Round one highlights: What has happened so far at the 2014 World Cup

The Rio Report

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Five superb goals

1. Robin van Persie (Netherlands 5 Spain 1) A stunning goal to match a stunning result as the Netherlands came from behind to thump world champions Spain in Salvador. With Spain leading 1-0 through Xabi Alonso's 27th minute penalty, Van Persie sprung the offside trap to launch himself in the air and meet a raking cross from left wing back Daley Blind. The Dutch captain's diving, looping header caught Spain keeper Iker Casillas in no man's land and dipped below the bar to tie the score at 1-1.

[VAN PERSIE ENJOYS CRUYFF TURN MOMENT WITH STUNNING MOMENT]

2. Lionel Messi (Argentina 2 Bosnia 1) Argentine number 10 Messi picked the perfect time to score his first goal at the World Cup finals for eight years. With Argentina leading 1-0 but struggling to put World Cup debutants Bosnia away, the four times World Player of the Year lit up the Maracana in the 65th minute, dancing past a defender, playing a one-two with Gonzalo Higuain before striking home a sweet left-foot shot that went in off the post.

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3. Haris Seferovic (Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1) Seferovic finished off a breathtaking box-to-box counter-attack in stoppage time to give Switzerland a thrilling 2-1 win over Ecuador, but excellent refereeing by Ravshan Irmatov also played a part in the goal. Valon Behrami's brilliant block tackle in his own box got the move underway, and Uzbek official Irmatov allowed him to continue his surge into Ecuador territory despite almost being bowled over by a bodycheck. As the flowing move continued and the ball was fed out wide, Seferovic stole in across the Ecuador defence to clip home Ricardo Rodriguez's cross and round off a tremendous team goal that sent Swiss fans into raptures.

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4. Clint Dempsey (United States 2 Ghana 1) The American took 30 seconds to put his side 1-0 up against Ghana, recording one of the fastest goals at a World Cup. Dempsey, who became the first US player to score at three World Cups, picked the ball up from a throw-in outside the Ghana box, and surged towards goal. Showing terrific balance at full stride, the US skipper zigzagged past two defenders into the area and struck a left-foot shot in off the far post.

[DEMPSEY SCORES FIFTH QUICKEST GOAL IN WORLD CUP HISTORY]

5. Arjen Robben (Netherlands 5 Spain 1) Dutch winger Robben capped a rampaging performance against shell-shocked Spain by outsprinting the defence from inside his own half, tying goalkeeper Iker Casillas up in knots and firing home with his left foot. Media reports say the 30-year-old reached 37kph during his sprint, the fastest ever recorded by FIFA in a game. Olympic sprint champion and world record holder Usain Bolt has been clocked at just under 45kph. Robben's goal was the perfect bookend to the Dutch scoring after Robin van Persie tied the game at 1-1 with his superb diving header in the first half.

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Five statistics

1. The first 16 games have produced 49 goals, an average of 3.06 per game. The scoring spree has made this World Cup one of the most exciting in memory and it is on track to be the highest scoring since the 1958 finals in Sweden which averaged 3.60 goals. Hosts Brazil helped push up the tally with a 3-1 victory against Croatia while Germany's 4-0 win over Portugal in their opener boosted the total. So far the Dutch have netted the most in a match, thrashing Spain 5-1 in the tournament's highest scoring game. Only one match has so far finished goalless - Iran v Nigeria. The 1998 World Cup in France produced 171 goals, the most overall in a tournament.

2. Clint Dempsey scored fifth-fastest World Cup goal. The United States captain shocked Ghana 30 seconds into the match when he slammed a left-footed shot in off the post in their Group G opener. The strike, behind Bryan Robson's goal in 27 seconds for England in 1982 and ahead of Emile Veinante's 35-second goal for France in 1938, also made Dempsey the first American to score in three World Cups. The fastest goal at a World Cup was scored after 11 seconds by Turkey's Hakan Sukur against hosts South Korea in 2002 in the third-place play-off match.

3. There have been six come-from-behind wins in the first 16 games. The see-saw action has shown that no lead is safe. Brazil fell behind to an own goal to Croatia to start tournament but fought back for a 3-1 win. World champions Spain opened the scoring with a Xabi Alonso penalty before Robin Van Persie led a Dutch fightback. Costa Rica recovered to shock Uruguay, Switzerland regrouped to defeat Ecuador in stoppage time and the Ivory Coast rebounded to beat Japan. Belgium came from behind to win against Algeria.

