Russia 3 - Angola 1 for the Gold!
Turkey Beats Poland 1 - 0 for Third

It was a tournament of high elation and crushing disappointment - as expected. It was the largest World Cup in the history of the game.

The tournament included two Cinderella teams, who came out of seemingly nowhere to advance far deeper into the tournament than anyone expected. Anyone but themselves, that is. And the tournament included the first woman to participate in World Cup play since 1986.

And it was a tournament where decades-long rivals walked off the field together.

But in the end, there can be only one.

And for World Cup 2014, Culiacan, Mexico, that one was the outstanding team from Russia.

The Final - Russia v. Angola

Angola was a Cinderella team. Coming in as unranked, Angola clawed its way into the final with solid play throughout the tournament and a semi-final win over third-ranked Turkey. In the final they faced second-ranked Russia with confidence, skill and will.

In the early minutes of the final, the young Angola team pressed pressed hard, testing the defense of the veteran Russian team with long distance shots by striker Antonio Sabino.

But Russia, who won the 2012 World Cup Silver Medal in 2012,

Russia celebrates another World Cup Championship. Photo courtesy of Noroesre.com


opened the scoring with a clean goal by Igor Zihlin at the 23rd minute.

In the second half Angola again came out hard. Just four minutes into the period Angola's Jose Candiero, drilled a shot into the back of the net to tie the match at 1 each - much to the delight of the standing room only crowd at Culiacan University Stadium.

Angola played with confidence and skill, but in the end, the Russian team, many of whom had been playing together for 10-15

  years, proved too much for the young team.

Alezander Kozak scored at the 44 minute mark, then Igor Zihlin closed the door on the Angolans for good with his second goal of the match at the 49 minute mark.

Zihlin would ultimately become the tournament's high scorer and the World Cup's Most Valuable Player.

More World Cup stories and images in the very near future.


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