FIFA World Cup: Craziest Moments Of The Groups StageBy: Toni Matthews-El - June 28, 2014
With the groups stage of competition over, there have already been enough upsets, controversies, and scandals to make up an entire World Cup competition.
And there are still a couple weeks of the World Cup left!
Let’s take a look back at some of the craziest moments and controversial decisions from the World Cup thus far.
Brazil (And A Terrible Referee) vs. Croatia
We weren’t even a full match into the 2014 World Cup when controversy struck in the form of referee Yuichi Nishimura.
His bias towards the home nation was particularly upsetting to the Croatian team and its fans.
Things only got worse when the Brazilian side was awarded a penalty that probably won them the game due to a of a tackle that simply never happened.
The subsequent backlash is likely why we haven’t seen Nishimura refereeing any other games this World Cup.
Spain vs. Netherlands: Revenge Edition
After Spain won the 2010 World Cup courtesy of a last minute goal by Andre Iniesta, you could already tell that the Dutch would be out to get the champions at the first possible moment.
That moment came when the two sides clashed again during the groups stage of the 2014 competition, the first match for both nations.
Perhaps Spain underestimated the anger that the Netherlands team felt. Perhaps they had simply lost their edge after winning three major football tournaments back to back.
Whatever the case, the 1-5 victory by the Netherlands would shatter Spain. Many blame that awful start to the World Cup for Spain’s early exit.
Uruguay vs. Italy: Luis Suarez Bites (Again!)
It didn’t matter that Uruguay managed to win 1-0, eliminating Italy while securing a space in the the 2nd stage of competition.
All that mattered is that 27-year-old Liverpool FC foward Luis Suarez had bitten his third victim. Just when it seemed he’d overcome the idiocy of his previous controversy, THIS happened:
Though Uruguay is standing behind its favorite son (even Diego Maradona is defending him), there is no question that Suarez needs some kind of behavioral therapy.
As of now, he’s banned from football for the next four months.
USA SURVIVES THE GROUP OF DEATH!
The USA was in Group G with Germany, Portugal, and longtime rivals Ghana (who’d eliminated the Americans from the previous two World Cups).
Many were not betting on the United States to win a single game, let alone somehow advance to the next round.
The ultimate underdogs, Team USA has been consistently underestimated. Yet thanks to talent, hard work, and quite a bit of luck, the United States follows Germany out of Group G and into the knockout round.
What other moments stand out? Share them in the comments below!
Image via YouTube