The World Cup’s quarterfinal round begins Friday with two matches (all times Eastern):
— France vs. Germany in Rio de Janeiro, noon, ESPN2
–Brazil vs. Colombia in Fortaleza, 4 p.m., ESPN
At stake: Winners will advance to face each other in a semifinal on Tuesday at noon in Belo Horizonte.
France vs. Germany
One of the most famous — France fans might say infamous — games in World Cup history as been a major talking point heading into this matchup. The 1982 World Cup semifinal between West Germany and France featured four goals in extra time after regulation ended with the score tied at 1. Germany rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the score at 3, then won the first penalty-kick tiebreaker in tournament history, 5-4. And that was after a violent and controversial collision between Harald Schumacher and French defender Patrick Battiston, which left Battison unconscious and with a broken jaw and French fans fuming that no punishment was given to the German goalkeeper. The Post’s Rick Maese previewed Friday’s match with a look at Les Bleus, who have more recent history in mind: erasing their recent meltdowns in major international tournaments.
Brazil vs. Colombia
Some are pointing to this as potentially the match of the tournament. It’s arguably its best head-to-head matchup, featuring a pair of 22-year-old stars in Neymar and James Rodriguez. Neymar has scored four goals after entering the World Cup under intense scrutiny as the focal point of the host nation, which expects no less than a championship — preferably over arch-rival Argentina, as The Post’s Dom Phillips writes. Colombia’s Rodriguez, with a tournament-leading five goals and two assists, has been the breakout sensation of the event’s most infectiously entertaining team, according to The Post’s Sally Jenkins. Colombia is dancing. Brazil might be cracking. This is appointment viewing.
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