JOE’s Top 10 games of the 2014 World Cup 9 years ago

JOE’s Top 10 games of the 2014 World Cup

Brazil 2014 has been one of the most exciting World Cups in quite a while and a big improvement on the dour competition in South Africa four years ago.

169 goals have been scored in this tournament so far meaning that with one game left to play, three goals are needed to break the previous record (171 in France 1998) for the total scored in the World Cup Finals.


While the majority of these goals came in the group stages, where action and excitement ruled the roost, suspense and penalty shoot-outs took over for many of the knock-out fixtures which has led to one of the best World Cup’s in recent history… go Brazil right?

We have been blessed with some fantastic spectacles over the past month and with this in mind, we here at JOE have decided to give you our ten best games (in no particular order) from the 2014 World Cup.

There has been much debate over the topic in JOE Towers and while we were all friends by the end of the discussion, some harsh and hurtful words were said during it, some which we wish we could take back. Sticks and stones may break my bones… but words will hurt forever.

But onto the games, let us know what you think. Have we forgotten any gems?


Netherlands 5:1 Spain - Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador

This game earns its spot in the top ten for sheer shock value. Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie scored two of the goals of the tournament as the Dutch claimed a spectacular victory. Spain came into the tournament with high expectations for another victory having won the last three major tournaments and while it wasn’t inconceivable that the Netherlands would cause an upset. Did anyone expect the game to end in a 5-1 drubbing for Spain?

USA 2:1 Ghana - Estádio das Dunas, Natal


Ghana v USA: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

USA secured a famous victory against the 2010 quarter finalists Ghana following an intense affair. Clint Dempsey, who had a remarkable tournament, scored in the opening minute for the USA and they valiantly held out until the last ten minutes when Ghana equalised. Many expected the African side to power on from then and achieve a victory against the exhausted Americans, but the United States showed an admirable resilience to grab a late winner via John Brooks, capping off a wonderful game.

Germany 2:2 Ghana - Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza

The crowds at Fortaleza were treated to an exhibition in football during this match as Ghana fought back to lead before the timeless Miroslav Klose bagged the equaliser. Ghana did what no one else in this competition has managed so far, they scored two goals against a particularly stingy German defence. Ghana deserve great plaudits producing such a performance on the back of a disappointing result against the USA while Germany showed superb mental strength to turn around the deficit.


Spain 0:2 Chile - Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro

'Decimated' - Spain look forlorn after Chile put them to the sword

Spain make another entry into the top ten but again on the losing side. Chile outplayed the former World Cup winners and could have won the game by three or four if not for some poor finishing by the South American side. The doubts about Casillas were compounded when he made a glaring blunder for the second Chilean goal but let’s not take away from Chile, who tactically outfoxed the Spanish and earned a well-deserved victory.

Germany 2:1 Algeria - Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre


 Germany v Algeria: Round of 16 - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

This enthralling contest had nothing separating the sides at the end of normal time (though Algeria had a goal ruled out for offside in the first half) before Germany outscored the Algerians by two goals to one in extra time. Probably one of JOE’s favourite games of the tournament considering that Germany were heavy favourites but were fortunate to get the result on the night. A pulsating contest for the full 120 minutes.

England 1:2 Italy - Arena Amazônia, Manaus


England’s opening game of the tournament was always going to attract great Irish interest, whether you were supporting them or praying for a defeat. The match didn’t disappoint as the Italians produced a composed display to claim victory over the old enemy. The match had a high entertainment value as we watched Rooney and Co battle back level before eventually losing out thanks to a goal from former Man City star Mario Balotelli. Andrea Pirlo was magnificent by the way.

Argentina 3:2 Nigeria - Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre

Nigeria v Argentina: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

This end-to-end contest deservedly earns a spot in our top ten. Lionel Messi bagged a brace of goals to lay the foundation for victory for the South American side. Argentina had already qualified going into the game but the win assured them of top spot in the group meaning that they had plenty to play for. Nigeria made a real contest of the game and can feel unfortunate not to have at least earned a draw.

USA 2:1 Belgium - Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador


USA were probably the most exciting team to watch in the tournament because their games were always dramatic even if the football wasn’t of a particularly high quality. The round of 16 match against Belgium was unbelievably tense and Tim Howard’s heroics kept the Belgians at bay during normal time. He couldn’t, however, do the same in extra time as the Belgium struck twice in extra time to give the European side a 2:1 victory, but that overlooks a near comeback by Klinsi's men in the extra 30. A remarkable contest.

Brazil 1:7 Germany - Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte

Brazil v Germany: Semi Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Everyone knew that Brazil would struggle without captain Thiago Silva and their talisman Neymar, but did anybody predict that they would collapse so spectacularly? This game goes in the top ten for a similar reason to the Spain/Netherlands game; sheer shock value. It can’t be denied Germany were in form but Brazil were so poor it was like watching Fulham take on Germany, such was the gulf in class. Indeed, you feel that Germany could have scored ten if they had pushed on, but mercifully they were satisfied with just the six-goal winning margin.

England 1:2 Uruguay - Arena Corinthians, São Paulo

The Luis Suarez saga means that this game earns the final spot in the top ten. Having undergone knee surgery just four weeks earlier, Suarez remarkably started the game against England and delivered a vintage performance bagging two goals and sending England home at the group stages. It seems poignant to include this game as this could be the last moment many English fans will experience of Suarez playing and scoring against their team. And it was the last full game the bold Luis will star in for quite a while.

Uruguay v England - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Hat tip to Football League and FootbalFifa WorldCupBrazil for the videos.