World Cup Results 2014: Tracking Final Scores, Golden Boot Contenders for Day 20

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World Cup Results 2014: Tracking Final Scores, Golden Boot Contenders for Day 20
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

We've seen penalties. We've seen extra time. We've seen golazos. We've generally seen the favorites prevail. And boy, have we seen drama.

That certainly didn't change on Tuesday. With the final two berths in the quarterfinals remaining, there was more drama to be had. Below, we'll take a look back at the day's results, goalscorers and update the Golden Boot watch from the 2014 World Cup.

 

Results

Tuesday Fixtures
Team 1 Result Team 2
Argentina 1-0 Switzerland
United States 1-2 Belgium

 

Golden Boot Watch

World Cup Goalscorers
Player Country Goals
James Rodriguez Colombia 5
Neymar Brazil 4
Lionel Messi Argentina 4
Thomas Muller Germany 4
Karim Benzema France 3
Enner Valencia Ecuador 3
Arjen Robben Netherlands 3
Robin van Persie Netherlands 3
Xherdan Shaqiri Switzerland 3
Jackson Martinez Colombia 2
Gervinho Ivory Coast 2
Luis Suarez Uruguay 2
Tim Cahill Australia 2
Mario Mandzukic Croatia 2
Ahmed Musa Nigeria 2
Andre Ayew Ghana 2
Clint Dempsey United States 2
Memphis Depay Netherlands 2
Ivan Perisic Croatia 2
Wilfried Bony Ivory Coast 2
Asamoah Gyan Ghana 2
Islam Slimani Algeria 2
Alexis Sanchez Chile 2
Bryan Ruiz Costa Rica 2
Angel Di Maria Argentina 1
Kevin De Bruyne Belgium 1
Romelu Lukaku Belgium 1
Julian Green United States 1
David Luiz Brazil 1
Avdija Vrsajevic Bosnia and Herzegovina 1
Reza Ghoochannejhad Iran 1
Marcos Rojo Argentina 1
Juan Cuadrado Colombia 1
Andreas Samaris Greece 1
Georgios Samaras Greece 1
Diego Godin Uruguay 1
Blaise Matuidi France 1
Mathieu Valbuena France 1
Moussa Sissoko France 1
Blerim Dzemaili Switzerland 1
Granit Xhaka Switzerland 1
Wayne Rooney England 1
Juan Quintero Colombia 1
Ivica Olic Croatia 1
Mile Jedinak Australia 1
Eduardo Vargas Chile 1
Charles Aranguiz Chile 1
Sofiane Feghouli Iran 1
Marouane Fellaini Belgium 1
Dries Mertens Belgium 1
Lee Keun-Ho South Korea 1
Alexander Kerzhakov Russia 1
Mario Balotelli Italy 1
Claudio Marchisio Italy 1
Daniel Sturridge England 1
Edinson Cavani Uruguay 1
Joel Campbell Costa Rica 1
Oscar Duarte Costa Rica 1
Marcos Urena Costa Rica 1
Pablo Armero Colombia 1
Teofilo Gutierrez Colombia 1
Stefan de Vrij Netherlands 1
Xabi Alonso Spain 1
Oscar Brazil 1
Oribe Peralta Mexico 1
Jorge Valdívia Chile 1
Jean Beausejour Chile 1
Keisuke Honda Japan 1
Admir Mehmedi Switzerland 1
Haris Seferovic Switzerland 1
Carlo Costly Honduras 1
Vedad Ibisevic Bosnia and Herzegovina 1
Mats Hummels Germany 1
Olivier Giroud France 1
John Anthony Brooks United States 1
Mario Gotze Germany 1
Miroslav Klose Germany 1
Edin Dzeko Bosnia and Herzegovina 1
Peter Odemwingie Nigeria 1
Divock Origi Belgium 1
Miralem Pjanic Bosnia and Herzegovina 1
Rafik Halliche Algeria 1
Abdelmoumene Djabou Algeria 2
Son Heung Min South Korea 1
Yacine Brahimi Algeria 1
Koo Jacheol South Korea 1
Nani Portugal 1
Jermaine Jones United States 1
Silvestre Varela Portugal 1
David Villa Spain 1
Fernando Torres Spain 1
Juan Mata Spain 1
Leroy Fer Netherlands 1
Rafael Marquez Mexico 1
Andres Guardado Mexico 1
Javier Hernandez Mexico 1
Joel Matip Cameroon 1
Fred Brazil 1
Fernandinho Brazil 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 1
Aleksandr Kokorin Russia 1
Jan Vertonghen Belgium 1
Giovani dos Santos Mexico 1
Wesley Sneijder Netherlands 1
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Netherlands 1
Sokratis Papastathopoulos Greece 1
Paul Pogba France 1
Andre Schurrle Germany 1
Mesut Ozil Germany 1

