Well, the first week of the much anticipated World Cup is over. After a thrilling series of games, some teams rose to the occasion while others...flopped.
The winners and losers emerging from Week 1 are in some cases expected and in other cases quite shocking.
Winner: The United States
The big winner of week one (for entirely unbiased reasons, I promise) is the United States. The US team emerged victorious over Ghana, breaking a pattern of humiliating back-to-back losses suffered against this African nation.
Without a doubt the ONE goal for the United States men’s team going into the World Cup was to break Ghana’s psychological hold. That’s done. Anything else is gravy.
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) June 17, 2014
No one saw that 5 - 1 result coming. Whoever says they did is a liar. Even if there was anticipation that the Netherlands would avenge their 2010 World Cup loss, no one could have known things would go so terribly for the defending champions.
— dirtytackle (@BrooksDT) June 14, 2014
Speaking of which, Spain holds the distinction for the worst performance by a defending champion in World Cup history. Ouch!
Winner: Robin Van Persie
Two words: Flying header. The image is already iconic and Van Persie's header just may end up as THE goal of the 2014 World Cup.
RVP contributed two goals in the 5-1 victory over Spain. He’s no doubt hoping his international display will make up for a lackluster season at Manchester United.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 17, 2014
Loser: Diego Costa
This is a man that seemingly abandoned his Brazilian roots for the opportunity to play for the “greatest team in the world”. Costa may be realizing right now that not all that glitters is gold.
— Goal UK (@GoalUK) June 18, 2014
Brazil is faring better than Spain at the moment. If Spain fails to make it out of the groups stage while Brazil manages to do so, it would bring a dramatically ironic end to Costa’s World Cup efforts.
Who are your World Cup winners and losers? Comment below!
Image via U.S. Soccer, Twitter