Biggest sporting flops of 2014

Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:33pm EST
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(Reuters) - Five of the biggest sporting flops from 2014:

Brazil (Soccer)

Anything less than a World Cup win on home soil was always going to be seen as a failure but nobody could have predicted Brazil would suffer a 7-1 semi-final drubbing by Germany, one of the greatest shocks in soccer history.

To make matters worse, the Brazilians followed that up with a another woeful performance to lose 3-0 to the Netherlands in the third-place playoff.

The poor showing at the month-long tournament will remain a black spot for a country that has one of soccer's proudest traditions -- with five World Cup titles, more than any other nation.

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Russia (Ice hockey)

The men's ice hockey gold medal was one of Russia's top priorities at the Sochi Olympics, and winning the event for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 was supposed to offer the world a symbol of the country's might.   Continued...

Brazil soccer fans walk in the rain after watching a broadcast of their team's loss against Germany in their 2014 World Cup semi-final match, in Rio de Janeiro July 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Jorge Silva