Week 1 Review 60 goals in 20 games.
19th June 2014
The first week of this year’s World Cup was nothing short of incredible. There’s been an astonishing 60 goals in 20 games, with plenty of talking points between refereeing decisions, penalties and wondering where all the defences have gone. On day one Brazil overcame Croatia after going 1- 0 down - with a little help from the referee. Neymar starred for the hosts and got his World Cup off to a blistering start with a brace, showing fantastic leadership on an emotional night for Brazilian football. It didn’t take long to have our first shock of the competition when Netherlands obliterated Spain 5-1 on day two. Many expected the Dutch team to struggle but Spain fell to their fast- paced counter- attacking. On day three Costa Rica did their best to match that with a stunning 3- 1 win over Uruguay. Italy got off to winning ways as Andrea Pirlo starred in a 2-1 victory over an attacking England side that’ll be optimistic going into their round two match against Uruguay tonight. Argentina got their World Cup off to a good start as well with a 2-1 win against Bosnia, with Lionel Messi finally getting his second World cup. Germany were tremendous against Portugal, even before Pepe foolishly got sent off, and Thomas Muller set himself up for the top scorer award with a hat-trick. It was a big statement from Germany, showing that they are the team to fear this summer. But the true talking point after week one is the future of Spain, who crashed out last night in their second group game at the hands of Chile. Spain didn’t look threatening and failed to respond after Friday’s 5-1 loss to Holland. It signals the end of an era for one of the greatest international teams of all time, but with magnificent young players coming through they won’t be gone for long. Player of the Week Holland were exceptional against Spain and Arjen Robben, who more often than not frustrates and disappoints, was tremendous. Spain looked tired and out of sorts and were killed by Holland’s counter attacking which was led by the mercurial Bayern Munich winger, who scored two excellent goals. Australia gave Holland a surprisingly stern test and kept Robben quiet for the most part, but he found the goal again in the 3-2 victory. Team of the Week It wasn’t a great week for defences, but Thiago Silva stood out against Mexico and Croatia, while the experienced Rafael Marquez was excellent against Brazil and kept a clean sheet against Cameroon. Andrea Pirlo was at his classiest against England and nearly scored the instant goal of the tournament, while Arturo Vidal was sensational in Chile’s win over Spain. Ochoa (MEX); Aurier (CIV), Vlaar (NED), Marquez (MEX), Blind (NED); Pirlo (ITA), Vidal (CHI); Oscar (BRA), Muller (GER), Robben (NED); Campbell (CRC) Goal of the Week It was looking like Robin van Persie’s amazing header against Spain would be the goal of the tournament. Despite all the goals, there haven’t been any real crackers. That changed on Wedensday when Tim Cahill rifled a left footed volley past Jasper Cillessen in the Holland goal. Moment of the Week John Brooks’ 86th minute winner for the USA against Ghana led to one of the most memorable celebrations in recent times. The Hertha Berlin defender came on at half time for injured Matt Besler and didn’t have the best of times at the back, but leaped for the winner after Ghana had equalised. The passion, shock and relief he showed in his celebration provided us with one of the best moments of a hectic week of World Cup football. Dark Horse Watch Belgium got their World Cup off to winning ways, despite going 1-0 down against Algeria. France, however, looked the pick of the dark horses with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over a nasty Honduras side who spent more time kicking lumps out of the French side than passing around the ball. It was a good week for Colombia who looked potent against Greece, winning 3-0. Uruguay, on the other hand, were the worst of the South Americans in their 3-1 loss to Costa Rica as Luis Suarez watched on from the bench. Good week for… 1. Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell introduced himself to the world – and Arsenal fans – with an eye- catching performance in their 3- 1 victory over. The 21- year-old spent last season on loan at Olympiakos as he awaits a work permit to play in the Premier League. He ran the Uruguay defence ragged with a goal and assist. 2. Two defenders recently linked with the Premier League – Daley Blind and Serge Aurier – each notched two assists for their country in their opening games. They’ve recently been linked with Manchester Utd and Arsenal respectively and their opening round games cements likely moves to England. 3. Lionel Messi finally scored his second World Cup goal against Bosnia & Herzegovina, taking him one above Ireland’s Gary Breen. Bad week for… 1. Spain, where to start? The reigning champions were absolutely annihilated against Holland and didn’t look much better against Chile last night. Now questions will be asked of Vincente del Bosque while the old guard – the likes of Xavi, Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso – step aside for the upcoming stars in the Spanish ranks. 2. Portugal defender Pepe got himself a three match ban for a stupid ‘headbutt’ on Thomas Muller. The German attacker went down harmlessly after Pepe touched his face. The Real Madrid defender lost his cool and leaned in, butting heads with Muller. There wasn’t much contact but Pepe knows better than anyone that you can’t do something like that. 3. Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura came under major criticism after the first game between Brazil and Croatia. He was fooled by Fred’s dive which was converted by Neymar, giving the locals a 2-1 lead. Since then however the refereeing has improved immeasurably and the goal-line technology and vanishing spray have been fantastic additions. Article By: Kevin Coleman: www. backpagefootball. com Back to Blog