International football badly needed a good World Cup. Custom Derek Jeter Jersey . The jury is yet to deliver a verdict with the knockout rounds still to come, but all indications are that this will not be a good World Cup. Indeed, it is on track to be a great World Cup. Two weeks to the day that the opening match of the tournament between Brazil and Croatia came to a close, the curtain came down on the group stages and what a sensational show it was. We are now already through three quarters of the tournament, but rather than be sad that much of it is over, we should be grateful with what we witnessed. It was a group stage that gave us more special moments than the three previous World Cups combined. A group stage of surprises, where tactically versatile and organized sides shocked the so-called super powers of the game. A group stage that saw the renaissance of 3-5-2, used so well by surprise teams like Netherlands, Costa Rica and Mexico. A group stage of counterattackers, comebacks and headers, trends that the Netherlands used in their demolition of Spain back on Day 2. Their superb pressing and clinical finishing gave us a glimpse of what was to come in Brazil, but not before that look and pass by Daley Blind just before the half-time break. The ball landed on top of the supremely intelligent head of Robin van Persie and his magnificent header over Iker Casillas changed everything. It became the group stage of headers with 27 more following van Persies, but none of them beating it. It became the group stage of comebacks. Spain, massacred by the Dutch 5-1 in the third game of the tournament, was already the second team, after Croatia a day earlier, to lose a game they led. A small, exclusive group of only four from 2010 would grow quickly as Uruguay, Japan, Ecuador, Algeria and Australia joined them in the first week. During their second group games Germany, Ghana, Portugal and USA all managed to not win games against each other that they led in. Even Uruguay, Greece and Algeria had comebacks of their own, all qualifying despite losing their opening World Cup match. Only Spain did that in 2010. It became the group stage of counterattacks, once again ignited by the Dutch over Spain as they scored their last three goals with a combined 29 seconds in possession, and never more highlighted than when Switzerland broke away in the final seconds to score a dramatic, crucial winner over Ecuador. It became the group stage of creative, left-footed masters who glided across the field into space left open by a transition. The group stage of substitute goals, 24 in total, highlighted by Miroslav Klose joining the great Ronaldo on 15 World Cup goals and James Rodriguez dancing his way through the Japanese defence for one of the goals of the tournament. In the end, though, it was the group stage of goals as an incredible 136 went in (there was a total of 145 scored in South Africa). It was no surprise that a wind of caution blew around the stadiums as the third group games took place but before they started the goals per game ratio stood at a wonderful 2.96. It ends the group stage at a beautifully high 2.83. There are still 16 games to go, of course, but no World Cup since 1970 has come close to that average. It wasnt just about the amount of goals, however. Many of the worlds stars were the ones scoring and we already have three world class stars on four goals each through three games. My 23 man squad of the group stages GK – Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica), Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria) D – Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast), Cristian Gamboa (Costa Rica), Kostas Manolas (Greece), Rafa Marquez (Mexico), Mario Yepes (Colombia), Raphael Varene (France), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica), Daley Blind (Netherlands). M – Jose Vazquez (Mexico), Hector Herrera (Mexico), Blaise Matuidi (France), Charles Aranguiz (Chile), Toni Kroos (Germany), James Rodriguez (Colombia) F – Neymar (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Thomas Muller (Germany), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Robin Van Persie (Netherlands) Group Winners – Brazil, Netherlands, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Argentina, Germany & Belgium. For the third time in the last four World Cups, three teams that were not seeded won groups. For the second successive World Cup, the only seed that didnt progress through to the next stage was the previous winners (Spain 2014, Italy 2010). Since the World Cup went to 32 teams in 1998, over the last four World Cups, nine group winners have lost in the next round (average of more than two per World Cup) and there hasnt been a World Cup in that time when all group winners advanced. Runners-up – Mexico, Chile, Greece, Uruguay, Switzerland, Nigeria, USA & Algeria. With that stat in mind it is likely that at least one of these teams will beat their opponent. Look for Greece, Uruguay, possibly Mexico, USA and even Chile to continue this streak. After that? In nine of the last 10 World Cups a group runner-up has made it to at least the