SAO PAULO (AP) — Fans sporting Chile's red and the Netherlands' orange streamed into Itaquerao Stadium on Monday. But it was another color they had on their minds: yellow.
With both teams having already comfortably advanced to the next round, even the most loyal fans were less interested in the opponent of the day but rather who they would face next. The consensus? Avoid host Brazil at any cost.
Even though Brazil has not impressed thus far, its vast experience and home field advantage is something to fear, said Jeroen Klink, a 51-year-old Dutch fan wearing the No. 10 jersey of star midfielder Wesley Sneijder.
"Brazil would be really tough. They are still growing into the tournament," he said. "There is lots of pressure to avoid Brazil."
The second-place team will meet the winner of Group A — probably the host nation, depending on its result against Cameroon — with the group winner likely facing an easier time against either Croatia or Mexico. A smoother path to the later stages of the tournament looms as well.
While a draw would be enough for the Dutch, Chile has to win to finish on top. Its fans are feeling even more pressure.
"We don't want to play Brazil," said Enrique Lanzerini, 35, from Santiago. "Chile always loses to Brazil. Anyone else Chile can beat, but not Brazil. It's psychological."
Amid the sea of red and orange, a spattering of yellow jerseys could also be seen in the stands — hometown fans on hand to enjoy the showdown and scope out their next opponent.
Lais Romao, a 61-year-old Brazilians from Americana, said he figured most of the locals would be pulling for the orange.
"Holland is better than Chile, but in football anything can happen," he said. "Holland has eliminated us before, so I prefer Chile — they are afraid to play us."
— By Aron Heller — www.twitter.com/aronhellerap
Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Brazil during the 2014 World Cup. Follow AP journalists covering the World Cup on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_Sports/world-cup-2014