Tuesday scorers highlighted

 

Analysis

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

For 90 minutes, Tim Howard made more saves than Dennis Eckersley. For the 15 minutes after that, Belgium looked as though they had finally cracked the code and deflated the United States. And in the final 15 minutes, youngster Julian Green scored a goal on his first World Cup touch and the Americans came oh so close to forcing penalties.

But it wasn't to be. Belgium won, 2-1, behind goals from Kevin De Bruyne—who on most evenings would have been the deserving Man of the Match—and Romelu Lukaku. Still, all the credit in the world has to go to Howard, who kept the United States in the match behind a historically good performance.

From Paul Carr of ESPN:

But back to the goals. Lukaku injected so much energy on the attack when he came into the game, including setting up the first in extra time. Check it out, via ESPN FC:

He would score the second as well, and that appeared to be the dagger. 

Ah, but Green was having none of it. His first World Cup goal was a beauty, as you can see here:

The United States nearly scored an equaliser—and heck, the game might not have gone into extra time had Chris Wondolowski put away a sitter in regulation—but they couldn't quite pull off the feat. A comeback would have been truly amazing; their effort was worth applauding. 

What a game. What a run for the United States. Americans can take great pride in their team today, even in defeat.

Of course, The Argentina vs. Switzerland match that preceded Belgium's close call was pretty darn compelling, too. 

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

You can execute your game plan perfectly for 90 minutes. Just ask Iran. Heck, you can execute it perfectly for 117 minutes. Just ask Switzerland.

But when you are playing Argentina and Lionel Messi, well, a few seconds can be lethal. And once again, it was the man who plays like poets write who played the leading role, as his run and assist to Angel Di Maria in extra time was the difference for Argentina in their 1-0 win over Switzerland. 

Watch for yourselves, via ESPN FC:

Messi still probably needs to win a World Cup to escape Maradona's shadow, fair or not. But as Marc Stein of ESPN notes, nobody can say that he didn't bring his A-game to Brazil:

But much of this game was a cagey affair, highlighted by Switzerland's strong defensive play and the excellent form of 'keeper Diego Benaglio. He made several huge saves, but one of his best was this gem against Messi in the 87th minute, via ESPN FC:

Messi didn't get his goal in this one, no. But he's moving on, and he remains a favorite in the Golden Boot race.

That's a race currently led by James Rodriguez, who has been simply superb thus far in the tournament. Nipping at his heels are Messi, Neymar and Thomas Muller, while Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Karim Benzema seem likely to have their say in the competition. 

Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

Few players are facing more pressure than Neymar, but if you think any of that pressure stems from some need or desire to be the top scorer in this tournament, think again.

"I don't want to be the best player, I don't want to be the top scorer," Neymar told the Associated Press, via the Times of India.

"All I want is to win the World Cup title. It's what I always dreamed about. It doesn't matter how it happens, I just want to win the title." 

Brazil are going to have one heck of a journey to get there, however. Next up is Colombia, one of the hottest teams in this tournament, and should they win that match, the winner of Germany vs. France beckons.

For a team that hasn't looked overly convincing thus far, that's a tough road to reach the finals. 

But to win the World Cup, you have to beat the best. With so many top scorers and elite talents still in the running, the Golden Boot race remains truly intriguing. 

 

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