4. Germany have became first team to play 100 World Cup games as the three-time champions strolled to a 4-0 victory against Portugal. Germany boast a record of 61 wins, 19 draws and 20 defeats while scoring 210 goals and conceding 117. They won the World Cup in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

5. United States coach Juergen Klinsmann preserved his record of having won the opening match at every World Cup he has competed in as a player and coach after a last-gasp 2-1 victory against Ghana. Klinsmann played for Germany at the 1990, '94 and '98 World Cups and guided them to third spot at the 2006 finals on home soil.

[KLINSMANN KEEPS UP INCREDIBLE WORLD CUP RECORD]

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Five new things

1. Goalline technology. In use at a World Cup for the first time, goalline technology showed both its value and limitations on Sunday when Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares knocked a rebound from the crossbar over the line before scrambling it clear. Valladares would have got away with it at past tournaments but the cameras picked up the fact that the ball had gone in.

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2. Vanishing spray. Referees have been whipping out a canister of vanishing spray when free-kicks are awarded to mark the exact spot where defenders have to stand, 10 yards away. The foam spray, which disappears within a minute, was already a feature in Major League Soccer and will be introduced in the Champions League next season.

[MYSTERY SOLVED: WORLD CUP REFEREE'S WEIRD VANISHING SPRAY]

3. Marcelo's unwanted record. Defender Marcelo goes down in history as the first Brazilian to score an own goal at the World Cup. He inadvertently turned a Croatian shot into his own net after only 11 minutes of the opening match, to the horror of tens of millions of fans in the host nation. The dramatic error did not prove costly as Brazil came back to win 3-1.

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4. Bosnia. Bosnia, one of the nations to emerge from the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, made their World Cup debut when they met Argentina in the Maracana stadium in Rio on Sunday. Substitute Vedad Ibisevic scored in the 85th minute but that was too late to prevent a 2-1 defeat after they had conceded the fastest own goal in World Cup history.

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5. Dempsey makes history. Striker Clint Dempsey became the first American to score in three successive World Cups when he struck after 30 seconds against Ghana. The goal helped to give the United States a 2-1 win. Dempsey had scored against Ghana in 2006 and netted against England in 2010.

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Five key refereeing decisions

1) Brazil striker Fred wins penalty v Croatia. The opening match was evenly poised at 1-1 in the 69th minute when Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura awarded a penalty for the hosts after Brazil striker Fred hit the floor in theatrical fashion following slight contact from Dejan Lovren. Neymar stroked home the penalty as Brazil went on to claim all three points with Fred denying accusations he dived as he received the ball with his back to goal with Lovren closely marshalling him.

2) Disallowed Croatian goal v Brazil. Already unpopular with the Croatians after awarding a penalty to Fred, Nishimura enraged them further by ruling out what would have been an equalising goal in the 83rd minute of their Group A clash. Croatia forward Ivica Olic was ruled to have fouled goalkeeper Julio Cesar as they jumped for the ball which then ended up in the Brazil net as play continued. The hosts went on to add inflict further misery on the Croats with Oscar scoring in the final stages to complete a 3-1 win.

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3) Ravshan plays key advantage in dramatic Swiss winner. Ravshan Irmatov had been guilty of not letting the play flow during the Group E clash between Ecuador and Switzerland but the Uzbek official rectified that with a crucial advantage as the Europeans snatched a dramatic win in the 93rd minute. Valon Behrami made a vital block tackle in his own area but as he broke towards goal he was taken out by an Ecuadorean. Irmatov, though, allowed play to carry on as Behrami quickly got back to his feet and continued the move which ended with Haris Seferovic slotting the ball home for a 2-1 win.

4) Australia rightfully denied equaliser v Chile. Australia looked in danger of being blown away as they quickly fell 2-0 down to Chile in their Group B match-up but Tim Cahill cut the deficit with a trademark header. The experienced forward then had Socceroos' fans on their feet after another header found the back of the net and he reeled off to celebrate what he thought was the equalising goal. But his cheers were cut short as the eagle-eyed assistant had noticed he had strayed marginally offside before the cross came in from the right. The South Americans regained their composure and sealed a 3-1 win late on after Jean Beausejour's strike.

5) France ease to win after penalty and red card for Honduran. France were on top in their Group E opener against a physical Honduras but could not find a way through before the Central American's robust approach cost them a goal and player. Wilson Palacios charged into French midfielder Paul Pogba seconds before the break in a reckless challenge and was sent off for a second booking. Karim Benzema converted the resulting penalty and France ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

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Reuters

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