2014 FIFA World Cup Awards: Best Moments

John Brooks' goal and celebration will forever be etched in the minds of American soccer fans. (Getty Images)
John Brooks' goal and celebration will forever be etched in the minds of American soccer fans. (Getty Images)

The morning after. It’s been a wild month-long World Cup sprint, but Mario Gotze’s extra-time goal gave Germany the trophy over Argentina – and now we won’t get any more World Cup action for four years. Before we pack it in (Premier League starts in just 33 days!), though, there’s still time to take a quick look back at what transpired in Brazil.

The five members of the Eye on World Cup team got together (or exchanged one email each, in reality) and voted on four awards and a Best XI from the World Cup.

Up next, the best moment of the tournament.

This one had five moments with one vote, so let’s just put them all together and call them the best moments of the World Cup. It’s a little bit United States-centric, with two moments coming from the USA, but there are some other ones – including the competition-winning goal by Germany. 

John Brooks’ header against Ghana 

The defender came on as a sub at halftime for Matt Besler, and up until that point, Brooks technically could have played for either Germany or the United States. Jurgen Klinsmann is certainly glad he donned the red, white and blue. After Ghana drew level late in the match, Brooks’ header in the 86th minute gave the USA the victory – and three points that would later be very useful in advancing out of the group. His celebration was legendary, too.

Germany goes up 5-0 on Brazil

This was insane. Brazil, the host country and one of the favorites to win the World Cup, was absolutely throttled by Germany – and it was thanks to an onslaught of goals in the opening 30 minutes. Thomas Muller opened the scoring in the 11th minute, but it was four goals in six minutes later in the first half that left everyone speechless. When the dust settled, it was 5-0 in favor of Germany, who would go on to win 7-1.

Clint Dempsey’s goal against Ghana

No one saw this coming. People watching on TV were probably finishing their drink orders at the bar or just settling in on their couch at home – and then suddenly, the United States was up 1-0. It took just 32 seconds for Dempsey, who took a pass from Jermaine Jones, dribbled past a couple of Ghana defenders, and then put it in the back of the net. It was the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup history.


Mario Gotze’s World Cup-winning goal

Was it the best goal of the tournament? Not at all, but any time you can get a World Cup-winning goal in the 113th minute of a 0-0 game, it has to be under consideration for the best moment of the competition. And it was a couple of Germany subs that made it happen. Andre Schurrle made a run up the left flank, darting past tired Argentina defenders, then put in a beautiful cross to Mario Gotze, who chested it down and volleyed it into the back of the net. World Cup, won.

Robin Van Persie's diving header

This one included the entire play, including the beautifully weighted ball from Daley Blind from the left wing. Blind lofted it perfectly about 45 yards in the air, leading Van Persie just enough so he could dive and head it over Spain's stunned goalkeeper, Iker Casillas. It was one of the best goals of the tournament, as well as one of the best moments.

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