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The World Cup: Excitement and astonishment

You never know what to expect
You never know what to expect
Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

A soccer fan who has been watching for decades has certain expectations of different teams. Brazil is known as a soccer powerhouse having won the World Cup five times already, more than any other country. Croatia, though never having won any major tournament, usually packs a pretty good punch. For only having been a nation for little over 20 years, they are usually able to conjur up enough of an attack to make any team that writes them off as an easy win sorry. While their opening match of the 2014 World Cup was exciting to watch and left fans on the edge of their seats, they did not live up to what a seasoned soccer fan might expect. Brazil did not completely dominate the game with their fancy footwork and Croatia did not prove to be a menacing threat.

Mexico once dominated the North American soccer region, but they just barely qualified for this World Cup by the skin of their teeth. Cameroon has one of the highest played soccer professionals in the world on their side. Their first 2014 World Cup match was filled with drama with three disallowed goals in the first half. Mexico controled most of the game, but Cameroon had more goal scoring opportunities. It was all good soccer, but the stuff that ignites a passion for the world's most popular sport in the hearts of millions of cheering fans was reserved for the third match of the tournament.

Spain had never won a major tournament until 2008 and has won everything since then. Their current squad is comprised of superstars of the highest calliber. Netherlands, though never having won the World Cup before, are always a dominant threat. The match between these two teams was a rematch of the 2010 World Cup final. Spain scored first and things looked like they might be a repeat of the match from four years ago. But this time the Netherlands tied it up just before the half. Then the Netherlands scored another goal and another and another with an end result of 5-1. No one could have predicted such a phenomenal game. The more they scored, the more electricity pulsed through soccer fans everywhere. The excitement was contagious.

Chili has seen some ups and downs in recent times, but seemed to have pulled their act together for their match against Australia. The Aussies are almost always good enough to make it to the World Cup, but never good enough to get very far in the tourament. This time seems no different.

Many soccer fans expect to see very specific styles of play from each country, but so far this World Cup has been full of surprises.