FIFA World Cup

World Cup Results 2014: Tracking Final Scores, Golden Boot Contenders for Day 14

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 25:  Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second of the game during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Nigeria and Argentina at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 25, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2014

In world football, you can't win with just one player. It's a team sport, after all. Of course, if you only watched Wednesday's games—namely the Argentina vs. Nigeria match—you might be thinking otherwise. 

With places in the knockout phase up for grabs and seeding to be decided, Wednesday's action at the 2014 World Cup was once again intense. Let's take a look back at the day's action, the goalscorers and review the race for the Golden Boot.

 

Results

Wednesday Fixtures
GroupTeam 1ResultTeam 2
FArgentina3-2Nigeria
FIran1-3Bosnia and Herzegovina
EFrance0-0Ecuador
EHonduras0-3Switzerland

 

Golden Boot Watch

World Cup Goalscorers
PlayerCountryGoals
NeymarBrazil4
Lionel MessiArgentina4
Xherdan ShaqiriSwitzerland3
Karim BenzemaFrance3
Enner ValenciaEcuador3
Arjen RobbenNetherlands3
Robin van PersieNetherlands3
Thomas MuellerGermany3
James RodriguezColombia3
Jackson MartinezColombia2
GervinhoIvory Coast2
Luis SuarezUruguay2
Tim CahillAustralia2
Mario MandzukicCroatia2
Ahmed MusaNigeria2
Andre AyewGhana2
Clint DempseyUnited States2
Memphis DepayNetherlands2
Ivan PerisicCroatia2
Wilfried BonyIvory Coast2
Edin DzekoBosnia and Herzegovina1
Miralem PjanicBosnia and Herzegovina1
Avdija VrsajevicBosnia and Herzegovina1
Reza GhoochannejhadIran1
Marcos RojoArgentina1
Juan CuadradoColombia1
Andreas SamarisGreece1
Georgios SamarasGreece1
Diego GodinUruguay1
Blaise MatuidiFrance1
Mathieu ValbuenaFrance1
Moussa SissokoFrance1
Blerim DzemailiSwitzerland1
Granit XhakaSwitzerland1
Bryan RuizCosta Rica1
Wayne RooneyEngland1
Juan QuinteroColombia1
Ivica OlicCroatia1
Mile JedinakAustralia1
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
Stefan de VrijNetherlands1
Xabi AlonsoSpain1
OscarBrazil1
Oribe PeraltaMexico1
Alexis SanchezChile1
Jorge ValdíviaChile1
Jean BeausejourChile1
Keisuke HondaJapan1
Admir MehmediSwitzerland1
Haris SeferovicSwitzerland1
Carlo CostlyHonduras1
Vedad IbisevicBosnia and Herzegovina1
Mats HummelsGermany1
Olivier GiroudFrance1
John Anthony BrooksUnited States1
Mario GotzeGermany1
Miroslav KloseGermany1
Asamoah GyanGhana1
Peter OdemwingieNigeria1
Divock OrigiBelgium1
Islam SlimaniAlgeria1
Rafik HallicheAlgeria1
Abdelmoumene DjabouAlgeria1
Son Heung MinSouth Korea1
Yacine BrahimiAlgeria1
Koo JacheolSouth Korea1
NaniPortugal1
Jermaine JonesUnited States1
Silvestre VarelaPortugal1
David VillaSpain1
Fernando TorresSpain1
Juan MataSpain1
Leroy FerNetherlands1
Rafael MarquezMexico1
Andres GuardadoMexico1
Javier HernandezMexico1
Joel MatipCameroon1
FredBrazil1
FernandinhoBrazil1
Wednesday scorers are highlighted

 

Analysis

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 25: Lionel Messi of Argentina scores his team's second goal and his second of the game on a free kick during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Nigeria and Argentina at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 25, 2014 in Po
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Messidependencia, indeed. 

The Argentine superstar was up to his old tricks on Wednesday, notching a brace in Argentina's 3-2 win over Nigeria. It was another case of Messidependencia, as explained by Sid Lowe of The Guardian before the match:

Messidependencia has made it to the World Cup along with the 150,000 Argentinians who have started arriving in the city of Porto Alegre for Wednesday’s match with Nigeria. It is a word that periodically appeared in Catalonia and now it is back again here in Brazil, with Argentina’s manager, Alejandro Sabella, admitting that, yes, his side do have Messidependence.

Here are Sabella's comments, via Lowe's report: "Whenever there is a player like Messi, there’s a dependence. We are trying to improve but dependence always exists. We have to try to take the pressure off him between all of us because we are a team. But for a great player there is always pressure at a World Cup."

Folks, just sit back for a moment and embrace the Messidependencia. Here's his first goal, minutes into the match, via ESPN FC:

Ahmed Musa would pull Nigeria even about a minute later, but Messi wasn't done. Just before the end of the half, he struck again, this time on a scintillating free-kick:

But that Musa fellow, he wasn't going to allow Nigeria to go down without a fight. Two minutes into the second half, he had his own brace, and Nigeria were once again within striking distance of winning the group. 

But Argentina were just too good. Marcos Rojo would put the winner in the net in the 50th minute on a set piece, and Argentina made it three wins in three games to top the group.

Just in case you weren't aware of how excellent that Messi guy has been in this World Cup, Gary Lineker can fill you in:

So, could Iran pull out a win against Bosnia and Herzegovina and top Nigeria on goal differential to advance out of the group?

Well, no, they couldn't. Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and Avdija Vrsajevic all scored for the European side, leading Bosnia and Herzegovina to a 3-1 win. But it wasn't all bleak for Iran, as they managed to get their first goal of the tournament, via Reza Ghoochannejhad.

With that tally, this year's World Cup reached an interesting milestone, as Paul Carr of ESPN noted:

While France and Ecuador played to a pretty dull scoreless draw in the later games, Xherdan Shaqiri put on an absolute show in Switzerland's 3-0 win over hapless Honduras, notching a hat trick. 

His first strike was his best one (and one of the best of this tournament, quite frankly). ESPN FC passes it along:

To be fair, his third goal was pretty as well, per ESPN:

It was quite the historical hat trick, as both Carr...

... And ESPN FC pointed out.

With Wednesday's action, the Golden Boot race also took an interesting turn, with Shaqiri's hat trick shaking things up while Neymar and Messi are now tied atop the scoring lead with four goals apiece. Not only that, but with both teams winning their groups, the bitter rivals can't meet until this year's title game. 

Wouldn't that be something if Brazil and Argentina met, continental and world bragging rights on the line while Messi and Neymar battled for the Golden Boot?

There will be other contenders for the throne, of course, but at the moment, Neymar and Messi are the front-runners. It's a tribute to just how special both are that, with each facing enormous pressure in their home countries, they've delivered thus far.

Don't expect either to let up anytime soon. 

 

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