World Cup 2014: The worst games of the tournament
The Independent’s team of writers make their individual choices for the worst match of the World Cup in Brazil
Sunday 13 July 2014
It's been a fantastic month of football but in amongst the great games have been a few duds. Our writers select their worst game of the tournament.
SAM WALLACE - chief football writer
England 0-0 Costa Rica
As this newspaper’s England correspondent, I am usually spoilt for choice in this category. In the end I would have to opt for the Costa Rica game. The Central Americans got the job done having already qualified. England went not with a bang but a whimper. The rest of the world yawned.
IAN HERBERT - football correspondent
France 3-0 Honduras
This selection is based on games I attended, though clearly Nigeria 0 Iran 0 was worse. This dismal contest revealed that Honduras were willing to live up to their reputation as football’s ugly face at the tournament. Wilson Palacios, a good man, somehow got talked into being brutal, too.
GLENN MOORE - football editor
Argentina 0-0 Netherlands
In terms of quality, Russia v South Korea (1-1), Iran v Nigeria (0-0) or Japan v Greece (0-0) were bad, but the semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands was worse because the players on show had talent, but did not express it. Two hours of stalemate followed by the least dramatic of penalty shoot-outs.
JACK PITT-BROOKE - football writer
Russia 1-1 South Korea
None of the Russian games were good – Fabio Capello’s team were the World Cup’s worst side, miles away from Guus Hiddink’s exciting Euro 2008 outfit – but their first was dismal. Igor Akinfeev spilled the ball into his own net and Aleksandr Kerzhakov’s equaliser added little.
TIM RICH - football writer
Argentina 0-0 Netherlands
Two hours of sterile, bankrupt and unimaginative football that settled one argument about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. With a place in a World Cup final at stake, can anyone imagine Ronaldo being this insipid?
SIMON HART - football writer
Netherlands 0-0 Argentina
Yes, it was a semi-final and there was a huge prize at stake but the paucity of attacking play was underlined by two stats: Lionel Messi did not touch the ball once in the opposition box while Arjen Robben attempted just one first-half pass.
MIGUEL DELANEY - football writer
Japan 0-0 Greece
While the 0-0 draw between Nigeria and Iran had the novelty of being the first goalless game, and other low-scoring matches had the tension of qualification or knockout on the line, this mid-group stage fixture had nothing to offer.
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