World Cup Results 2014: Tracking Final Scores, Golden Boot Contenders for Day 23

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

Germany's Mats Hummels (5) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's first goal during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Germany and France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Two European rivals clashing. Two South American rivals clashing. World-class talent littering the pitch. 

What more could you ask for in a pair of quarterfinal matches?

Not much. With Germany facing France and host Brazil taking on Colombia, the stage was set up for some brilliant soccer. Let's take a look back at the action, updating the Golden Boot watch along the way. 


World Cup Quarterfinal Fixtures
Team 1ResultTeam 2

Golden Boot Watch

World Cup Goalscorers
James RodriguezColombia6
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
Mats HummelsGermany2
Abdelmoumene DjabouAlgeria2
David LuizBrazil2
Angel Di MariaArgentina1
Kevin De BruyneBelgium1
Romelu LukakuBelgium1
Julian GreenUnited States1
Thiago SilvaBrazil1
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
Oribe PeraltaMexico1
Jorge ValdíviaChile1
Jean BeausejourChile1
Keisuke HondaJapan1
Admir MehmediSwitzerland1
Haris SeferovicSwitzerland1
Carlo CostlyHonduras1
Vedad IbisevicBosnia and Herzegovina1
Olivier GiroudFrance1
John Anthony BrooksUnited States1
Mario GotzeGermany1
Miroslav KloseGermany1
Edin DzekoBosnia and Herzegovina1
Peter OdemwingieNigeria1
Divock OrigiBelgium1
Miralem PjanicBosnia and Herzegovina1
Rafik HallicheAlgeria1
Son Heung MinSouth Korea1
Yacine BrahimiAlgeria1
Koo JacheolSouth Korea1
Jermaine JonesUnited States1
Silvestre VarelaPortugal1
David VillaSpain1
Fernando TorresSpain1
Juan MataSpain1
Leroy FerNetherlands1
Rafael MarquezMexico1
Andres GuardadoMexico1
Javier HernandezMexico1
Joel MatipCameroon1
Cristiano RonaldoPortugal1
Aleksandr KokorinRussia1
Jan VertonghenBelgium1
Giovani dos SantosMexico1
Wesley SneijderNetherlands1
Klaas-Jan HuntelaarNetherlands1
Sokratis PapastathopoulosGreece1
Paul PogbaFrance1
Andre SchurrleGermany1
Mesut OzilGermany1
Friday scorers highlighted


RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 04:  Mats Hummels of Germany acknowledges the fans after defeating France 1-0 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between France and Germany at Maracana on July 4, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by
Martin Rose/Getty Images

The match between Germany and France was summed up by one moment late in the game. With France trailing by a goal in second-half stoppage time, the ball was played through to Karim Benzema on the left side of the box. He took a dribble and found himself with a tight angle toward goal and the choice to shoot himself or play a cross.

Given the tournament he's had thus far, Benzema wasn't about to pass up the shot. And he took a good one, ripping a screamer off his left foot high and tight to the near post. But Manuel Neuer calmly flicked his arm in the air and deflected the ball to safety, never breaking a sweat despite making a difficult save. 

That was Germany's performance in a nutshell. Yes, the team gave France a few chances—and no, it wasn't as easy as it looked—but in general its 1-0 win was a sturdy, suffocating affair that never seemed to have the Germans all that worried. Frankly, they seemed to suck the life out of what had been a bright French attack thus far in Brazil. 

If the stereotypes suggest German football is efficient and organized, well, the Germans lived up to those stereotypes today. Kyle McCarthy of Fox Sports has more on that front:

Even their goal was German through and through. Toni Kroos swung a tasty free kick into the box, where Mats Hummels—man of the match after returning from illness—muscled Raphael Varane off the ball and flicked a header into the goal.

Watch this beauty for yourselves, via ESPN FC:

In the other contest, it was all about free kicks for Brazil. And it was all about centre-backs, too, as Thiago Silva and David Luiz scored the two goals in the host country's 2-1 win over Colombia.

Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

Silva opened the scoring in the first half:

Luiz made it two in the second 45 with this cracking free kick:

But after Colombia had earned a penalty, James Rodriguez ensured he would go out of this tournament in style with this take:

Silva and Luiz probably won't be in the running for this year's Golden Boot. Hummels won't be either, though it should be noted that he now has more goals in this tournament (two) than Miroslav Klose (one). And he was excellent against France, as Squawka Football passes along:

But there will be several players in Saturday's quarterfinals smack-dab in the middle of the Golden Boot chase should their country advance, namely Argentina's Lionel Messi and the Dutch pair of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie. 

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Lionel Messi of Argentina looks on during the National Anthem prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Argentina and Switzerland at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 1, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Messi in particular almost has to score on Saturday if his team is to advance given the level of "Messidependencia" we've seen from the squad thus far. To his credit, Messi has been up to the challenge, directly contributing to five of Argentina's seven goals (four scores, one assist).

Of course, don't tell Alejandro Sabella the Argentines are solely reliant on Messi. He's having none of that, as he told Dominic Fifield of The Guardian:

Four years ago Messi was criticised for not contributing enough, and now people say we depend too greatly upon him. It’s not easy. Any team who has a player like Messi in their ranks—he’s the best player in the world—will greatly depend upon him, as a player. But there’s a group of players who support Messi, who make him stronger and make him feel well. I believe that the fact he’s done what he has here is down to the work the team puts in.

The winning goal against the Swiss the other day came about because a forward, Rodrigo Palacio, who was playing in midfield closed down the space and helped us win the ball back. You have to work to create the spaces for players like Messi to thrive. If we hadn’t had Palacio playing against Switzerland, we wouldn’t have scored that goal. Messi wouldn’t have provided that goal (for Angel Di Maria).

Against a Belgium team that will actually attack Argentina rather than play with 10 men behind the ball, we may see Sabella's point. Messi should also find far more room to operate in, and that should mean Argentina might just resemble the dangerous attacking side many pegged it to be before the tournament began. 

The Dutch might find the going a little tougher against the defensively-minded Costa Ricans. They've lived on the counterattack for much of this tournament, but they'll need to be the aggressors against Costa Rica. It will be interesting to see if Robben and Van Persie are once again up to the task. 

The semifinals are up in the air. The Golden Boot is up in the air. Heck, it's possible no one will catch Rodriguez, who in a way deserves to be remembered in the history books for his performance in Brazil. But we shall see.

Take a deep breath, folks, because the action is only going to get more intense.

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