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A-Z of the 2014 World Cup

World Cup
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A - Abysmal Asia. The continent's four teams failed to grab a win in Brazil, the first time Asia has gone without a victory at a World Cup since 1990. Australia, Korea, Japan and Iran all finished bottom of their respective groups. Photo: Stefano Rellandini/ReutersB - Bite. Uruguay forward Luis Suarez was slapped with a World Cup record four month ban from football and suspended for nine international matches after sinking his teeth into the shoulder of Italy's Giorgio Chiellini. Picture: AFPGhana players hold their faces after the US scored their second goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between Ghana and the United States at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)D - Dilma. The on-field action in Brazil was amongst the best ever but the problems surrounding the organisation of the tournament were not forgotten. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, along with FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, were routinely booed when shown in the crowd at matches. Picture: ReutersE - Embarrassment. A World Cup record defeat, a first loss in a competitive home match in 39 years, it was not meant to end like this for pre-tournament favourites Brazil. The 7-1 semi-final mauling at the hands of Germany plunged a nation into mourning. Photo: Vanderlei Almeida/AFPH - Hands of Howard. United States goalkeeper Tim Howard made a World Cup record 16 saves in their last-16 clash with Belgium. It was not enough, though, as Belgium prevailed 2-1 in extra time. 

Photo: Ruben Sprich/ReutersI - Invasions. Fans managed to escape security and run on to the pitch in the group match between Germany and Ghana and the last-16 clash involving the United States and Belgium, while an estimated 200 Chilean fans burst into the media centre at the Maracana Stadium before their win over Spain.  Picture: Fabrizio Bensch/AFPRIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  James Rodriguez of Colombia celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second of the game during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 20:  Giancarlo Gonzalez of Costa Rica celebrates with teammates after defeating Costa Rica 1-0 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica at Arena Pernambuco on June 20, 2014 in Recife, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)M - Memes. Social media and the World Cup were as intertwined like never before. After his bite Uruguay striker Suarez had pictures posted depicting him wearing a dog-cone round his neck, a Dracula outfit, or a Hannibal Lecter mask. Picture: TwitterN - Neymar. It was all going so well for the Brazilian number 10 who delivered four goals in four games under the huge weight of expectation. But his tournament ended at the last-eight stage when he suffered a cracked vertebra after a heavy challenge against the Colombians. Photo: Marcelo Del Pozo/Getty ImagesO - Oldest. Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon became the oldest player to take part in a World Cup when the 43-year-old came off the bench in the South Americans' 4-1 win over Japan in Group C. 

Picture: Luis Acosta/AFPP - Penalties A record-equalling four matches were settled by penalties in Brazil. Keylor Navas was arguably the goalkeeper of the tournament for Costa Rica but he could not match the two saves by Dutch shootout specialist, Tim Krul, who came on specifically for the spot-kicks as the Europeans advanced. Photo: Michael Dalder/ReutersQ - Queen kiss Mario Balotelli, whose goal helped Italy beat England, said he would aid out his beaten foe by delivering a victory against Costa Rica in their next match. All the striker wanted in a return was a kiss from the British monarch for his efforts. Unfortunately, he failed to keep up his end of the bargain as Italy lost the match and England were eliminated. Photo: Alessandro Garofalo/ReutersR - Recife rain Torrential rain in the north-eastern Brazilian city led to talk of the Group G decider between the U.S. and Germany being postponed. Pre-match warm-ups were also disrupted because of concerns about the pitch. Picture: AFPS - Spain. They arrived in Brazil with ambitions of successfully defending the title they won four years ago and winning a fourth consecutive major championship, but exited the World Cup embarrassingly early following a 5-1 defeat by the Dutch and a 2-0 loss to Chile in their opening matches. Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/APT - Technology. Goal-line technology made its World Cup debut with France the first team to be indebted to it when Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares knocked a rebound from the crossbar over the line before scrambling it clear. Once upon a time Valladares would have got away with it but thanks to German company GoalControl that will no longer be the case. Picture: Damir Sagolj/ReutersRay Whelan, a director of Fifa partner Match Services, who had left his Rio hotel before police could detain him, surrendered to a judge in the city. Picture: ReutersV - Vanishing spray. Another World Cup debutant in Brazil. Referees have been reaching for their canister to spray the white foam on the ground around the ball at a free kick and also 9.15 metres away to ensure no defenders encroach. Picture: Fabrice Coffrini/AFPW - Water breaks. Searing temperatures and mid-day kick-offs caused players t wilt in the heat and FIFA approving the first water break. It came after 30 minutes in the Netherlands' 2-1 win over Mexico in the Last 16 in Fortaleza. Picture: Mike Blake/ReutersX - Xherdan Shaqiri. Dubbed the 'Alpine Messi' in some quarters, the Swiss midfielder scored a hat-trick in the Group E win over Honduras. It was the 50th treble in World Cup history and the second of the tournament after Thomas Mueller's trio for Germany in their 4-0 opening win over Portugal. Picture: Paulo WhitakerY - Yuichi Nishimura. The Japanese referee was at the centre of the first officiating controversy of the World Cup when he awarded hosts Brazil a penalty in their Group A clash with Croatia. The match was level at 1-1 when Fred hit the turf theatrically with Nishimura pointing straight to the spot and leaving Croatia coach Nico Kovac fuming. 

Photo: Murad Sezer/ReutersFORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JULY 04:  Neymar of Brazil is challenged by Juan Camilo Zuniga of Colombia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Brazil and Colombia at Castelao on July 4, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  This tackle resulted in injury to Neymar and ended the player's World Cup. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

The A-Z of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. - Reuters

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