(iransportspress) – blackmorevale – Mario Gotze’s stunning strike in extra time secured Germany’s first World Cup since reunification – bringing down the curtain on a memorable tournament in Brazil.
This year’s World Cup has been regarded by many as one of the most entertaining tournaments in years.
What was your favourite moment? Leave a comment below to have your say.
Take a look below at ten of the best moments from Brazil 2014:
10) Team USA making strides
The Unites States are renowned for their success playing ‘soccer’ – but they have steadily improved over the past few years.
Building on the success and money in the MLS, Jurgen Klinsman’s side were seen as popular underdogs in Brazil in an extremely difficult group including Germany and Portugal.
After an impressive victory over Ghana, the United States were denied three points over Portugal thanks to Silvestre Varela’s late equaliser. Despite losing against Germany, the United States went through on goal difference where they were knocked out by Belgium after another thrilling 30 minutes of extra time.
9) World champions Spain fail to reach the knock-out stage
Spain were handed a difficult draw in Brazil, but no-one could have expected them to be thumped 5-1 by the Netherlands in their opening game. Two goals apiece from Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben set the Dutch on their way to winning Group B.
The shell-shocked Spanish were then swept aside by Chile, being dumped out of the World Cup after two games. Spain recovered to thrash Australia 3-0 in their final game, but it was too late to salvage their campaign.
8) Rodriguez joined in celebration by giant insect
James Rodriguez has been one of the stars of Brazil 2014, winning the Golden Boot with his six goals. Colombia exceeded all expectations, even without other star striker Falcao, and set yup a crunch quarter final with Brazil.
Despite being kicked from pillar to post throughout the game, Rodriguez grabbed his side a lifeline with ten minutes remaining from the penalty spot. As the AC Monaco star stroked home the penalty, he was joined by a huge insect on his shoulder – which apparently wanted to join in the celebrations.
Brazil held on to book a place in the semi-finals against Germany.
7) Brazil tears against Chile
The hosts were made to sweat in their quarter final clash with South American rivals Chile – and had to settle the contest in a nervy penalty shootout.
Goalkeeper Julio Cesar saved two spot kicks to see the hosts through, but the Brazilian players were seen balling their eyes out, possibly in fear of exiting the competition under intense pressure of a home fanbase.
Brazil manager Phil Scolari even brought in councillors to try and shape up his team’s mentality, as the pressure appeared to be getting too much for the hosts.
6) Messi sinking Iran
Poor Iran. Despite going close through Reza Ghoochannejhad, the Iranians couldn’t break the deadlock against a nervous Argentina side.
Iran also had a strong penalty claim dismissed after a rash challenge from Pablo Zaballeta. Lionel Messi spoilt the party when he curled home a fantastic shot deep into injury time.
Messi had scored a similarly good goal in his side’s first game against Bosnia-Hercegovina, before adding two more against Nigeria.
Argentina, who reached the final, were probably let down by relying too heavily on the Barcelona star.
5) Neymar breaks his back
Brazil’s hopes of winning the World Cup on home soil were heavily reliant on star striker Neymar. Despite edging past Colombia in the quarter finals, Neymar was stretchered off in the closing stages after fracturing a vertebrae.
He would miss the rest of the tournament, and the media pressure in Brazil forced FIFA to open a ludicrous investigation into the challenge by Juan Zuniga, which had caused the unfortunate injury.
4) Super sub Tim Krul
The World Cup’s dark horses Costa Rica tiptoed past Italy, Uruguay and England to win Group D – before booking their place in the quarter-finals for the first time with victory over Greece on penalties.
Costa Rica faced the dangerous Netherlands, and somehow survived 120 minutes without conceding – forcing another penalty shootout.
However, before penalties began, Dutch boss Louis van Gaal decided to bin goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in favour of Newcastle United stopper Tim Krul.
Krul saved two penalties as the Netherlands ended Costa Rica’s remarkable run and booked a place against Argentina in the semi-finals.
3) Luis Suarez
While England were being held against Costa Rica, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez was busy taking a bite out of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. Suarez got away with the bite at the time, moments before Diego Godin scored to eliminate Italy and send Uruguay through.
Suarez was punished by FIFA after the game and was given a four month ban. The 27-year-old, who has since moved from Liverpool to Barcelona, wasn’t allowed to help his side in the second round as James Rodriguez’s wonder strike sent Colombia through to the quarter finals.
2) Brazil humiliated against Germany
The hosts were dumped out of the World Cup in spectacular fashion as Germany slotted seven goals past the hosts to stun Brazil and end their competition in tears.
Brazil were hoping to reach the final at the Maricana, but after Thomas Muller opened the scoring after 11 minutes – Germany had tallied up five inside the first half hour.
The hosts were unsurprisingly booed off the pitch at half time before Chelsea midfielder Andre Schurrle added two more goals after the interval to add further humiliation to the dismal hosts.
1) Gotze strikes in extra time to secure Germany’s World Cup title.
Although neither Germany nor Argentina could score during 90 minutes, the World Cup final wasn’t exactly a drab affair.
Gonzalo Higain missed an absolute sitter before having a goal ruled out for offside, while Lionel Messi should have done better after being sent through on goal.
Germany came closest when Benedikt Howedes headed against the post, but extra time beckoned. German substitute Mario Gotze’s fantastic control and volley secured a deserved World Cup victory for Germany.