World Cup 2014

World Cup History

Host: Brazil
Winners: Germany
Runners-up: Argentina
Third Place: Netherlands
Fourth Place: Brazil
Top Goalscorer: James Rodriguez, Colombia (5)

Participants: 32 (Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA

In 2014 Brazil got to host the famous tournament for the second time in their history, the first one being back in 1950. With the Selecao playing on home soil and having golden boy Neymar as their star attraction, there was a huge expectancy on the Brazilians to go and get their hands on the title. It wouldn’t pan out that way for them. Incidentally, the 2014 World Cup was the first edition of the tournament (since the first one) to have every single previous World Cup winner all qualify for it (Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Uruguay).

The Group Stage
Spain went into the event as the reigning World Champions and a huge shock was awaiting them as they were dumped out in the group stage after a dramatic collapse against the Netherlands in their opening match, losing 5-1 to the Dutch. They never recovered as Chile also beat them and then their victory in their final group stage match against Australia was just academic as they finished third.

The two other major casualties of the group stage were England and Italy, who tumbled out from the same group. This was a real shocker and it would have been if just one of them would have gone out. But after Italy had beaten England in their opening game it was downhill for both. Italy went on to lose against both Costa Rica and Uruguay, while England suffered a defeat at the hands of Uruguay before playing out a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica. The Three Lions finished bottom of the group.

Round of Sixteen
There was plenty of drama around in the group of sixteen with five of the eight ties needing extra time and two of them going to a penalty shoot out. Brazil were pushed all the way by Chile in a thrilling 1-1 tie before squeezing through to the quarter-finals on penalties. Costa Rica also prevailed on a penalty shootout, taking out Greece.

Extra time winners were Germany who had their struggle in getting past a resilient Algeria; Argentina who were up against Switzerland squeezed through and Belgium who just narrowly battled their way past a stubborn USA outfit in extra time. France, Colombia and Netherlands all made it through their respective round of sixteen ties in 90 minutes.

Quarter Finals
There was a big all-South American clash between Brazil and impressive Colombia in the final eight. It was a tight game in Fortaleza as well, with Colombia giving as good as they were getting, but it was Brazil who came out 1-0. In a heavyweight all-European duel between France and Germany in Rio, the team got the better of the French with a 1-0 scoreline and that set up what would turn out to be a famous semi-final between the Germans and Brazil.

In the other half of the draw, the Netherlands managed to edge past Costa Rica in a penalty shoot-out, while Argentina saw their way past Belgium with a 1-0 win.

The Argentina v Netherlands fixture went all the way to a penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 draw and it was the South Americans who prevailed 4-2 in the shoot out. In the other semi final, Brazil found themselves just one game from reaching the final in Rio, however, they, nor anyone else watching could ever have imagined what was about to happen to the Selecao in Belo Horizonte.

In less than 30 minutes of kick-off, Germany had powered their way to stunning 5-0 lead, killing off the game early on. But they didn’t stop there as they added two more in the second half before Brazil got a scant consolation in the final minute. Germany ran out 7-1 winners in that stunning result. That was Brazil’s biggest defeat since 1920 and in the game, Germany’s Miroslav Klose became the top goalscorer in World Cup history with his 16th goal.

Final/Third Place Play-Off
The Netherlands heaped some more misery on host nation Brazil by taking a 3-0 win over the Selecao in the Third Place Play-Off. In the final itself, there was a long war of attrition between Germany and Argentina, each holding the other at bay and things were even 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes. Mario Gotze popped up with a winner for Germany in the 113th minute, making it three consecutive European wins at the World Cup.


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