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We are just four days into the tournament, but there has been no shortage of talking points at Brazil 2014 both on and off the pitch. The goals have been flowing with 37 scored through the first 11 matches, making it the highest scoring World Cup since 1958. Here are the top five things that caught my attention in the tournament so far. 1. Pain for Spain There really was no bigger story for me during the opening days of the tournament than the remarkable fall of the defending Champions Spain at the hands of the Netherlands. It wasnt just the size of the win by the Dutch in a repeat of the 2010 World Cup Final, it was the manner of the victory that shook the soccer world. Four goals is the biggest margin of defeat for a defending Champion in World Cup history. From Robin Van Persies stunning diving header, to Arjen Robbens exceptional two-goal performance it was an incredible, clinical display from the Netherlands, and they could have finished with more goals. All of this came after Spain had taken the lead, and almost went 2-0 up just before RVPs equalizer. However, as impressive as the Dutch were, much of the surprise was about how Spain crumbled. In the second half, the defending World and European Champions looked anything but. The performance of the normally reliable Iker Casillas was just one black mark on a bad afternoon at the office for the Spaniards, and a late miss from close range by Fernando Torres summed up a bleak afternoon. Spain lost their first match in 2010 and went on to win the World Cup. It will be fascinating to see how they respond this time around. 2. Magical Messi There was much talk heading into the tournament about Lionel Messis status as one of the true soccer greats. Can he be on a pedestal alongside the likes of Pele and Diego Maradona if he doesnt win a World Cup? Messi showed on Sunday night what we have seen many times before for Barcelona. Whatever the game, whoever is around him, he has the ability to single-handedly influence the outcome. Argentina were not at their best against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and neither was Messi, but with his team holding a slender one goal advantage against the World Cup newcomers, Messi scored a fantastic goal, leaving defenders trailing in his wake. It was a piece of individual brilliance that provided a spark needed by his team. Whether Messi wins the tournament or not is irrelevant to me - he has already shown plenty for both club and country to be classed as one of the Worlds elite players of all time. 3. Young Lions I didnt expect much from England heading into the tournament, but I was pleasantly surprised by their performance in the 2-1 defeat to Italy on Saturday night. With young attacking flair, they looked dangerous going forward, and despite losing the match showed there is much to look forward to in the future. Raheem Sterling certainly repaid the faith shown by England boss Roy Hodgson with the Liverpool teenager putting in an excellent performance. One of the big debates afterwards was the performance of Wayne Rooney. He missed an excellent chance with England down 2-1 but struggled to influence the game from an unfamiliar position wide on the left. If England are to be successful, they need to get the best out of Rooney, and Im not sure that position will enable that to happen. With Costa Ricas surprise victory over Uruguay, it leaves the group wide open. Italy will be favourites to advance in first place. England will need to tighten up defensively but if they can produce similar attack-minded performances in their next two matches, I think they have a good chance to advance. 4. Croatia Robbed After all the build up to the World Cup, when the action finally began, it was a massive letdown that the post-game talking point was about refereeing and a controversial penalty. Neymar and Oscar produced star performances as the host nation got off to a winning start, but the game really turned Brazils way when Dejan Lovren was judged to have fouled Fred in the box. It should never have been a penalty. The contact was minimal, and Fred flopped like an Olympic diver, but Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura pointed to the spot and the penalty gave Brazil the lead they needed to settle some nerves. It was a very poor decision, but fortunately in the days that followed, the action has been so good that the officials have not been the centre if attention. However, Croatian fans will find it difficult to forgive and forget as they were in the game until the referee changed the course of the match. 