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World Cup 2014 Standings: Qualifying Teams for Round of 16 Bracket

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - JUNE 23:  Neymar of Brazil celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second of the game during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Cameroon and Brazil at Estadio Nacional on June 23, 2014 in Brasilia, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

After two weeks of intense action, half the teams at the 2014 World Cup have been eliminated. The excitement will only pick up with the tournament moving into the knockout stage.

The first set of matches featured the removal of a number of perennial contenders at this event like England, Italy and Portugal. Perhaps the most surprising were Spain, which lost their first two matches after coming in as the defending champions.

At the same time, a bunch of teams came through with impressive tournaments to either win their group or at least come in second place and advance. While there is still of lot of action left to be played, these squads should be satisfied in getting to this moment.

Here is a breakdown of the final standings from the group stage along with the most surprising squads still alive.

2014 World Cup Standings
Group APWDLGDPts
Brazil321057
Mexico321037
Croatia310203
Cameroon3002-80
Group BPWDLGDPts
Netherlands330079
Chile320126
Spain3102-33
Australia3003-60
Group CPWDLGDPts
Colombia330079
Greece3111-24
Ivory Coast3102-13
Japan3012-41
Group DPWDLGDPts
Costa Rica321037
Uruguay320106
Italy3102-13
England3012-21
Group EPWDLGDPts
France321067
Switzerland320116
Ecuador311104
Honduras3003-70
Group FPWDLGDPts
Argentina330039
Nigeria311104
Bosnia-Herzegovina310203
Iran3012-31
Group GPWDLGDPts
Germany321057
United States311104
Portugal3111-34
Ghana3012-21
Group HPWDLGDPts
Belgium330039
Algeria311114
Russia3021-12
Korea Republic3012-31
via FIFA.com; Highlighted Teams Advancing

via Bleacher Report

 

Most Surprising Teams Remaining

Costa Rica

Fernando Vergara/Associated Press

There seemed to be some debate over which was the "Group of Death" in this tournament, but one region was deemed the "Group of Champions" with Italy, Uruguay and England battling for two spots.

To the surprise of many, it was the one team without a title that won the group as Costa Rica earned seven points in an impressive run to the round of 16.

The Ticos had one of the biggest upsets in the tournament right away when they earned a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Uruguay. They were then able to keep it up with a 1-0 victory over Italy. At this point, a scoreless draw against England was all they needed to win the group.

Costa Rica simply used a great team atmosphere to advance without star power in one of the more shocking results you will ever see, as pointed out by Mike Trudell of TWC SportsNet:

The exciting part is that the run might not end any time soon. While Greece are talented, they are clearly not unbeatable with an offense that struggles to score. If Costa Rica plays the way they have to this point, they can at least reach the quarterfinals.

 

United States

While the United States made it out of the group stage in 2010 and appeared to have an improved roster, few were expected them to reach the round of 16 this time around.

The Americans were drawn into Group G with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. This includes two teams that entered the tournament ranked in the top five of the FIFA rankings as well as a squad that knocked them out of the past two World Cups.

However, the United States did what was necessary to escape with a second-place finish. As ESPN's Colin Cowherd explains, this task was even tougher than originally seemed on paper:

Now head coach Jurgen Klinsmann—who explained that his side cannot win the World Cup—is excited about the next step, via ESPN:

Obviously it's a huge achievement by our team to come through that group and qualify for the knockout stage. We take a couple of good things with us and whoever we face we're going to take it to them. Now we really get started. Once the group is done, another tournament actually starts because the knockout stage is a completely different ballgame. So we can't wait to get that started next week.

Whether fans were confident in advancing or not, it remains an impressive achievement to get this far.

 

Algeria

CURITIBA, BRAZIL - JUNE 26:  Aissa Mandi (L) and Madjid Bougherra of Algeria celebrate with teammates after a 1-1 tie during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between Algeria and Russia at Arena da Baixada on June 26, 2014 in Curitiba, Brazil.
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Africa has not generally had much success at the World Cup, but Algeria's strong performance has helped make this the most successful year for the continent, according to ESPN's Paul Carr:

Algeria started the tournament with a respectable one-goal loss to Belgium before turning it on with a 4-2 win over South Korea. Knowing that a draw was enough to advance, they were able to finish 1-1 against Russia to earn second place in Group H.

While many will point to the relatively easy group as a reason Algeria were able to advance, Dean Oliver of ESPN points out that the team has proven itself as a better squad over the course of the tournament:

The squad is using great passing and teamwork to create the best opportunities around the net, and the players are coming through with strong finishes.

Although beating Germany will be a tough task, we have learned never to count out this exciting group. 

 

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