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.

Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week