Gradebook: How did each country fare at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil?

9 Comments

With the 2014 World Cup done and dusted, it is time to wrap things up and reflect on how each team performed in Brazil.

From Champions Germany to the disappointing early exits of Italy, Spain, England and Portugal, we run the rule over all 32 teams who took part in South America.

[ RELATED: Story of the 2014 World Cup

How did the U.S. do, you ask?

Well, scroll down a little bit and you will find out!

Enjoy.

Top 10 goals | PST’s best XI | Story of the WCTop 10 moments | Top stats |


GRADE
 source:  Champions A+
GERMANY: The Champions had a wonderful tournament and hardly put a foot wrong. The ‘Golden Generation’ deserved the golden trophy. Goals galore and solid as a rock.
 source: Getty Images  Third Place A
NETHERLANDS: Louis van Gaal’s men restored the pride of a nation as veterans and youngsters combined to dazzle. Unlucky not to make the final. A joy to watch.
 source: AP Runners Up A
ARGENTINA: Sabella’s men only trailed for 7 minutes the entire tournament. That was the final 7 minutes of the final. Messi tried to inspire them, but they came up agonizingly short.
 source: AP  Quarterfinals A
COSTA RICA: The real surprise package as the CONCACAF nation topped their group and were within PKs of the semifinals. Marvelous from Los Ticos.
 source: AP  Quarterfinals A- COLOMBIA: The darlings of the tournament, James Rodriguez was sublime and Los Cafeteros played sexy soccer. Should have made the semis.
 source: AP  Round of 16  B+ CHILE: They almost knocked out Brazil in the last 16 and probably deserved too. Sanchez, Vidal and co. will be back. Wonderful energy.
 source: Getty Images  Quarterfinals  B+ FRANCE: Didier Deschamps has constructed a fine French side. Benzema scored goals, Pogba and Varane are talents. Unlucky no to make the final four.
 source: AP  Round of 16  B+ USA: Out of the ‘Group of Death’ and so close to snatching a miracle win vs. Belgium. Klinsmann’s men have made progress. Can they kick on from this?
source: AP  Round of 16  B+ ALGERIA: They defended for their lives and gave Germany a real scare in the last 16. The Desert Foxes can be proud.
source: AP  Round of 16  B+ MEXICO: We love Herrera’s celebrations and El Tri were two minutes away from the quarterfinals. Wonderful unity after the qualifying debacle.
source:   Quarterfinals B BELGIUM: The Belgians never truly got going but came close to making the final four. They kept every game close, but the offense never sparked. Slightly disappointing.
 source: Getty Images Fourth place B
BRAZIL: They were expected to win this and were crushed in the semifinals 7-1. They limped through the knockout rounds and Neymar’s injury was the last straw. Not a great Brazil side, but they battled.
 source: Getty Images Round of 16 B
SWITZERLAND: The Swiss are such a funny team. They were hammered by France, then took Argentina all the way to the 118th minute before being knocked out. Stubborn.
 source: AP  Round of 16   B- GREECE: How they got to the last 16, I do not know. However they lost on PKs to Costa Rica and predictably failed to get going offensively.
 source: AP  Group Stage   B-
BOSNIA: They didn’t make it out of their group, but they should have. They beat Iran, just lost to Argentina and somehow lost to Nigeria when they missed a hatful of chances. Great showing by the rookies.
 source: AP Round of 16   C+ URUGUAY: They just made it out of Group D ahead of England and Italy but were shown up by Colombia. Luis Suarez let Uruguay down and were the reason they left early.
 source: AP Round of 16   C+ NIGERIA: Solid but unspectacular, the African champions did well. They escaped from an easy group, battled vs. France but poor defending undid their good work.
 source: AP  Group Stage  C-
ITALY: Beating England in their opener should have been the perfect springboard. Wrong. Two 1-0 defeats to Costa Rica and Uruguay sent the Italians home. Poor showing.
 source: AP Group Stage   D+
IVORY COAST: Even Didier Drogba couldn’t inspire Les Elephants to the knockout rounds. On paper they are superb but at times the defending was woeful.
 source: AP Group Stage   D+
ENGLAND: No wins. One point. Hopes of a nation shattered. England looked bright vs. Italy and Uruguay but silly mistakes cost them. Bright future but how long will this rebuild take?
 source: Getty Images Group Stage  D- GHANA: They gave it a good go, but poor finishing cost them time and time again. Defeat to the U.S. and Portugal was the killer. Played well to draw with Germany.
 source: Getty Images  Group Stage  D- AUSTRALIA: Lost all three games but certainly not disgraced. Took the Netherlands all the way and they were in a tough group. New era for the Socceroos as Cahill, left, hang up the boots.
 source: AP  Group Stage D- RUSSIA: Fabio Capello has a lot of questions to answer as his side crashed out. Awful goalkeeping errors aside, Russia never looked comfortable. The hosts of the next World Cup must improve.
 source: AP  Group Stage D- ECUADOR: So close, but so far. When all was said and done the Swiss just pipped Ecuador. However the South Americans just didn’t have the quality in the final third. Silly mistakes throughout.
 source:   Group Stage D- IRAN: Carlos Quieroz almost secured a famous draw for his side vs. Argentina but a late Messi wondergoal undid Iran. Not bad. Not great either.
 source: AP Group Stage F
CROATIA: Robbed vs. Brazil in the opener and never recovered. Mexico battered them. Olic and co. looked tired and ageing.
 source: AP Group Stage F
KOREA: Just poor from South Korea. They led Russia briefly but that was as good as it got. No wins. Bottom of their group.
 source: AP Group Stage F
PORTUGAL: Ronaldo’s boys failed miserably. They beat Ghana at the death, but they were hammered by Germany and grabbed a last-gasp point vs. USA. Shaky throughout.
 source:  Group Stage F
SPAIN: The inquest started a while ago as the defending champs were dumped out. A 5-1 hammering by Holland, then 2-0 by Chile, the stuff nightmares are made of. End of an era?
 source: Reuters Group Stage F
HONDURAS: No points. Just one goal scored. The CONCACAF minnows continue to qualify for World Cups but don’t do anything when they get there.
source: AP  Group Stage F
JAPAN: Very disappointing for the Japanese as Honda and Kagawa couldn’t create anything. One point and that was it.
 source: AP Group Stage F
CAMEROON: A shamble from start to finish. Squabbling over bonuses led to a lack of focus. Outclassed in every game as they lost all three.

