The Top 10 games

[BEST OF THE WORLD CUP] South Africa 2010 gave us 64 games and included lots of cautious, low-scoring soccer. But it did deliver plenty of drama and some memorable matches. Here are the games we'd watch again ...

1. Germany 3, Uruguay 2
It’s not a good sign when the consolation game is the tournament’s best, but this was a thriller. The lead changed hands three times and Diego Forlan’s strike was marvelous.

2. Germany 4, England 1.
The young Germans dazzled against their archrivals. There would have been four goals in the first 40 minutes had the officials seen that Frank Lampard’s shot crossed the line.

3. Netherlands 3, Uruguay 2
For a long stretch, Uruguay looked the better team despite missing suspended striker Luis Suarez, but the Netherlands prevailed in the semifinal with three fine goals, including Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s 35-yard screamer.

4. USA 2 Slovenia 2
Before Landon Donovan’s stoppage-time winner against Algeria – celebrated across the nation -- sent the USA to the second round, the USA stayed in contention with a two-goal comeback tie against Slovenia – and had a Maurice Edu goal that would have won the game denied for a phantom foul to ignite soccer fervor all over the USA.

5. Argentina 4, South Korea 1
Before falling to Germany, 4-0, in the quarterfinals, Coach Diego Maradona’s squad played some exquisite ball and Gonzalo Higuain hit a hat trick against the Koreans, who kept it interesting by pulling within one before halftime.

6. Spain 2 Chile 1
Thank Chile, which didn’t bunker down like all of Spain’s other opponents, for the world champion’s most entertaining game, which was packed with drama because both teams were fighting for survival.

7. Slovakia 3 Italy 2
Italy saved its best for last. Too late to prevent the defending champs from exiting in the first round but in time to make this a thriller -- and Fabio Quagliarella's 25-yard lob in stoppage time was one of the tournament’s best goals.

8. Argentina 3 Mexico 1
Carlos Tevez scored on an offside goal that demoralized the previously spirited Mexicans but added Argentina’s third with a thundering 27-yard strike in the round of 16 clash.

9. Mexico 2 France 0
El Tri played with conviction and creativity to down 2006 World Cup runner-up France, getting goals from 22-year-old Javier Hernandez and 37-year-old Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

10-tie. Brazil 3 Ivory Coast 1
The closest Coach Dunga’s Brazil came to delivering the samba ball we wanted was in the win over the Africans that included two Luis Fabiano goals – one set up nicely by the otherwise disappointing Kaka.

10-tie. Japan 3 Denmark 1
It needed only a tie to advance, but Japan went out to win its final group game, kept the ball moving, the Danes scrambling, and demonstrated how to score on free kicks.

Soccer America Readers: What were your favorite World Cup games? Let us know in the comments below.

12 comments about "The Top 10 games".
  1. Garrett Isacco, July 12, 2010 at 7:32 a.m.

    USA 1, Algeria 0 Most exciting of the low scoring games featured another blown off side call costing the USA a deserved goal. The finale was the most exciting play of the entire World Cup.

  2. Kerry Ogden, July 12, 2010 at 8:39 a.m.

    I wouldn't consider the Germany/Uruguay game a great game due to the fact the ref made a mistake on the second goal, if not the first goal. Uruguay was the clear winner in that game! Same thing with the Netherland/Uruguay , there was an offsides which favored the Netherlands and should have gone into OT if not PK's at the end, more bad refing!!! More terrible refing against the USA in two games back to back, the US should have won both games straight out but bad refing resulting in ties, I'm very dissapointed in the out come of alot of the games due to bad calls by the refs which dictated the win for certain teams. WE NEED CHANGE IN REF RULINGS DURING INPORTANT MATCHES LIKE THESE!!!!

  3. Gary Wien, July 12, 2010 at 9:14 a.m.

    It's nice that you are so proud of Uruguay, but there's no way they were "the clear winner" of that game! Simply no way. Besides the fact they were playing the German "B team" with 5 guys who had hardly suited up during the tournament, the facts don't back up your argument.

    Shots -- Germany 18 Uruguay 16
    Corners -- Germany 12 Uruguay 6
    Possession -- Germany 52% Uruguay 48%

    Sorry, but Germany played the most exciting football of this World Cup. They lost to Spain largely because they entered that game afraid of Spain, which was killed them from the start. Otherwise, Germany played several of the best games of the tournament.

  4. Gus Keri, July 12, 2010 at 10:22 a.m.

    You, only, listed the high scoring games. In spite of 1-0 result and all the fouls and the cards, the finale was the most exciting game. I couldn't take my eyes of it for a second.

  5. Lisa Volmar, July 12, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.

    Uruguay vs Ghana -- most exciting with everything on the line for both teams!!!

  6. James Madison, July 12, 2010 at 1:03 p.m.

    How about Netherlands 2, Brazil 1?

  7. Marshall Jones, July 12, 2010 at 1:19 p.m.

    Denmark vs. Cameroon was great

  8. Kerry Ogden, July 12, 2010 at 1:35 p.m.

    Hi Gary, I hate to disappoint you but because a team may have a higher amount of time on the ball doesn't necessarily mean that team will come out the Victor, possession of the ball helps and also being able to put the ball in the net also accounts for the win. I'd have to agree with Lisa that Urugauy/Ghana game was exhilerating, but in the end I feel that Mexico and some South American Teams showed their game the best, reguardless of the out come from bad refing which seems to be the case in most, but not in all games. The US National Team would most likely agree with this as well as other nations.

  9. Joe d. Shaw, July 12, 2010 at 2:17 p.m.

    Last group game for Nigeria and South Korea. Ended 2-2 but one more goal for the Super Eagles and they would have won the group! Poor Yakubu missed from four yards with the 'keeper down and out of the play. Nigeria played some wonderful attacking football as they came up just a bit short. Wow

  10. Christopher Holden, July 12, 2010 at 2:56 p.m.

    Are you serious --- there were three games so much better than all the rest it was not even close: 1. Uruguay vs Ghana 2. Algeria vs USA 3. Paraguay vs Spain, then USA vs Slovenia a close 4th.

  11. Edgar Soudek, July 13, 2010 at 6:31 a.m.

    I fully agree with Chris Holden - the games he mentions were MUCH better than several of the ones chosen by the SA -Editor. I might add Brazil-Chile, a nice clean game, while the Netherlands rehearsed for the final against Spain (and prepared its dirty style) in its 2-1 win over Brazil.

  12. Marc Satterly, July 20, 2010 at 6:39 a.m.

    If Uruguay v Ghana had been written by a Hollywood screenwriter, we soccer-fans would pan it as being farcical and totally unbelievable. As entertainment value it is on a par with England v Cameroon from Italia '90. During the match, we all assume that the hopes and dreams of a nation and a continent will all be dashed in some cruel self-fulfilling prophecy. But in the 120th minute, a people, a nation and an entire continent are given a reason for hope. It is one of those moments that could forever alter history. I cried at the end of the penalty kicks for a nation that knocked my own nation out of the tournament. There are very few matches in the history of the sport of soccer that could beat Uruguay v Ghana for drama, beautiful goals, will, desire, heart and most of all significance to a race of people.

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