Fortaleza (Brazil) (AFP) - Fans gather outside Fortaleza hospital, where Brazil striker Neymar has been ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup, dealing the hosts a crushing blow just hours after they battled through to a semi-final showdown with Germ
The joy of Brazil advancing to the World Cup semifinals on Friday was tempered by the loss of its star, Neymar.
The 22-year-old playmaker suffered a fractured vertebra in his lower back when he was kneed in the back by Colombia's Juan Camilo Zuniga and will miss the remainder of the tournament.
Brazil advanced with a 2-1 win and will face Germany, which defeated France, 1-0, earlier in the day. Neymar had four goals and one assist in the tournament and was the central figure for Brazil as they looked to win a World Cup on home soil.
The tournament is now without two of its starlets, Neymar and Colombia's James Rodriguez, who scored his tournament-leading sixth goal in the loss.
In today's quarterfinal games...
12 p.m. ABC, ESPN2 - Argentina vs. Belgium
Lionel Messi will look to continue the quest to overcome the legend of Diego Maradona as he leads La Albiceleste into the quarters against a talented Belgian squad. Argentina has not been overwhelming on its way through the tournament, winning all four of its games by one goal, and needing Messi to create magic in each win. Messi has four goals and an assist.
Belgium, too, has been less convincing on its way to the quarters, though it dominated play in the second half against the United States. Even then, the U.S. nearly stole a win in the final minutes of regulation and nearly equalized late in extra time of the Red Devils' 2-1 win.
Keep an eye on: Belgium's Romelu Lukaka. Lukaku did not start against the U.S., but when he entered he changed the game, scoring once and setting up another. It will be interesting to see if the Chelsea forward is in the starting lineup.
4 p.m. ESPN - Netherlands vs. Costa Rica
The Ticos are the story of the tournament, an upstart squad from the tiny Central American nation, Costa Rica has nonetheless played a fearless brand of soccer on its way to the country's first quarterfinal. The Ticos needed a gutsy performance against Greece, playing for one hour with a man down to advance to penalty kicks. Against Holland, the team will likely need one of its best performances of the tournament. If they can re-create the magic of the 3-1 win over Uruguay in the opener, however, Costa Rica may be a stunner in the semifinals.
The Netherlands opened the tournament with a resounding 5-1 win over defending World Cup champions Spain in a rematch of the 2010 final, but they have not yet replicated such dominance. Still, the Oranje remain a favorite to win the tournament if they can get world class performances out of stars Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie.
Keep an eye on: Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell, whose creativity and attacking prowess was taken out of the Greece game as he was asked simply for work rate, defending and to hold up the ball. In this game, Costa Rica will look for Campbell to create and score -- which he has not done since the opener against Uruguay.
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