My top five moments of the World Cup
After 64 games spread across 31 days the World Cup is finally over and Spain have added the world title to their European crown won two years ago. It has been an eventful month in South Africa with plenty of memorable moments, but here are my top five.
1. Lampard’s goal that never was.
Perhaps an image that will change the game forever. Frank Lampard’s dipping shot landed at least a foot over the line but was not given by the linesman. A review into the use of video technology has been called for and changes will be made in the wake of an incident which would have brought England level at 2-2 against Germany. In the end, they lost 4-1.
2. Van Bronckhorst’s goal in the semi-final.
Many players struggled to get to grips with the fly-away Jubalini ball, but 35-year-old Van Bronckhorst tamed the beast with a cracking 25 yard strike into the top corner to help the Netherlands into the World Cup final.
3. The French going on strike.
The rumblings of discontent had been going on for a while in the French camp, but things exploded one morning at the training ground when, after a blistering argument between some of the players and the coaching staff, the squad decided to go on strike. It was no surprise to see them eliminated at the group stage.
4. Germany’s hammerings of England and Argentina.
Joachim Loew’s young team came into the tournament with low expectations, but this exciting group of players ripped England and then Argentina apart with some devastating counter-attacking football. It ended in a heartbreaking semi-final defeat to Spain but rest assured these players will be back in four years time. And Premier League odds watchers should expect a few of them to be turning up in England soon.
5. Asamoah Gyan’s penalty miss.
It was perhaps the second most controversial moment of the tournament. Luis Suarez’s handball in the last minute of extra time gave Ghana the chance to advance to the World Cup semi-finals. Suarez was inconsolable for a few moments as he trudged off the pitch only for the pain to turn to joy when Gyan blasted the penalty against the bar. It was a devastating blow for Ghana, and one that upset many football bets.
The final whistle went soon after and the Uruguayan’s advanced on penalty kicks with Suarez hailed a hero by his countrymen and public enemy number one by those in Africa.