World Cup Results 2014: Tracking Final Scores, Golden Boot Contenders for Day 7

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2014

Netherlands' Arjen Robben, right, shakes hands with Australia's Tim Cahill following the Netherlands' 3-2 victory over Australia during the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and the Netherlands at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Fernando Vergara/Associated Press

You probably thought you had already seen the goal of the tournament.

After all, what could possibly top Robin van Persie's flying, outstretched header from 17 yards out against Spain that inspired a new Internet meme?

Until Wednesday, the answer to that question was "nothing." But this World Cup has been all about one brilliant moment piling on to the next, and, in that spirit, another moment of pure brilliance has been added to the list—courtesy of the foot of Australia's Tim Cahill.

You can see that below, along with a recap of the day's results and a look at the Golden Boot race in this year's tournament. The good times just keep on coming, folks.

Well, unless you're from Spain, that is.

 

Results

Wednesday Scores
GroupTeam 1ResultTeam 2
BAustralia2-3Netherlands
BSpain0-2Chile
ACameroon0-4Croatia

 

Golden Boot Tracker

World Cup Scorers
PlayerCountryGoals
Arjen RobbenNetherlands3
Robin van PersieNetherlands3
Thomas MullerGermany3
Tim CahillAustralia2
NeymarBrazil2
Karim BenzemaFrance2
Mario MandzukicCroatia2
Ivan PerisicCroatia1
Ivica OlicCroatia1
Mile JedinakAustralia1
Memphis DepayNetherlands1
Eduardo VargasChile1
Charles AranguizChile1
Sofiane FeghouliIran1
Marouane FellainiBelgium1
Dries MertensBelgium1
Lee Keun-HoSouth Korea1
Alexander KerzhakovRussia1
Mario BalotelliItaly1
Claudio MarchisioItaly1
Daniel SturridgeEngland1
Edinson CavaniUruguay1
Joel CampbellCosta Rica1
Oscar DuarteCosta Rica1
Marcos UrenaCosta Rica1
Pablo ArmeroColombia1
Teofilo GutierrezColombia1
James RodriguezColombia1
Stefan de VrijNetherlands1
Xabi AlonsoSpain1
OscarBrazil1
Oribe PeraltaMexico1
Alexis SanchezChile1
Jorge ValdíviaChile1
Jean BeausejourChile1
GervinhoIvory Coast1
Wilfried BonyIvory Coast1
Keisuke HondaJapan1
Enner ValenciaEcuador1
Admir MehmediSwitzerland1
Haris SeferovicSwitzerland1
Lionel MessiArgentina1
Vedad IbisevicBosnia-Herzegovina1
Mats HummelsGermany1
Clint DempseyUnited States1
Andre AyewGhana1
John Anthony BrooksUnited States1
Wednesday scorers highlighted

 

Analysis

Wong Maye-E/Associated Press

If you took a sip of water, or got up to go the bathroom during Australia vs. Netherlands, chances are you missed a goal. It was that wild. 

Arjen Robben opened the scoring with another scintillating run and finish in the 20th minute, but less than a minute later, Tim Cahill answered with arguably the goal of the tournament thus far. Relive the madness yourselves, via ESPN FC:

Trying to put into perspective just how magical that goal was is no easy feat. Dan Levy of Bleacher Report came pretty close, however:

It remains to be seen if "Cahilling" will become an Internet meme; but man alive, what a screamer that goal was.

Martin Meissner/Associated Press

With the Dutch switching to their traditional 4-3-3 in the second half after an injury to central defender Bruno Martins Indi—they started the game in the same 3-4-1-2 that worked to perfection against Spain—the game really opened up.

The Aussies took a shocking lead in the 55th minute, as Daryl Janmaat was called for a harsh handball in the box, and Mile Jedinak converted the penalty. But three minutes later Van Persie struck again, smashing a shot into the top of the net.

In the 70th minute, the man who came on to replace Martins Indi, Memphis Depay, made his mark, scoring the go-ahead goal on a dipping shot from range that probably should have been saved by Aussie 'keeper Mathew Ryan. That would prove to be the difference.

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 18: Memphis Depay of the Netherlands shoots and scores his team's third goal past Mathew Ryan of Australia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 18, 2
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Give Australia this—they played as well as you could have imagined. They played their hearts out. They probably deserved a point. The Dutch were simply better.

But boy, was it fun.

And boy, have the Dutch been good. In a World Cup full of goals, the Netherlands have contributed their fair share. Just consider this pretty amazing stat passed along by Squawka Football:

After the game, Wesley Sneijder addressed how the formation change opened up the game, via Elko Born of The Telegraph:

After that, well, the reign of the Spanish came to an end.

Bolstered by goals from Eduardo Vargas and Charles Aranguiz that Iker Casillas would likely love to have another crack at—the keeper is having a shocker of a tournament—and a pressing approach that never allowed Spain to get into a rhythm, Chile knocked the defending champions out of the tournament (and Australia along with them).

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Spain created their chances but never could put together the final touch needed. And while Chile were excellent and deserve full credit for the win, several Spanish players were simply dreadful, Xabi Alonso and Jordi Alba most notably.

It was a painful way to see the Spanish era come to an end. But it also seems fitting in such a wild and crazy World Cup that a new champion would be crowned. 

Dermot Corrigan of ESPN summed up the Spanish ineptitude in one tweet:

The final match was a fairly anticlimactic way to end the day, in no small part to the lack of composure shown by Cameroon's Alex Song. With Croatia already up a goal, the following happened, via ESPN FC:

What in the world was he thinking?

That moment of stupidity couldn't overshadow the brilliance of Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic in Croatia's 4-0 win, however. The former notched a brace, while the latter earned a goal and an assist. It's all up for grabs now when Croatia and Mexico face off next week. 

Martin Mejia/Associated Press

But back to the goals.

In the Golden Boot chase, both Robben and Van Persie are firmly in the hunt. RVP's second yellow card will keep him out against Chile—potentially a major blow for the Dutch—but should they advance to the knockout phase, as it looks like they will, both he and Robben will make a major push to finish atop the goal-scoring chart. Mandzukic put his name in the hat by opening his tournament with a brace as well.

Can they keep up with Muller? Will Neymar get back to his goalscoring ways against Cameroon? Who else will emerge in the tallies race?

So many questions. So many answers that will be brilliant to watch play out.

 

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