Shamrock Thoughts: My Favorite World Cup Games Of All-Time


With the excitement of the 2018 World Cup coming soon, I decided to write what my five favorite World Cup games I have ever watched (Hint: Lot’s of games involving the U.S.). With that being said, here are my all-time favorite games I have ever watched in the World Cup.

Honorable Mentions:

2014 World Cup Final: Argentina vs. Germany

I had a hard time not placing this match on my list, but it was an exciting match for sure especially with Mario Goetze’s incredible goal to put Germany up 1-0 for the victory.

2014 Semi-Finals: Netherlands vs Argentina

The game went into penalty kicks, that is always exciting to watch.

5. Spain vs. Netherlands, 2010 World Cup Final

Any game that goes into extra time is destined to be a great game, but what’s even more incredible was that it was a match between two nations that were starving to win their first World Cup trophy. When Andres Iniesta scored the game winner in dramatic fashion, I have never seen a bench go that nuts. That’s when I realized how special this tournament was.

4. Belgium vs USA, 2014 Round of 16

Another match that went into extra time, but the most action happened in that extra 30 minutes as that is when the only goals of the game were scored. Tim Howard was remarkable as he made 15 saves and was seen as a god here in this country. While Belgium was the more talented team, it was seemed pretty even as both sides made incredible defensive plays. Chris Wondolowski had a chance to win it for the U.S. with a last minute goal, but he missed on a golden opportunity. However, there is controversy as to whether he was onsides or not. Belgium might have won, but it was exciting nonetheless.

3. Portugal vs USA, 2014 Group Stage

This match should have made a statement about this country and how good we are at the sport. Plus the squad was playing against Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates, of course I was pumped up for that game. The U.S. played so well that they had victory snatched out of their hands by of course Ronaldo, but everyone knew that they deserved to win that match. It truly was thrilling to watch even if it ended in a draw.

2. Ghana vs Uruguay, 2010 Quarterfinals

A very controversial game that involved a hand ball to prevent a goal to score and what turned out to be one of the most thrilling matches of all time. The game even went into penalty kicks which made things even more insane to watch. I think the video below is the only best way to describe the craziness behind it. Call me crazy too, but what Luis Suarez did was very smart even if it did result in a red card and causing him to be the most hated man in the continent for a week or so.

1. Algeria vs USA, 2010 Group Stage

As an American, there will never be a better World Cup game for me to watch. When watching this match, I went from feeling dreadful to jubilation. The U.S. had played so well in the 2010 World Cup, it would have been all for naught had they not won and not advanced when they played Algeria in their final match of the group. In the waning minutes of the match, you could sense that the U.S. was not going to get that goal. Many in this country had already assumed they were not going to get it and probably turned off their TV’s. But then, in a brilliant moment, Landon Donovan caused euphoria in this country, sending us into a frenzy, as he scored a last minute goal to help not only advance USA, but also allowed them to win the group. In that moment it had felt like that that U.S. had won the World Cup, but that goal is now referred to as the “The Goal Heard Around The World.” It’s also what allowed me to go from just liking the sport to loving it. Like I said, there will never be a better moment than that game. Below is a video of that incredible moment.


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