No matter which team you were pulling for, this year’s World Cup included more than its fair share of notable events—good and bad. But more importantly, this was one entertaining tournament to follow. Here are the World Cup’s most rehash-worthy moments as far as we’re concerned.
1) Brazil turns it around
A good host goes out of his way to make guests feel comfortable, true, but Brazil may have taken this too far when they scored the opening goal of the tournament… against themselves.
2) Spain loses it
Spain, one of the teams favored to win, lost its very first match against the Netherlands. The 2010 defending champions only scored one goal to the Dutch team’s five.
3) Portugal and Germany butt heads
Notoriously volatile Portuguese player Pepe headbutted Thomas Muller after the German player fell to the ground as the two were vying for the ball. The stunt came at a price, though, and he was forced to sit out the rest of the tournament.
4) The US breaks its streak
The United States secured its victory over Ghana in the 86th minute of the match’s 90 minutes. Timing aside, what made this win all the more notable, however, is that the Americans were disqualified from the last two World Cups after losing to the West African team.
5) Wanted: Mouthguards
Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez dominated headlines around the world after he bit Italian
defense player Giorgio Chiellini on the field.
6) Heads up!
This gravity-defying play was more Matrix than World Cup. During the Netherlands’ match against Spain, Robin Van Persie dove for the ball and, body suspended in midair, parallel to the ground, drove it into the goal with his head.
7) Home disadvantage?
The tournament hosts lost to Germany in a devastating 7-1 match in the semifinal round. The unceremonious defeat shook Brazilians across the continent.
8) Bavarian dream team!
Germany won the World Cup by a single goal, made in the final minute by 22-year-old Mario Goetz. The dramatic victory was a fitting end to one of the most unpredictable tournaments of recent years.