Just like that we’re down to four teams, with Group A winners Portugal starting off the semis against Chile. Germany will face Mexico in the other semi on Thursday June 29.
There are plenty of questions for each team going into these semis and to the hosts, as without making the semi-finals how will Russia draw in fans for the final games of the Confederations Cup.
The EURO 2016 winners have showed their strength through this tournament, a mix of veterans and youth, have been able to find the back of the net with ease and prevent goals.
Portugal is tied with Chile for least goals given up with just two for the tournament, though one of those matches was against New Zealand who only scored once in their three matches. On the offensive side they have seven goals, tying them with Germany for the most prolific display in the group stages.
Players to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo and Andre Silva. The two forwards have combined for 23 shots with 12 on target. That’s almost as many shots as the last place team and more on target than any team that failed to get through the group stages.
X Factor: Cedric. The RB gets forward and scored Portugal’s late goal in their first match that gave them a 2-1 lead over Mexico (before a last second equalizer ended that). If he’s able to stifle the Chilean left side attackers and still bomb forward, it’ll be a long day for the South Americans.
The 2015 and 2016 Copa America winners had a tougher group stage than Portugal and it took a second-half equalizer to ensure that Australia wouldn’t find a way past them and into the semis. Like Portugal, they’ve had a strong defense but unlike their opponents the goals haven’t been there only scoring multiple goals once.
Alexis Sanchez couldn’t start the first match but subbed on for most of the second half, he doesn’t look hurt but he isn’t his dominant self. Against a strong Portugal defense, how the Chilean attack comes together is key.
Players to watch: Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal. The no duh choices on the roster when you look at it but these two lead the team with nine shots each. They need to play to the level they are capable of and take over the match.
X Factor: Eduardo Vargas, Vargas is the easy choice. When Sanchez isn’t in the lineup, he is the attack. Sanchez will demand the majority of the attention from the Portugal backline meaning Vargas should be able to find pockets of space and get in positions to score.
When: 11 AM
Where to watch: FS1, Telemundo, Telemundo Stream