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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

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.