World Cup Notebook
Capsules for Friday’s quarterfinals matches at the World Cup (FIFA rankings in parentheses):
Brazil (1) vs. Netherlands (4), 7 a.m.
Brazil easily handled Chile 3-0 in the second round after winning Group G. The Netherlands has won all four of its matches, including 2-1 over Slovakia in the second round.
Brazil: the five-time champions really put their offense in gear against Chile, with striker Robinho getting his first goal of the competition. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar got his second shutout of the tournament.
Netherlands: The return to health of winger Arjen Robben has made a big difference in the Dutch attack. Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie, Dirk Kuyt and Rafael van der Vaart have all been dangerous.
Notable Fact: Brazil beat the Netherlands in a shootout in the 1998 semifinals. The series stands 3-2-4 in favor of the South Americans, and Brazil has won two of three meetings in World Cups.
Uruguay (16) vs. Ghana (32) 11:30 a.m.
Uruguay’s defense has been almost impenetrable, allowing only one goal, to South Korea in the second round. Ghana beat the United States 2-1 in extra time in the round of 16, the second straight World Cup in which it has knocked out the Americans.
Uruguay: The last team to qualify for the tournament – it had to beat Costa Rica in a playoff – Uruguay has a dangerous scoring duo in Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan to go with its stingy defense.
Ghana: Asamoah Gyan has three goals, including the winner against the U.S. He also is nursing an ankle injury.
Notable Fact: The teams never have met. Uruguay seeks its first semifinals berth since 1970, while Ghana is after the first ever for an African team.