The World Cup 2014: The Good and The Really Bad Surprises

The Underdogs

I dare to say that not many expected for Costa Rica or Colombia to reach quarter finals without losing a single match. They were a pleasant surprise. Personally, I love underdogs because it shows that after all football is a game. And because it is a game, one never knows what the Pandora box will bring out. Of course, both teams gave excellent performances even beating out major opponents like Italy, England, and Uruguay; however, for the Colombian team, their destiny was dominated not by Brazil’s performance, but by their extra player, the referee.

It is shameful when a good game is tainted. Colombia’s demise was manipulated because the Spaniard, Carlos Velasco Carballo poorly managed this game. On many occasions, the favoritism towards Brazil was extremely obvious. The most outrageous example is Colombia’s annulled goal. The polemic scene pointed out by many experts including former referees has said that it was a goal. The game should have had the additional 30 minutes, yet the goal was annulled; therefore, the outcome is an artificial triumph. It will not affect the Brazilian team’s conscious because the result is the one that they expected – a la Armstrong, they qualified to the semifinals.

The Goalkeepers

The 2014 World Cup is about the outstanding goalkeepers. Certainly, Brazil’s Julio Cesar may come to mind after his excellent execution during the penalty round against Chile; however, another group of men are unforgettable.
Mexico’s Memo Ochoa is a goalkeeper to watch because it has been years that Mexico brought a stellar one. In my view, the last goalkeeper that was extraordinary was the neon-flamboyant goalkeeper, Jorge Campos. Certainly, Ochoa will have many teams wanting to sign him for the upcoming football season after the World Cup.

Tim Howard, the USA goalkeeper: The final game against Belgium, Howard became an instant internet sensation. He made a record of 16 saves on July 1st. Immediately a hash tag emerged – #thingstimhowardcouldsave

Lastly, Keylor Navas certainly became the man of the match against The Netherlands. Without counting the last match, Navas only received 2 goals before Costa Rica lost against The Netherlands. Honestly, Costa Rica’s last game was a coin toss. With penalties, the outcome is unpredictable. Navas along with the defense team made the Flying Dutchmen extremely doubtful of their future before the penalty round.

The Referees

It is impossible to have a World Cup without controversy and often it’s the referees fault. The most recent example which I’ve written earlier is Brazil vs. Colombia. According to bbc.com, Brazil committed 31 fouls. Another questionable decision involved once again the host-team, Brazil.

The opening game, Brazil vs. Croatia – the referee, Nishumura awarded an unfair penalty and didn’t card Neymar for elbowing the Croatian striker which prevented the European team from scoring. Sadly, these poor decisions raises many questions FIFA as an organization and if this World Cup in particular is already fixed.

The New Sensation

Although Colombia left the World Cup under questionable circumstances – their young striker, James Rodriguez is a rising star. Up to this date, the Colombian player scored 5 goals in comparison to other experienced players like Messi and Ronaldo. Rodriguez is a player to watch. It is likely he’s following the footsteps of other stars like Messi and Robin van Persie.

Don’t miss the semi-finals

Germany vs Brazil on July 8th at 3pm/central time

Argentina vs Netherlands on July 9th at 3pm/ central time

 

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