Top 5 Overachieving Teams From The World Cup Group Stage
Every World Cup provides teams that do better than expected and teams that do worse than initially expected. It provides a great story when unexpected teams enjoy deep runs at a World Cup, but the criteria of an overachieving team can really differ depending on the roster of players, the group they find themselves in or the obstacles they have to overcome. Here are the top 5 overachieving teams from the group stage of the 2014 World Cup.
Before the World Cup began, everybody knew Chile were a good team, but now everybody knows they're better than just a good team. Spain were clear favorites to top the group, with the Netherlands in second and then Chile as a competitive third place. It didn't work out that way, however, as Chile upset the odds to take second place in the group at the expense of an iconic Spain team.
In Group H, Russia and Belgium were the favorites to advance, but Algeria managed to thrust themselves into second place to advance. The Algerians were unlucky to lose to Belgium, and in a group of tight games, they put four goals past South Korea on the road to the next round.
Greece found themselves in a very competitive group with Colombia, Ivory Coast and Japan all fighting to advance. Colombia emerged as the best team in the group, as expected, but the Ivory Coast did not snare second place as predicted. The reason for that was Greece as they beat the Ivorians in the final group game to advance. Greece looked doomed after two games with one point and no goals scored but magically pulled it out on the final day.
It was the 'Group of Death' before, and it remains so now. Ghana were a tough, close competitor for the U.S., and Germany and Portugal both have more talent than either of those two teams do. Even through injuries, the U.S. still managed to grind it out, and Jurgen Klinsmann has done a fantastic job whatever happens from here on out.
1. Costa Rica
1. Costa Rica
When it came to discussions regarding who would emerge from Group D, Italy, England and Uruguay all got a mention but Costa Rica were never really in the conversation. Could they get one famous win? Score a goal? At least be offensive and enjoy themselves? Those were the questions that surrounded Costa Rica instead. Ultimately, the Costa Ricans topped the group, however, and for that they will be one of the biggest underdogs to ever do so.