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Image credit / source: AGIF / Shutterstock.com We’re now half way through the World Cup (noooo, already?!) and the group stages are now over. The reigning champions are out, England failed to deliver and are already home, Luis Suarez needs to start eating before a game, and Ronaldo’s dream of becoming a World Cup great fell short. Today is the first day since the tournament started where there are no games (I know, I know, what are we supposed to watch on the telly this evening, right?), so to tide you over until the knockout games start tomorrow is our round up of the best and worst of World Cup 2014 – Week Two!
Managing to score against a solid German team is a feat in itself at this World Cup, so when Ghana managed to pull one back against Germany they understandably enjoyed that moment. Somehow I can ever imagine the England team pulling off a routine with such finesse.
For the third time in his professional career, Luis Suarez took to sinking his teeth into an opposing player, this time chomping on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder before falling to the floor holding his mouth and checking all of his teeth were still intact. Clearly in need of some psychological help, Suarez has been hit with a nine game ban covering International matches, and a four month ban from all footballing activities, including stepping foot in any stadiums or training grounds for his club team, Liverpool. His actions also lead to Gordon Strachan stating that football has ‘no morals’.
After picking up a second yellow card of the tournament for this challenge, you might think Italy Striker Mario Balotelli has been playing too much of that old favourite beat-‘em-up, Street Fighter. Take a look at the GIF again; I think Sagat may have been his favourite character:
This one is only in here because I’m a Spurs fan and it is mildly amusing for me to see this Vine of Jan Vertonghen taking a free kick for Belgium, only to send it wide and straight at an Arsenal fan. Unintentionally, of course. Or was it?
Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaquiri also managed to put away this absolutely beauty in their final group match, which they won 3-0 against Honduras to set themselves up with a last 16 tie against Argentina. Shaquiri scored a hat trick in the match, the second of the tournament after Thomas Muller’s against Portugal. Take a bow son.
USA’s Tim Howard has put in a couple of sterling displays so far during this World Cup, but the pick of the bunch absolutely has to be this one against Portugal. Already off balance, big Tim manages to scamper and reset his footing enough to tip the ball over. Amazing save, and so sad (for the US) to see Portugal score with the last kick of the game.
A lot of the talk before the World Cup was about whether Leo Messi would score having not managed to do so at World Cup 2010 (even though he assisted a ton of Argentina’s goals in that tournament). He’s been having a great World Cup so far in 2014, as highlighted by this fantastic free kick this week.
Week two has seen more red cards, including a couple of two footed tackles from Antonio Valencia, and this one from Belgium’s Steven Defour. There was no real need for either player to be making those tackles, and they payed the price. Fortunately for Defour, Belgium were already assured qualification for the knockout round, before Jan Vertonghen scored to give them a 1-0 win over South Korea last night.
Thomas Muller added to his hat trick against Portugal with this lovely strike against USA yesterday. He is now tied on four goals with Neymar and Leo Messi. All three players’ respective countries are through to the knockout stages, so it looks like it could be a three way battle for the Golden Boot.
This was great to see, with Dauda celebrating like he or his team had just scored a goal after his excellent save from Ronaldo’s header. Expect to see plenty more in the knockout stages when they begin tomorrow. Who are you rooting for now that England has been knocked out? I’m going with Holland, come on Oranje! Did you miss our round up of the first week? Take a look at it right here.