It what should be a hard-hitting quarterfinal, Portugal and England could literally end up duking it out in Gelsenkirchen.
Portugal has not made it to the semifinals of a World Cup in 40 years. And then the Portuguese lost to England, 2-1 at Wembley Stadium on a pair of goals by Bobby Charlton.
Since then, the Portuguese have had better success against the English, beating them at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, 1-0 and winning two matches in the European Championships: 3-2 in 2000 and in a 6-5 penalty kick tiebreaker after a 2-2 tie in Euro 2004 in Portugal.
England last made it to the semifinals in 1990 before losing to Germany.
The English have won three of their four matches in Germany, beating Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, and Ecuador in the Round of 16 and drawing with Sweden in group play.
Portugal is 4-0 after wins over Angola, Iran, Mexico, and finally over the Netherlands in a brutal match which saw 16 yellow cards issued and four red cards. The most notable Portuguese player who will miss action will be Deco.
Both countries tend to have fatalistic attitudes about their teams. And with good reason most years. But one will move on to the semis.
Six entries have England as the winner of this one. Two have Portugal. Everybody else had the Netherlands!
If Portugal were to win, Yankee23 would catch Penarol1916 for the lead going in to the semis. If not, Penarol1916 will be the leader.