By Aritra Mukherjee:
- 136 goals in just 40 matches, I guess that must be a record. The top scorers namely, Messi, Neymar and Muller are all living up to their hype and have scored 4 goals each, compared to 5 from the last edition. An average of 2.83 goals per match is surely a treat for the crowd and there have been only 5 goalless draws. For this, I don’t blame the strikers but incredible keeping (remember the “Great Wall of Ochoa?”) and defending. Some of the goals were out of this world to begin with and the tournament came to life with the Netherlands Vs Spain match where the defending champions were routed by 5 goals to 1 and we literally witnessed a “Flying Dutchman” and Robben produced one of the greatest sprints known to mankind. If I were to choose, then these three goals really stood out for me, Messi’s last minute goal against Iran, Gervinho’s goal and Tim Cahill’s volley. The volley has to be my favorite as it is a very difficult skill to pull off and he is not really known for his shooting skills.
- One can’t really distinguish between who were the favorites and who the dark horses were, but I guess it is safe to say that this world cup has surprised us so much that Paul, the Octopus would have preferred being eaten than being given the responsibility to choose. Costa Rica, Chile, Algeria and USA have outperformed and really made the world cup worth watching for the neutrals. Algeria would love to beat Germany after what Germany did to them in the 1982 world cup in which Germany and Austria seemed to have an agreement between them. Costa Rica was the greatest surprise because they literally survived the group of death and they played the best football when compared to England, Uruguay (if only biting was acceptable) and Italy. A sincere request to people who refer to Belgium as “The Darkhorses”: please don’t misuse the word.
- Over the years, we have come to know and recognize players through their trademark celebration styles and this time, it was no different. Colombia’s dance routines were the highlight of the world cup for me and it all begun with the first goal of their tournament. Van Persie and Van Gaal high five reminded us of what kind of a coach Van Gaal is and frankly, that goal deserved no less. But my favorite has to be Tim Cahill’s trademark ‘Boxing Aussie’ celebration as it was not only his last world cup match but also a stunner to deserve that celebration.
- The crowd turned up in astounding numbers and only few matches were not houseful despite the protests, and this highlights the love for the game in the country. Not only did they support Brazil with vigor but also supported the minnows. Hence, no wonder we have only one South American casualty in the form of Ecuador. They have constantly supported the beautiful game and the Mexican Wave has not yet lost its flair, however, the Caxirolas have been banned.
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