semi-final stage. That will be the target of one of these teams going forward. Ranking teams eliminated at this World Cup based on performances in Brazil 32. Honduras31. Cameroon30. Japan29. South Korea28. England27. Iran26. Bosnia & Herzegovina25. Russia24. Portugal23. Australia22. Spain21. Croatia20. Ivory Coast19. Italy18. Ghana17. Ecuador Ranking teams left at this World Cup based on their chances of winning the World Cup 16. Switzerland15. Algeria14. USA13. Greece12. Costa Rica11. Nigeria10. Mexico9. Belgium8. Chile7. Uruguay6. Colombia5. France4. Netherlands3. Germany2. Brazil1. Argentina Casey Stengel Jersey . -- Miami Dolphins defensive co-ordinator Kevin Coyle defended the management style of coach Joe Philbin in the wake of the teams bullying scandal. Raul Mondesi Jersey . Founding members of the Genie Army, a group of Eugenie Bouchard supporters who cheered for the rising tennis star during the Australian Open in January, will be in the city for the Rogers Cup, beginning this weekend. http://www.customyankeesjersey.com/custom-whitey-ford-jersey-large-1224i.html . Wiggins, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward who plays his first exhibition game on Wednesday against Pitt State, was the top prospect in the class of 2013.It was an early start this morning, travel days are always the worst! We meet at our training base in Guildford before heading off to the airport for the fourth leg on our World Rugby HSBC Women’s Sevens Series, this time in Atlanta. Travelling as part of a national team is not like any other travel; you generally have no idea what time you actually fly, which terminal you are flying out of, or indeed even which airport. The logistics are all handled, all you have to do is pack… Katy McLean the organised packer My two housemates (Natasha Mo Hunt and Katy McLean) and I have been involved within England squads for on average about eight years; so you would think this would mean we are well versed at the obligatory packing process. But if you had entered any of our three rooms last night you would have thought we had either been burgled or someone had played a practical joke and removed all our clothes and scattered them on the bed. Mo Hunt trying to pack Katy went for the mini pile approach, and spent over an hour arranging her things into bitesize collections and then proceeded to place them into numerous mini bags within her big bag.Mo organised her toiletries in a military size descending line across her chest of drawers for absolutely no purpose whatsoever. She is also hopeless at making any form of decision for herself and so would appear at your doorway every five minutes and slope in to see how much of everything you have packed… Shes 27!!I, however was in the biggest predicament, and gathered the others for a house decision… which trainers should I take with me? Emily Scarratts shoe selection Arriving at the airport is where the real fun starts. Firstly we travel with an unreal amount of additional bags; kit, medical stuff, cameras, food, aand what seems like the kitchen sink! Theres always a few that have over packed and try and sneak a few of their personal things into the team bags, fair game unless our manager catches you! Check-in this trip was a good one…Claire Allan, team joker and normally one of the most organised had had a mare [see pic]! To travel into America you have to apply for an ESTA, essentially a Visa that approves your travel. Jonathan Holder Jersey. So we had been given weeks to either update our existing one or apply for one, and Claire decided so leave it until last night!This is normally no trouble at all, unless you put all of your details (including your card) into a fake ESTA site. Former police officer Claire and our manager Zoe Eaton were then holding up the check-in queue, finding the correct website, cancelling cards and actually getting a legitimate ESTA. Needless to say we cut her loose at check in, for rugby players breakfast and food often out prioritise all else! Look closely to see Claire Allen at check-in Walking through the airport and onto the plane is always quite amusing. When we board, most people are sat down and they cannot help but gawp and whisper to one another as were all in matching kit slowly making our way to our seats at the back. You can tell that people want to ask, but often wait to pick us off when were alone stretching at the back, waiting for the toilet or some will just lean right into your seat and ask so what team are you then?.There begins the conversation; where were playing, who were playing, will we win, etc, etc. The length of the conversation is often dictated by which member of the squad has been asked and how much sleep theyve had.As I finish writing this the team is spread about the plane watching films, doing analysis, stretching or trying to avoid our physio and catch a quick nap. A subdued travel mood currently but one that will build all week through training and hopefully hit the ground running come Friday and our first game against current series leaders Australia. Also See: SportsWomen Latest Show News Latest News SportsWomen Video ' ' '