American keeper Tim Howard made history in a losing effort.
A lot of people are calling it the “Copa das Copas” – the Cup of Cups, a fitting nickname for this 2014 FIFA World Cup, which is proving to be one of the best of all time.
Through the group stage and opening knockout round, we’ve seen sublime skill, untapped elation, and almost too much drama to handle.
We’ve also seen, unsurprisingly, some great record achievements on this path to the final eight. Here’s a record rundown of some of the accomplishments witnessed so far.
Miroslav Klose, that is. In our World Cup Rewind leading up to the tournament, we highlighted the phenomenal record of Il Fenomeno for most career goals at the World Cup. We also noted how Germany's Miroslav Klose was knocking at the door. Well, he's now entered the house.
With his critical tying goal against Ghana, Klose now sits even with Ronaldo at 15 career goals on FIFA's grandest stage. Klose hasn't scored since, but with Germany slated to meet France in a juicy quarterfinal match, he may still have a chance to not only affect a game, but also stand alone historically. It also marks the fourth different World Cup in which Klose has scored, equalling the record held by Pele and Uwe Seeler.
HOWARD THE HERO
America fell out of the competition Tuesday, 2-1 at the hands of Belgium in extra time. However, it could have easily gone 4-1 or 5-1 to the Red Devils if not for the in-goal heroics of U.S. keeper Tim Howard.
The century-capped Howard, playing in perhaps his last major tournamenet for America at age 35, saved an incredible 16 shots. It's the most saves by a keeper in a World Cup match, eclipsing the 13 by Peru's Ramon Quiroga in 1978, since the save statistic began being kept in 1966.
The host nation Brazil has obviously taken center stage at this cup, what with Neymar's incredible touches, the enthusiastic fans, and sweeping shots of the wonderful scenery.
And, as the most successful World Cup outfit of all time, the Seleção continues to add to its impressive cadre of records. Just by appearing in the competition, Brazil has extended its record of most World Cup appearances by a team. It's the only nation to have appeared in all 20 of the tournaments.
Also, in an ongoing battle with Germany, Brazil is attempting to extend its mark for the most World Cup goals ever scored by a team. The Brazilians have scored 218 times across all World Cups, with Germany right behind at 215 - a noteworthy battle to keep an eye on, particularly as these two could meet in the semis.
AROUND THE PITCH
Mexico's Rafael Marquez made history by wearing the armband for Mexico in his fourth World Cup. It is the most World Cups at which a player has captained his squad. ...After a 3-0 defeat to France in its opener, Honduras matched the dubious mark previously set by Bolivia and Algeria for most consecutive World Cup matches without scoring at five - a streak that dated to the country's final game in 1982, included all group matches of 2010, and finally ended in a 2-1 loss to Ecuador in its follow-up to France. ...It's also been a particularly popular World Cup for own goals. Noel Valladares (37 years, 43 days) of Honduras is the oldest player to score an own goal at the Cup, doing so against France, while Bosnia & Herzegovina's Sead Kolasinac scored the World Cup's fastest own goal at 2 min 10 sec. And keep on eye on the total of own goals - there have been five so far in the tournament, only one off the total record from France 1998.
FUTEBOL TAKES FACEBOOK
The action hasn't been limited to just the field, as this has been one of the most-watched and most-discussed World Cups ever. Due in large part to increased American interest, the natural setting of Brazil, and amenable match times, the popularity of this Cup has soared.
In fact, it is the first sporting event to ever reach 1 billion interactions on Facebook. Between just the opening match and the games of June 29, 220 million users contributed enough posts, likes, and comments to eclipse the billion mark.
And the conversation, of course, will continue for the next three rounds. Each of the group stage winners has advanced to the quarters and the matchups all look tremendous. We'll be back later in the tournament with another look at any more trivia. But for now, do nothing more than sit back and enjoy the jogo bonito.
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