[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.