FIFA World Cup

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

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after Angel di Maria scored his side's only and winning goal in extra time during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Argentina and Switzerland at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Argentina defeated Switzerland 1-0 to move on to the quarterfinals. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2014

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 1ResultTeam 2
Argentina1-0Switzerland
United States1-2Belgium

 

Golden Boot Watch

World Cup Goalscorers
PlayerCountryGoals
James RodriguezColombia5
NeymarBrazil4
Lionel MessiArgentina4
Thomas MullerGermany4
Karim BenzemaFrance3
Enner ValenciaEcuador3
Arjen RobbenNetherlands3
Robin van PersieNetherlands3
Xherdan ShaqiriSwitzerland3
Jackson MartinezColombia2
GervinhoIvory Coast2
Luis SuarezUruguay2
Tim CahillAustralia2
Mario MandzukicCroatia2
Ahmed MusaNigeria2
Andre AyewGhana2
Clint DempseyUnited States2
Memphis DepayNetherlands2
Ivan PerisicCroatia2
Wilfried BonyIvory Coast2
Asamoah GyanGhana2
Islam SlimaniAlgeria2
Alexis SanchezChile2
Bryan RuizCosta Rica2
Angel Di MariaArgentina1
Kevin De BruyneBelgium1
Romelu LukakuBelgium1
Julian GreenUnited States1
David LuizBrazil1
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
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
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
Edin DzekoBosnia and Herzegovina1
Peter OdemwingieNigeria1
Divock OrigiBelgium1
Miralem PjanicBosnia and Herzegovina1
Rafik HallicheAlgeria1
Abdelmoumene DjabouAlgeria2
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
Cristiano RonaldoPortugal1
Aleksandr KokorinRussia1
Jan VertonghenBelgium1
Giovani dos SantosMexico1
Wesley SneijderNetherlands1
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarNetherlands1
Sokratis PapastathopoulosGreece1
Paul PogbaFrance1
Andre SchurrleGermany1
Mesut OzilGermany1
Tuesday scorers highlighted

 

Analysis

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Goalkeeper Tim Howard of the United States looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDona
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. 

 

Follow TRappaRT on Twitter

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices