World Cup 2014: Five Tournament Takeaways from Day 4

World Cup 2014: Five Tournament Takeaways from Day 4

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Day 4 of World Cup 2014 featured three equally thrilling matches. Here are the big takeaways:

1. Do or do not. There is no tie. This World Cup goes into Day 5 without one single draw. Not since 1934 has a cup gone this far without a stalemate, and it has been entirely to the fans’ benefit. So far, 37 goals have been scored and none of the games could be described as dull. Long may the trend continue.

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2. Injury time goals are the best goals. The Switzerland vs. Ecuador game came dangerously close to breaking the streak of no-draws before this happened:

Like a buzzer-beater in basketball, there’s nothing like winning right at the last second.

3. The Honduran team was playing rugby. Granted, the only way for them to stop the swashbuckling French was to be defensively solid, but there’s solidity and then there’s out-and-out thuggery. The excellent Paul Pogba and Yohan Cabaye in particular had punishing afternoons on the receiving end of tackle after tackle.

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4. France’s Karim Benzema could a dark horse contender for top scorer of the tournament. We’ll have to see how he performs against better opposition than the tough-tackling Hondurans, but if Benzema continues to play the way he did today, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. 

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5. Even in a stuttering performance by Argentina, Lionel Messi can shine. Despite going ahead in the third minute through an own goal (the earliest ever in the World Cup), Argentina was unable to get through a stubborn Bosnian defense until Messi turned it on for one moment of magic. Messi has never quite performed for Argentina with the same zippy confidence that he does for Barcelona, but today’s goal was the little man at his best. 

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Product Director at The Fiscal Times, Josh Herr also writes about the business of sports, culture, entertainment and music.