The 2014 World Cup has proven to be one of the best soccer tournaments in history, complete with beautiful goals, massive upsets, budding young superstars, and the requisite shots of females in the crowd. This year’s tournament also had its fair share of utter insanity — from embarrassing dives to biting incidents — which we gazed upon in awe as soccer took over our lives for the better part of the summer.
Since we brought you 10 WTF Moments From The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs a couple of months back, it only seems fair that we put out a 2014 World Cup-themed edition ahead of the Final between Germany vs. Argentina, which takes place this Sunday, July 13th. Enjoy, and let us know what you think on twitter @holytaco.
Brazil’s Marcelo Scores Own Goal In The Tournament’s First Game
With the pressure mounted on their shoulders, things were not off to a great start for Brazil in their first match, as Real Madrid defender Marcelo scored an own goal to give Croatia the lead after 11 minutes of play. Brazil went on to defeat the European side 3-1, after goals from Neymar and Oscar.
Clint Dempsey Scores 32 Seconds In Against Ghana
After much criticism for leaving Landon Donovan out of the squad, along with their chances of progressing being optimistic, the United States were off to a brilliant start after forward Clint Dempsey scored just 32 seconds into their fist game against Ghana. The American squad advanced out of the group stage, beating out Ghana and Portugal.
Lionel Messi scores in the 91st minute against Iran
After a hard-fought battle against immense underdogs Iran, World Cup finalists Argentina were saved by Lionel Messi after he slotted home the ball late into extra time to award his side with a victory. Argentina couldn’t put the Iranians away for the better part of 90 minutes, until their main man saved them from an uncertain World Cup future.
Cameroon Butt Heads In 4-0 Loss To Croatia
After controversies revolving around Samuel Eto’o and other off-field distractions, the Cameroonians suffered a massive defeat at the hands of Croatia, losing 4-0. Replays showed two Cameroon players, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Benjamin Moukandjo, clash moments before the final whistle when the former head-butted the Nancy player in frustration.
Tim Cahill Scores Screamer vs. Netherlands
After the Netherlands went up 1-0 over Australia in the first half of their group match, progress was looking bleak for the Socceroos until Tim Cahill scored a screamer to tie the game. His strike is regarded as the goal of the tournament, but it faces some stiff competition from another magical moment.
Robin van Persie Scores A Diving Header Against Spain
Manchester United boy Robin van Persie was able to tie the Netherlands’ opening match against Spain 1-1 minutes before the end of the first half with a sensational diving header. The former Arsenal star went airborne to slot in a long ball in which he was left alone against Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Spain loses first game 5-1 to Holland
Expected to win the whole tournament with a handful of other favorites, the summer did not start well for the Spaniards, as they lost their opening World Cup game to the Netherlands by a score of 5-1. The shocking loss hinted at the end of Spain’s soccer dominance, after winning the Euro Cup in both 2008 and 2012, including a World Cup win in 2010.
Spain eliminated from the tournament after two games
It got much worse for Vicente del Bosque’s side, as he had to watch his team crumble to Chile in their second group game, which was enough to put the dagger in their hearts. The South Americans beat Spain 2-0, and it was enough to eliminate the reigning World Cup champions from the group stage after two games without a point. Many feel it was the death of “Tiki-taka” as we know it.
Alvaro Pereira Gets KTFO, Allowed To Continue
After Raheem Sterling unintentionally kneed Uruguay defender Alvaro Pereira in the head, Pereira fell unconscious to the ground and appeared to be in a bad state. After waking up and protesting, the 28-year-old player is allowed to continue. Uruguay won the match 2-1.
Arjen Robben Dives To Win A Round Of 16 Elimination Game Against Mexico
Bayern Munich hitman Arjen Robben stirred up quite the controversy and labeled himself as a diver even more so after the summer tournament. The Dutchman went down in the box after slight contact with Mexican defender Rafael Marquez, which led to Jan Klaas Huntelaar’s winning penalty to award Holland a victory of 2-1 over Mexico to put the Netherlands into the last eight.
Netherlands Coach Switches Goalkeepers For Penalty Kicks
Newly appointed Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal made a historical switcheroo seconds before the Netherlands penalty shootout against Costa Rica, substituting Jasper Cillessen for Tim Krul to partake in the spot kicks. The Newcastle keeper stopped two penalties from the Costa Rican side, allowing his team to advance to the semi-finals.
Neymar Ruled Out Of The Tournament After Knee From Zuniga
Brazil held off Colombia in their quarter-final contest with two goals, yet it was an injury to their superstar striker Neymar that left the Brazilian team and their fans in shambles. Colombian defender Juan Zuniga lunged at the forward from behind, kneeing him in the back and left him with a fractured vertebra.
Uruguay’s Luis Suarez bites another opponent
In a heated group stage match versus Italy, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez appeared to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini after the two tussled in the box — and it’s not the first time he’s done that, either. The Juventus defender tried to show referee Marco Rodriguez the marks on his shoulder, but the official was having none of it. Uruguay won the match 1-0, however, the Liverpool forward and Barcelona target was slapped with a four-month ban from all football activities including a nine-match suspension from international duty, courtesy of FIFA.
Brazil humiliated at home 7-1 to Germany
With the South American country in shambles before and during the World Cup tournament, the hosts played Germany in the semi-final earlier this week and suffered their most embarrassing defeat in history. The Brazilians were romped 7-1 by Germany, with the score line being 5-0 after the second half. The Brazilian side was without star players Neymar and Thiago Silva, and countrymen such as Fred were booed heavily once being taken off the pitch.