2014 World Cup: Round 1 Recap

Christopher Lee

Where we take a high level look at the first round of group stage games.

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

The first round of group play games ended with Russia and South Korea playing to a 1-1 draw. Let's take a look back at how things are shaping up in the 2014 World Cup.

So far, in the 16 matches played, we have seen:

Wins/Losses 14
Draws 2
Goals 49
Goals/Game 3.09

The 2014 World Cup started off with a run of 12 straight games where there was a winner. That streak was broken on Monday with Iran and Nigeria playing to a 0-0 draw.

Confederation Performance

Confederation W D L Pts PPG W % GF GA GD
CONCACAF 3 0 1 9 2.25 75.00% 6 5 1
CONMEBOL 4 0 2 12 2.00 66.67% 13 8 5
UEFA* 6 1 6 19 1.46 46.15% 23 24 -1
CAF 1 1 3 4 0.80 20.00% 4 6 -2
AFC 0 2 2 2 0.50 0.00% 3 6 -3

* There have been 3 games where both teams are from UEFA. If you remove these games, UEFA is 3-1-3.

Confederation Head-to-Head

AFC CAF CONCACAF CONMEBOL UEFA
AFC X 0-1-1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0-0-0
CAF 1-1-0 X 0-0-2 0-0-0 0-0-1
CONCACAF 0-0-0 2-0-0 X 1-0-0 0-0-1
CONMEBOL 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-1 X 3-0-1
UEFA* 0-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-3 X

* There have been 3 games where both teams are from UEFA. These results are not included.

Shock Results

United States 2-1 Ghana

This is a shock result because of the sequence of events that led to the win. Dempsey scored for the US 32 seconds in. Officially the 6th quickest goal at the World Cup, and Dempsey became the first US player to score in 3 World Cups. Jozy Altidore pulled up lame in the 21st minute with a bad hamstring. The US then parked the bus for most of the game. Matt Besler was subbed off at halftime for a hamstring injury of his own. Ghana scored in the 82nd minute, and we all felt like a story was going to repeat itself. In the 86th minute, Graham Zusi put in a corner that found substitute John Brooks, and subsequently, the back of the net. Brooks' goal was the game winner, and happened to be the first goal scored by a US substitute in a World Cup.

Spain 1-5 Netherlands

The defending World Cup Champions (2010) and European Champions (2008 & 2012) were played out of the building by the 15th ranked team in the World, who they had beaten in 2010 for the World Cup title. FIFA also didn't allow either team to wear their traditional colors.

Germany 4-0 Portugal

A stupid red card by Pepe and injuries led to an unimaginable implosion by Portugal. Germany took the opportunity to run up their goal differential.

Costa Rica 3-1 Uruguay (from Austin Fido)
Marcos Urena scored a goal

Urena first came to the world's attention in the 2009 U-20 World Cup, when he scored three goals and Costa Rica finished fourth. This potential was further highlighted by another three goals at the 2011 Copa CentroAmericana - he got the Golden Boot and Costa Rica finished second.

Since then, as far as I can make out: nothing. He moved to Kuban Krasnodar in Russia in 2011, and has managed not a single goal. Nor did he find the net for his national team - until the 84th minute of Costa Rica's opening game of the 2014 World Cup, against the reigning Copa America champions, Uruguay.

Next time everyone is climbing all over Jozy Altidore for having a rough six months, think of Marcos Urena, think of three years without a goal, and think just how emphatically keeping the faith can be vindicated.
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