World Cup 2014 Review: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Well, so many good things emerged from the Brazil tournament: the wonderful goals, the amazing colour and noise of the fans, the fantastic stadiums, some great goalkeeping performances and, of course, the worthy winners Germany. It was also a good competition for CONCACAF as three of their four representatives made it through to the knock-out stages with Costa Rica even managing to go all the way to the quarter-finals before falling to the Dutch on penalties; while James Rodríguez ended the tournament as a star complete with the Golden Boot award and a multi-million pound transfer to Real Madrid.
It was not a good World Cup for holders, and many people’s favourites, Spain, as they crashed out of the competition at the group stage. Thrashed 5-1 by Holland in their first game they never recovered and were dumped out of the tournament by Chile after a 0-2 defeat in their second game and like Italy four years previously they suffered the curse of the champions. There were poor performances from other so-called powerhouses of European football- namely Italy, England and Portugal who all failed to progress to the second round. But perhaps the worst of them all was Brazil’s 1-7 demolition by Germany in the semi-final that was then followed by a 0-3 defeat at the hands of the Dutch in the third-place play-off. An embarrassing end for the hosts to what was supposed to have been a glorious sixth world title.
There really was only one ugly story from the World Cup and that was Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez’ bite on Italian defender Giorgio Chielinni in their Group D game. Suárez initially protested his innocence but was eventually banned from all football activity for four months.
CONCACAF: The North and Central American region’s football organisation
made it through to the knock-out stages: Qualified for the second round
falling to: Losing to
demolition: Heavy defeat
at the hands of: Against