Day 6: What have we learned?

After Matchday Six of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, each of the teams have played once and in the case of Brazil and Mexico, they’ve played twice. We’ve seen glorious comebacks, shambolic defending, players wilt and wither in second halves of games and results that have moved the Earth. It may sound like hyperbole. It may sound like an overstatement but, in the last six days, the quadrennial festival of Fùtbol hasn’t disappointed anyone.

Monday, the United States pulled of a huge win against Ghana, a team that has eliminated the USA each of the last two World Cup Finals. John Brooks scored the winning goal from a header in the 86th Minute. The goal in the dying embers of the match sent the small, yet passionate American fan base into euphoria, the casual soccer fan into excitement and the usually indifferent American pro sports fan into a celebration because it wasn’t a victory for the team, but it was about the flag! 

johnbrooksThe second shocking result was the ease of The Netherlands 5-1 demolition of Spain in Group B play last Friday. Robin van Persie scored two huge goals, one of them becoming the object of social media’s affections through the opening weekend. ‘This is incredible and inexplicable,’ Van Persie told Voetbal International. ‘For us, this is a dream come true and we have to enjoy it – everyone in Holland must too.‘This is because of the coach (Louis Van Gaal). He has prepared us great and he predicted how the game would go. It’s incredible, because it was exactly as he and the staff predicted for us.’

Spain v Netherlands: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilIn this World Cup, there have been six come-from-behind wins and 49 goals in 17 matches and only three draws. So far only four matches featured three goals or less in the total scoreline. The 2014 World Cup is about attacking, fighting spirit and making opponents submit to your will. The first half of many of these games saw nerves as the favorites Brazil, Argentina, Holland and others struggle to find their legs. The pressure was great. However, those teams won their opening matches. In the case of Argentina, they didn’t get their tactics right and Bosnia gave them a really rough ride in the first half.

Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

The second round of games began today with a thrilling 0-0 draw between Brazil and Mexico in Fortaleza. Mexico’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was a fortress stopping four key shots. Ochoa’s save on Neymar drew comparisons to Gordon Banks’s legendary save against Pele. If these past 6 days have been any indication, the 2014 FIFA World Cup will have tons of astonishing goals, horrific defending, tests of mental and physical fortitude and lots of mood swings that will satisfy any physchologist!

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