5. Ouch! Poor old Gary Lewin. Immediately after Daniel Sturridge scored Englands levelling goal in the first half against Italy on Saturday night, cameras zoomed in on the touch line near the England bench. A crowd of people, including medics, were huddled around someone who was lying flat out on the floor. At first there was confusion. Who was it? What had gone wrong? Turns out the man down injured was actually the England physio! Gary Lewin had hurt himself while celebrating Englands goal. He jumped up, landed on a water bottle and dislocated his ankle. It was an embarrassing situation at the time, but it will leave Lewin with a good story in years to come of how he injured himself during a World Cup match and had to be stretchered off! Roy Hodgson confirmed the injury after the match and also that Lewins World Cup is over. A disappointing end for the physio, but at least he will have expert help on hand throughout his recovery. Falcons Womens Jerseys . He never mentioned anything about his hitting. The 33-year-old right-hander had success with both Sunday, pitching six solid innings and helping the offence-starved Mets with an RBI single as New York salvaged a doubleheader split with a 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Brett Favre Jersey .5 million, two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, a deal that covers his final two arbitration seasons. http://www.authenticfalconsshopnfl.com/ ... at-jersey/. Three days after falling to Hamilton, Abbotsford scored three goals in 53 seconds en route to a convincing 5-1 win over the Bulldogs Saturday in American Hockey League play. Tony Gonzalez Jersey . None of them are Finlands Pekka Rinne, who stands as Canadas biggest challenge in Thursdays quarter-final round. Even while a young Finnish team has struggled with penalties, turnovers and a lack of offensive depth, Rinne has been a rock with a 1. Russell Gage Jersey . Howard hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Canadas womens hockey team didnt play its best game in its Four Nations Cup opener, but it was enough to beat Finland 3-1. Rebecca Johnston, Natalie Spooner and Vicki Bendus scored for Canada, which is playing this tournament without star forward Hayley Wickenheiser and five other veterans. Canada scored two goals in 1:34 in the first period and wound up outshooting Finland 39-23. "We were a little soft," said forward Meghan Agosta-Marciano, who assisted on Spooners goal. "We need to be able to chip the puck a little more, come out of the zone together and come with speed, and thats something that we kind of lacked a bit tonight. Thats not the best hockey that were going to be playing this tournament." Coach Dan Church praised his teams adjustments in the third period but said the consistency needs to be better. "Finlands a tough team to play against because they clog the neutral zone and theyre very good at their neutral-zone forecheck," he said. "We didnt make an adjustment in the second period, but I thought the third period we did a good job." Finlands only goal came in the third period, when Tea Villila scored on the fifth of six power plays to make it 3-1. Canada took seven minor penalties but Johnstons goal, from Haley Irwin and Brianne Jenner, came on the power play. Goaltender Charline Labonte stopped 22 of the 23 shots she faced. "Charline had a solid game in net for us, turned aside a bunch of shots and was cconsistent back there," Church said.dddddddddddd. In addition to Wickenheiser, Canada is without experienced forwards Caroline Ouellette and Marie-Philip Poulin and defencemen Meaghan Mikkelson, Lauriane Rougeau and Laura Fortino, who are getting a rest. Church wants to win the Four Nations Cup, but this tournament is also about evaluating players for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. "Its a prestigious tournament, and its an important step on the road to Sochi. But there are things that we need to do to build our team," he said. "We brought 21 players here that are going to play all four games, and thatll be an important process for us selecting our team down the road, leaving some players behind in Calgary." Those in Lake Placid, N.Y., have their sights on winning now and worrying about Sochi later. "When I think Canada I think winning every single opportunity we have in any game or any tournament," Agosta-Marciano said. "Its great tournament to kind of see where everybodys at, and at the end of the day we want to come out of this on top." Canadas next game is Wednesday night against the United States, which it has already defeated twice recently. This is a renewal of that rivalry, even with some of Canadas best players not participating. "I think itll be good to see some of our younger players, having some of our more experienced veterans at home in Calgary, its an opportunity for them to step up," Church said. Cheap Panthers Jerseys Cheap Bills Jerseys Cheap Dolphins Jerseys Cheap Patriots Jerseys Cheap Saints Jerseys Cheap Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Cardinals Jerseys Cheap 49ers Jerseys Cheap Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Rams Jerseys Cheap Bears Jerseys Cheap Lions Jerseys Cheap Packers Jerseys Cheap Vikings Jerseys Cheap Bengals Jerseys Cheap Browns Jerseys ' ' '

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