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World Cup 2014: Awards for the opening round

Best comeback: Costa Rica
Best comeback: Costa Rica
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It’s been a great opening week at the 2014 World Cup. While many of the favorites won their first round matches, there were a number of upsets and stand out performances. Of course there were also lots of goals, bad referring decisions, fans dressed up in wacky costumers and players making their mark on the world stage.

With that in mind, we now present the 2014 World Cup Opening Round Awards in a number of categories:

Best comeback: Costa Rica went in to half time trailing favorites Uruguay by one goal. They then came back to score three unanswered goals and defeat the seventh ranked club in the world.

Team most likely to win despite the referee: Mexico. Mexico defeated Cameroon 1-0 despite Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan wrongly disallowing two perfectly good Mexican goals.

Worst haircut: Raul Meireles of Portugal. Despite plenty of competition, Meireles is the clear winner.

Best Goal: This one is easy. It has to be the diving header from Robin van Persie of Holland versus Spain.

Most unfortunate goalkeeper: Iker Casillas. In Holland's 5-1 rout of Spain, the goalkeeper seemed to be the only Spanish player on defense and spent most of his time picking the ball out of the net.

First phantom penalty awarded: Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura ruled that Croatia's Dejan Lovren had fouled Brazil forward Fred in the box and pointed to the spot. Neymar stepped to the line and scored.

Fastest goal scorer: Clint Dempsey of team USA. Captain Clint Dempsey got off the mark very quickly. He scored against Ghana after just 29 seconds.

Most boring match: Iran versus Nigeria. A lot of running around, a few attempts on goal and a 0-0 draw.

First player to receive a red card: Uruguay defender Maxi Pereira received a straight red card in the last minute of stoppage time for a silly foul on Costa Rica's Joel Campbell.

Stupidest move: Another easy winner. It's Portugal defender Pepe who thought it would be a brilliant idea to headbutt Germany's Thomas Muller. Pepe got an immediate red card. Muller got a hat trick.

Best goal scorer reaction: John Brooks of the USA. The 21-year-old defender came on as a sub against Ghana and scored the winning goal in the 86th minute. His reaction was a mixture of disbelief and sheer joy.

First goal scored of the tournament by a player for their own team: The actual first goal of the tournament was an own goal (more on that later). Brazilian Neymar scored for Brazil in the 29th minute versus Croatia.

Leading by example award: Australia's captain Tim Cahill is the heart and soul of the Socceroos. He scored Australia's only goal versus Chile and despite being the oldest player in the tournament, he ran nonstop for the full 90 minutes

Fans having the most fun: Ghana may have lost their first match to the USA, but their fans were dancing and singing throughout the entire match while draped in the colors of their country's flag.

Coolest world leader: Not only was Germany's Angela Merkel in the stands for her country's match with Portugal, she went in to the German locker room for a photo with the half dressed and sweaty team.

First tournament hat trick: Thomas Muller. As mentioned earlier, Muller scored three goals in Germany's 4-0 win over Portugal.

First clean sheet and Best performance by a goalkeeper: Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico kept Cameroon at bay in Mexico's 1-0 first match victory. He was the star of Mexico's second match against Brazil, but that's for the next round.

Most improved: France. After the shambolic performance by Les Bleus in South Africa, the French side looked solid and sharp in their first round win over Honduras.

Giving an opponent a head start award: Uruguay defender Marcelo deflected a shot by Croatia in to his own goal in the 11th minute. It was the first goal of the tournament, but for the other team.

Those are the awards for the first match of the group stages. Round two kicked off yesterday. Enjoy the matches and we'll have new awards to give out as the tournament progresses.

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