest test yet—although they did play reigning champions Spain in the group stage and beat them 5-1—against a confident Mexico side.

Meanwhile, in probably the most unlikely of the last-16 matchups, an impressive-looking Costa Rica face a Greek side who made it through to the knockout rounds courtesy of a late penalty as they beat Ivory Coast.

Read on for a full schedule for Day 17 as well as predictions for both of the games. 

World Cup 2014: Day 17 Schedule
DateTime (BST/ET)FixturePrediction
June 295 p.m./NoonNetherlands vs. Mexico2-1
June 299 p.m./4 p.m.Costa Rica vs. Greece1-0
BBC Sport

 

Netherlands vs. Mexico

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

The Dutch are favourites to advance from this particular last-16 tie, and rightly so. Louis van Gaal's side thrashed Spain in their tournament-opener, proving that—on their day—they are a match for anyone.

While Mexico looked good in the group stages—claiming wins over Cameroon and Croatia and a 0-0 draw with Brazil—their stalemate with the hosts was a result of a poor display from the Selecao and an inspired performance from goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, per BT Sport's Darren Fletcher:

The Netherlands are arguably a better side than Brazil and, at this stage, are unlikely to put in a flat performance.

An in-form Robin van Persie returns from his suspension to lead the line for the Dutch, while Arjen Robben and Daley Blind look likely to star once again in this World Cup. They should prove too much for Mexico.

Mexico have reached the last 16 of the World Cup in the five previous tournaments but failed to reach a quarter-final. It looks like being six in a row for Miguel Herrera's side.

Prediction: 2-1 

 

Costa Rica vs. Greece

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 20: Giancarlo Gonzalez of Costa Rica celebrates after defeating Italy 1-0 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica at Arena Pernambuco on June 20, 2014 in Recife, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Gr
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The Greeks made it through to the last 16 in second place in Group C behind Colombia, having lost 3-0 to the South Americans, drawn 0-0 with Japan and defeated Ivory Coast 2-1.

While they looked relatively impressive against the Ivorians, a return of just two goals from the group stages is poor, and Costa Rica should have the quality to send Greece home.

Jorge Luis Pinto's side had a phenomenal group stage, topping Group D with wins over Uruguay and Italy and a draw with England, and only conceding once, from a penalty, per Squawka:

With Greece's lack of scoring ability, Costa Rica's defence and the attacking quality of the likes of Joel Campbell, the Central American side should advance.

However, they will be in for a tough time, as Greece will likely sit deep, but, as they proved by conceding four goals in the groups, they do not have an impenetrable defence.

Prediction: 1-0  

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