Many expected confrontations involving favorites Spain, Italy, England or Uruguay this Saturday (5 July) at 5 PM in the Fonte Nova Arena (Salvador) for the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but the four world champions all fell by the wayside. Instead, coming into the pitch this Saturday for a spot in the last four are two teams that have never lifted the World Cup: Netherlands and Costa Rica.
Their match will be the last played in the Fonte Nova arena for the World Cup. The Bahia stadium, which came to be known as "Goal Source" during the World Cup (from the stadium's name, Fonte Nova, or New Source), has seen more goals than any other during the World Cup so far, with an average of 4.8 per match.
This Friday (4 July), Costa Rica and the Netherlands went to the stadium just to talk to journalists. Both teams held their actual last training sessions at the Barradão and Pituaçu stadiums (respectively), having switched venues in order to preserve the lawn for the clash this Saturday.
Traffic and transport
The transit blockades around the Fonte Nova will begin 5 hours before the match, and the roads will be closed to vehicle traffic until one hour after it ends.
The ten special bus lines created for the World Cup will continue to operate in the same way as in the last matches held in the arena. Fans can embark on various meeting points around the city, including those in the Barra, Salvador Norte, Bela Vista, Iguatemi and Salvador malls. The transition from line S1 to S9 costs R$ 15 (roundtrip). The lines will operate from 6 am to 11 pm this Saturday.
The subway will also continue working for a limited number of fans. To embark, they must carry their ticket for the match and register prior to using the subway. The bracelet that allows boarding must be retrieved on the 2nd floor of the Bela Vista mall. Registration may be done on the mall itself or at the Secopa, SEDUR and Transalvador websites.
According to reports from fans in Salvador, the best option to get to the stadium is using the special bus lines. There is also a bicycle rack at the Ruy Barbosa Forum for those who want to pedal their way to the arena.
Holland fans are promising to repeat the now-famous Orange Square, the unofficial concentration point for fanatics of the Dutch Lions that began in Salvador and spread throughout Brazil wherever the team went. As seen in the match against Spain, over three thousand Dutch fans are expected at 8 am in the Pelourinho to begin the “orange march” towards the Fonte Nova.