Best World Cup ever?
At the halfway point of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it certainly has that kind of potential. For the most part, the world’s biggest soccer stars are living up to their potential. We have had some unbelievable moments of individual brilliance.
The tournament field seems especially deep with many “dark horse” teams emerging. We have also seen many dramatic finishes and there seem to be great stories in each of the eight groups when it comes to who has been eliminated and who will advance to the knockout stages.
So far in this tournament, there have been 94 goals scored. The best players in the world have brought their goal-scoring boots as well. We have seen fantastic moments from Brazil’s Neymar, Argentina’s Messi, the USA’s Dempsey, Van Persie and Robben from Holland, Germany’s Muller and Uruguay’s Suarez.
Teams seem to be attacking games with a positive approach while looking to play attractive soccer and go for goals. This has led to a lot of late- game heroics and momentum shifts. It has been amazing to watch.
You have to look no further that Team USA for examples of lategame drama. I cannot remember the last time I was so anxious watching a sporting event. The first two U. S. matches have produced seven goals. Four of those goals came in the last 10 minutes of the game.
In our first match against Ghana, Ghana tied the score at 1-1 in the 82nd minute before John Brooks put us up 2-1 in 86th. In our second match against Portugal, Clint Dempsey put the U.S. up 2-1 in the 81st minute before Valera of Portugal equalized in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Not only did this goal tie the game, it also delayed the United States’ chance to advance to the second round. We must now wait until our last group game with Germany to hopefully qualify for the knockout stages.
If the U.S. earns a win or a tie against Germany, we will automatically go through to the next round. With a win, we will top the group. With a draw, we will go through as the second place team. If we lose to Germany, things get a bit more complicated. Our goal difference (+ 1) is currently better than Ghana (-1) and Portugal (-4), so if we lose, we still have a good chance to go through, but every goal in both games will be vitally important. Our match with Germany will take place at the same time as the Portugal/Ghana game and all four teams in the group have a chance to advance. Talk about drama!
Unbelievable moments and great story lines like abound at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. So, is this the best World Cup ever? If the U.S. can manage their way into the second round, win another game or two and create a few more awe inspiring moments, it will certainly have my vote!