42        Goalkeeping blunders

What is a World Cup without goalkeeping blunders? Vincent Enyeama’s spill out to Paul Pogba to gift France a second round victory was one, Iker Casillas giving up the ball for Robin van Persie another. The biggest howler though, came in the slightly turgid Russia v South Korea game which was locked at 0-0, until Igor Akinfeev spiced up the game by dropping a tame effort, as the ball slipped through his fingers. It finished a more exciting 1-1.

41 Cameroon infighting

It was definitely a tournament to forget for Cameroon as the ghosts of Roger Milla haunted Cameroon’s campaign. They finished last out of 32 teams thanks to a -8 goal difference and were inspected over counts of match-fixing. After a loss to Mexico on the tournament’s second day, they were attempting to hit back with a win against Croatia. However, an Alex Song elbow and subsequent red card as well as teammates Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Ben Moukandjo locking horns as they let in a fourth which ended their tournament hopes.

40 Giovani dos Santos and the two goals that never were

FIFA had dealt with the rioting in the city but after the hangover of a disastrous refereeing display in the opening match, the Colombian linesman, Eduardo Diaz cruelly ruled two of Giovani dos Santos’ goals for Mexico against Cameroon in the tournament’s second game. Mexico would win through a late Oribe Peralta goal but dos Santos was robbed of two perfectly good first half goals.

39 John Brooks’ celebration

This was the group stages’ Marco Tardelli moment. There had been plenty of wild celebrations just days into the tournament, Colombian dancing, Dutch high-fiving and Swiss tongue-sticking-out. On day five of the tournament, USA had just lost their lead in Natal against Ghana and were on the back foot. A headed goal by 21-year old John Brooks was apparently more a shock to him than it was to Americans watching at home. The Hertha Berlin defender looked to be in tears as he collapsed on the floor, sobbing as he claimed the winner in the United States’ first game.

38 Colombia celebrates!

Colombia had cause to celebrate, they were in the World Cup for the first time in sixteen minutes and just five minutes into their opening match against Greece, Pablo Armero had put them ahead. It wasn’t a South American World Cup without group dances as further goals from Teofilo Gutierrez and James Rodriguez would prove.

37 David Luiz’s free-kick

Continuing on the celebration theme, David Luiz rattled in only his second goal for his country, his second in two knockout stage games, as a wonderful free kick arrowed into the top corner put their quarter final against Colombia to bed. In scenes similar to that of Diego Maradona v Greece in 1994, David Luiz raced eyes wide open to fans in Fortaleza fuelled by national pride; he had taken Brazil into their first semi-final in twelve years.

36 Thomas Muller and the failed free-kick routine

Intricate free-kick routines are well thought out and performance exceptionally. One that wasn’t however was Thomas Muller’s “fall” against Algeria whilst they were level in extra time in the second round. One player ran past the ball before returning and Muller pretended to trip before running behind the wall, only for a third German player to lift the ball into the defenders, instead of finding Muller. Cue the laughter around Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre as the tension of the second round contest was severed.

35 Missing talent not missed

Whilst top players didn’t perform at 2010, they did to some extent in Brazil. However, there was a potential shortage of talent at the tournament with injuries ruling out some of the key players. Franck Ribery and Falcao were crippled for the tournament whilst Landon Donovan, a key player for USA, was simply left out by Klinsmann. France and Colombia made quarter finals whilst America made it into the second round.

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