17        Thevanishing spray

The spray wasadopted into FIFA in time for the World Cup in Brazil and proved a hit with thosewho hadn’t seen it before. Referees would mark out the ten yard point from theball to the defensive wall. It looked more like shaving foam than spray but itwas magical.

16 TimHoward v Belgium

Inarguably the best match of the tournament, Belgium and the USA forced extratime in their second round clash. The 30 minutes of end-to-end attackingFootball made up for a one-sided contest in the ninety minutes but it was theheroics of Tim Howard, who ultimately couldn’t keep USA in the tournament, butnonetheless made him a record-shattering sixteen saves in the two hours offootball.

15 ArjenRobben admits to diving

Mexico: hemust’ve viewed the game with different glasses to everybody else watchingafterwards. He stated that he might have took a dive in the first half, whichwas categorically a penalty but not given, but stated that the injury timepenalty winner wasn’t a dive, when it was, but was given and Holland scrapedthrough to a quarter final.

14 Germany4-0 Portugal

In one ofthree royal pastings at this summer’s World Cup, Germany took on Portugal inthe marquee contest for Group G, in the group’s opening contest.

A ThomasMuller hat-trick and an uninspiring Portugal, equipped with a wild Pepe willingto headbutt anything that moved ensured Germany started their warpath on theirway to a fourth World Cup successfully.

13 PluckyAlgeria

As thegroup stages moved into the knockout stages, most people in Britain becamehonorary Algerians for the evening as they were paired with three-time WorldChampions Germany. After securing their first ever group stage qualificationwith four points, Algeria held Germany to a 0-0 and for most of the game lookedthe better team.

However, extra time wore on and Germany took apart Algeria,winning 2-1.

12 Brazilv Croatia controversy

The WorldCup started with a bang on June 12th as controversy entered the backpages the following morning after a poor refereeing performance from Japaneseofficial Yuichi Nishimura. Neymar was only booked for a clear elbow in the firsthalf and when Brazil needed a second goal to go in front 19 minutes from time,Fred took an unconvincing tumble and everybody in the stadium watched on withamazement as Nishimura awarded a penalty and Brazil beat Croatia 3-1.

11 TimCahill v Netherlands

In secondplace of my top three goals of the tournament (with the third-placed goalcoming up soon), is Tim Cahill’s strike against the Netherlands in a Group Bcontest. Needing a point at least to stay in the group for the third matchday,Tim Cahill equalised for Australia with a Robin van Persie-esque volley whichthundered in off the underside of the crossbar.

10 CostaRica surprise everybody

Costa Ricahave only made the knockout stages of a World Cup once previously, in 1990.They were dumped out with ease by Czechoslovakia and since, in two attemptsthey have been eliminated from the group stages.

When Uruguay went one up intheir opening match with Costa Rica it seemed that their tournament wouldfollow a similar pattern. However, three second half goals in response sawCosta Rica beat Uruguay and eliminate England with a 1-0 win over Italy beforeholding England to a final 0-0 to top the group. A penalty shootout win overGreece fed Costa Rica the almighty challenge of Netherlands in their first everquarter final, which they took to penalties once more, but couldn’t squeezethrough to a semi-final.

9 GOAL!James Rodriguez v Uruguay

My opinionof the goal of the tournament has to be awarded to the eventual golden bootwinner, James Rodriguez for his volley in Colombia’s 2-0 win over fellow SouthAmericans Uruguay in the second round. His swift look to see where FernandoMuslera was in his Uruguayan net and the perfect combination of chest andvolley saw Muslera beaten all ends up as Colombia made the final eight for thefirst time.

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