The first few days of the 2014 Fifa World Cup are over, here are the highlights of the matches played so far:
Thursday not only saw the first match but also the opening ceremony for the 2014 World Cup, which took place at the Arena de Sao Paulo just before the opening match between Brazil and Croatia. The ceremony was a vibrant and colourful affair with hundreds of dancers and children showcasing just some of Brazil’s many wonderful attributes, with the ceremony itself taking place around the central ‘living’ ball. To close the event the official World Cup song, We Are One, was performed by Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez.
Thursday 12 June
With the opening ceremony out of the way the matches for the 2014 World Cup began. The first match kicked off at 5pm local time between the host Brazil and Croatia, at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo. Croatia got off to a great start with an early own goal from Marcello, but within the first half an hour Brazil had equalised and the second half wasn’t going to be any better for Croatia. A further two goals solidified the win for Brazil with Neymar scoring a penalty and Oscar getting a last minute shot on target – ultimately leading to Neymar being named man of the match.
Friday 13 June
After the intense reaction to the first game the day after wasn’t likely to calm anyone down, 3 matches were scheduled for Friday 13th and some would certainly say that luck played some part in at least one of the results…
Mexico and Cameroon kicked off the second day just after lunch local time with a single goal by Oribe Peralta in the second half claiming the win for Mexico. But that was just the beginning for Friday, match 2 was always going to be entertaining to watch but yielded perhaps the most surprising result – Spain vs Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova started out slowly with Alonso bringing the first goal of the match for Spain, but the lead wasn’t to last as both Robben and Van Persie scored twice each to drastically change the course of the match – youngster De Vrij managed to put one away in he midst to add insult to injury bringing the final score to 5-1.
The final match of the day was between Chile and Australia at Arena Pantanal. Australia fans were no doubt disheartened when after just 15 minutes the score was already 2-0 thanks to two early goals from Alexis and Valdivia. However, not all was lost, 30 minutes in and Cahill closed the gap with a shot on target and sparked hope for Australia, but it was not to be as a last minute goal from Beausejour solidified the 3-1 win for Chile in the 2014 World Cup.
Saturday 14 June
Colombia vs Greece started events on the third day of the World Cup and what a dramatic start it was, a 5 minute goal from Armero set the tone for the remainder of the match as far as Greece were concerned. Colombia’s lead only grew as time went on, as Teo and James both scored in the second half to bring the full time score to 3-0.
The second match of the day was between Uruguay and Costa Rica at the Estadio Castelo. Uruguay were the first to get a shot on target in the form of a penalty 25 minutes in, but the lead wasn’t to last. 10 minutes into the second half and the torrent of goals from Costa Rica were finding their target resulting in the final score of 3-1 – Joel Campbell brought in the first goal for Costa Rica, followed by Duarte and finally the closing shot by Urena.
Probably the most anticipated match of the World Cup so far for the UK was the England vs Italy match on Saturday. Chances are you’ve already heard what happened – everybody is talking about it and, like it or not, there’s nothing we can do to escape it until the next England match. Italy set the tone for the match with a goal 35 minutes in from Marchisio, followed quickly by an equaliser thanks to Sturridge. Early in the second half what was to be the final goal of the match by Balotelli sealed England’s fate, bringing the final score to 2-1 for Italy.
The Côte d’Ivoire vs Japan match took place shortly afterwards and may have taken many England fans’ minds off the prior defeat. Japan took the lead thanks to Honda in the early stages of the match, but that was all Japan would see of the opponents goal for most of the remainder – two goals within minutes of each other closed the match in Ivory Coast’s favour at 2-1.
Sunday 15 June
Switzerland vs Ecuador at Estadio Nacional kicked things off for the fourth day of the 2014 World Cup, Valencia brought an early lead for Ecuador but that lost not long into the second half thanks to Mehmedi and finally Switzerland took the lead and ultimately the match with a late shot from Seferovic.
The European sides continued their success as the France vs Honduras match saw France score the first goal of the match in the second half, followed by an unlucky technical own goal by Valladares, and finally Benzema scored his second of the match to bring the final score to 3-1 for France.
Man of the match Messi was the name of everyone’s mind going into the third and final match on Sunday, Argentina vs Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it wasn’t until the second half that he managed to score his first of what is likely to be many in the World Cup. An early own goal gave Argentina the lead which was strengthened by Messi in the second half, Bosnia and Herzegovina managed to claw back one goal in the closing stages of the match but it wasn’t quite enough to bring a draw.