Transfer rumor roundup: PL duo eyeing Asensio and more

AP Photo/Francisco Seco
Leave a comment

The ongoing World Cup hasn’t halted the transfer talk across global soccer, and on Wednesday there are a number of potentially intriguing storylines.


Two Premier League sides are chasing Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio, including Chelsea and Manchester United, while they will have to battle Paris Saint-Germain as well.

Although Asensio is prepared to stay in Spain next season, he wants to be assured of playing time under new manager Julen Lopetegui, who recently joined the club.

The 22-year-old scored 11 goals in all competitions last season for Los Blancos.


Juventus continues to have several players at the center of transfer rumors, and Miralem Pjanic is a name that keeps popping up.

The midfielder won’t come cheap though, with Juve reportedly set to ask for $92.6 million in the event that a club wants to acquire Pjanic.

Barcelona is rumored to be seeking a move for Pjanic with Andres Iniesta now heading to Vissel Kobe in the J-League.


New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is reportedly looking to bring several of his former Napoli players to Stamford Bridge, including Belgium star Dries Mertens.

The Blues are seeking more attacking options ahead of the fall, and the veteran Mertens has become a proven commodity in front of goal over the course of his Serie A career.

Uruguay reaches Round of 16 courtesy of Suarez

Dan Mullan/Getty Images
1 Comment

The first two nations have advanced to the knockout phase out of Group A.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Uruguay reached the Round of 16 on Wednesday with a 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia, who has been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup.

Hosts Russia will also reach the knockout rounds with the Uruguay win, thus eliminating Egypt as well.

The Barcelona striker gave Uruguay the lead in the 23rd minute, after a poor read from Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais.

Suarez was given a wide-open finish at the far post off the corner kick for his first goal at the World Cup. The 31-year-old had scored a combined five goals during his last two World Cup appearances (2010 & 2014).

The Uruguyans dictated the tempo throughout much of the match, but Saudi Arabia’s back line held strong for the majority of the game.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

Uruguay will close out group play against Group A leaders and hosts Russia on June 25, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt will tango that same day.

Video: Goalkeeping error grants Suarez, Uruguay gift

Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
1 Comment

Luis Suarez was clearly upset with his lack of finishing in Uruguay’s opener last Friday, but the Barcelona man is finally on the scoresheet at the 2018 World Cup.

[MORE: Ronaldo’s early header gives Portugal win over Morocco ]

The veteran striker gave Uruguay the lead in the 23rd minute after a close-range finish off of a corner kick.

Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais came out to try and collect the cross, however, he was slow in his reaction, allowing the ball to slip through to Suarez for the easy finish.

The Uruguayans will reach the Round of 16 with one match remaining if they hold on to their 1-0 lead.

NZ women’s coach placed on leave after player complaints

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
2 Comments

Wellington, New Zealand (AP) The coach of New Zealand’s women’s football team has been placed on leave pending an investigation of complaints about his conduct from members of the national team.

[ MORE: Senegal holds off late Poland charge for Group H win ]

The complaints centered around tactics Andreas Heraf used in a recent home international against Japan and his comments to media after that match. Players reportedly objected to the defensive nature of Heraf’s tactics in the 3-1 loss.

New Zealand Football chief executive Andy Martin said at a news conference on Wednesday that his organization had received a letter from the New Zealand Professional Footballers Association, containing letters of complaint from 13 national team members.

Defending his approach at a news conference after the match, Heraf said the New Zealand players would never have the “quality” to compete with a team of Japan’s ability and might have lost 8-0 if they had not adopted a defensive style.

Further reports have emerged of player concerns about Heraf’s behavior, including allegations of bullying.

Martin was repeatedly questioned at the news conference about when New Zealand Football first had notice of the players’ concerns about Heraf. He insisted he was not aware of any problems until the letter from the NZPFA containing the players’ complaints was released on Monday.

In a statement, New Zealand Football Chairman Deryck Shaw said player welfare was “of utmost importance.”

“We hold player welfare as a matter of utmost importance and that is why we are conducting a thorough, independent review. We want to ensure we better understand these issues in an objective review. There is no place for inappropriate behavior of any kind with New Zealand Football.”