1. Goal Celebration Of The Day
Ghana take the prize for this communal effort following Asamoah Gyan’s scarcely believable strike which put them 2-1 up against Germany in Fortaleza.
Colombia still lead the way with the dances in Brazil, but with a little more work and a lot more choreography then this lot have got a chance haven’t they? Certainly if ‘Baby Jet’ is involved…
2. Unanswered Question Of The Day
Are Argentina actually any good? Twice now they’ve been saved by the genius of Lionel Messi, whose goal here topped his fine individual effort against Bosnia-Herzegovina in his side’s opening game in the Maracana.
Too often the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria, fine players all, flattered to deceive against a brilliantly determined Iran. You have to feel they’ll get better, but whether it is the several notches required to win this tournament remains to be seen.
3. Goal Of The Day
Messi’s strike to break Iran hearts was a wonderful example of just what makes him so great – a refusal to bend to the narrative.
A goalless draw with Argentina would have quite easily and quite deservedly gone down as the greatest result in Iran’s history, but just when they looked to be in touching distance of achieving it, the greatest player on the planet popped up and put them back in their place. It was ruthlessly brilliant.
4. Getting In There Early Of The Day
“So, Lionel, I know we’re about to play in a World Cup match and all that, and y’know, I’m going to try and do my best to stop you from scoring, but… when it’s over… I’m having your shirt, right?”
Iran captain Javad Nekounam lays the groundwork.
5. Keeping Good Company Of The Day
You want a stat? Here’s a stat.
There have now only been three occasions in World Cup history when a player has scored a goal against a goalkeeper who is also a club teammate. Those three player-club combinations are: Zinedine Zidane and Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Wesley Sneijder and Julio Cesar (Inter Milan) and… Peter Odemwingie and Asmir Begovic (Stoke City).
6. Face-Knee Combination Of The Day
Mario Gotze is such a gifted footballer that he can harmonise between face and knee.
Thomas Muller’s cross against Ghana was so enticing that two parts of Gotze’s body wanted to get a contact on it, and both did as he put Germany ahead in what became an absorbing second half.
7. Disappointment Of The Day
Bosnia & Herzegovina, who exited their first ever World Cup with a whimper as they lost 1-0 to Nigeria in Cuiaba.
True, they were unfortunate to see Edin Dzeko’s strike ruled out when he wasn’t offside in the first half, but he and they never once reached their full capabilities in what became a frustrating watch. Nigeria aren’t even that good, and that’s what’ll hurt the most.
8. Mistaking A Ghana Player’s Back For A Car Window Of The Day
Doing exactly what it says on the tin.
9. Performance Of The Day
Iran deserve huge credit for the effort they put in against Argentina, and they could and perhaps should have found the net had they enjoyed a little more luck, but Ghana have to take the plaudits for frightening Germany to within an inch of their lives.
Quick, powerful and determined to earn the result that would keep their World Cup alive, they were brilliant against one of the favourites to win the tournament in the eyes of many, and a classic final clash with Portugal awaits.
10. Goalkeeper Clearance Of The Day
Here’s Manuel Neuer, showing that improvisation is another one of his many skills.