And there were four in Brazil

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

Over four weeks ago, 32 countries arrived in South America and now there are four left at the World Cup.

Three games that matter remain.

It looked like there would be a continental divide, favouring the Americas. European stalwarts, including the defending champs from Spain, were joined by the English & Italians as sides that could not recover from playing in a sauna.

Through the round of 16, things started to even out,  as the Concacaf teams from the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica performed valiantly before being sent north for the summer.

Five of six South American squads moved on from the first stage, but were eliminated by their own neighbors. Chile & Columbia fell to the hosts, while Uruguay was left toothless versus Argentina.

Four countries still stand. Two from Europe and a couple from South America.

Brazil will be without their backbone on defence, Captain Thiago Silva. Up front, striker Neymar has been stricken with a broken bone in his back. Silva sits because of yellow card accumulation.

They face a German crew that is four for four in making it to the final four this century.

Goalkeeper Keeper Manuel Neuer might be at his peak, but for some reason I feel Brazil can pull this out. Logic tells me Germany, but a hunch & heart says the hosts.

That leaves Holland & Argentina tomorrow.

The Netherlands have never won a World Cup title. Holland passed a big test by winning a match that had to go beyond 90 minutes for the first time in the quarter-finals over Costa Rica.

Wee Lionel is the little engine that could, as the great Messi is trying to dim the star of the coke head, cheating hand of god, Maradona. The only way that can happen is with two more wins.

Sorry, no tactical breakdown. It will be two groups of South Americans at the Estadio do Maracana on Sunday in a showdown for the world title at high noon.

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