From G.O.A.T to the German fall: Top moments of the 2018 FIFA World Cup so far
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is well underway by now and already it has given us some extremely memorable moments, including scintillating matches, skillful goals and even some intense rivalries. Along with this, there have also been some lackluster matches and performances from teams that were predicted to destroy any opposition that they face. Teams like Spain and Brazil could only manage to draw matches against significantly inferior opponents. Worse, defending champions Germany lost their opening match against Mexico!
While this suggests that the top teams are not as strong as we think they are, but it also proves that other teams have the mettle and strength required to go on and win. This World Cup has started out being quite unpredictable and we hope to see more such moments.
Here is a look at the top moments of the 2018 FIFA World Cup so far.
This has been by far the most surprising game of the tournament. Following the crisp but glamorous opening ceremony, the inaugural game was to be played by the two lowest ranking countries in this tournament – Saudi Arabia and Russia. Everyone expected it to be a dull game but the Russians had something completely different planned. In a span of ninety minutes, they scored 5 goals against a hapless Saudi Arabia, and each one of them was a spectacle. This has also given their team a major confidence boost, which they’ll need if they want to make it out of group stage and beat Egypt and Uruguay.
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 14, 2018
Champions fall, underdogs rise
In a humbling game against Mexico, defending champions Germany, who looked a mere shadow of the team that shook Brazil 7-1, withered and lost 0-1. Right from the beginning, their approach looked to be a little lethargic and this helped Mexico capitalize. After scoring in the first half, they kept coming up with more plays and chances to score, and the German defenders were struggling to keep them away. Germany now only has two games left in the group stages, one with Sweden and the other with South Korea, both of which can prove to be quite a challenge, considering that any loss from now onward could result in Germany not making it ot the knockout stages.
Moment of the Day 👀
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018
Such complacency was also seen in matches of other superior teams, such as Brazil, Spain and Argentina. None of them were able to secure a lead even when playing against arguably inferior opponents. But we mustn’t take the credit away from the teams that were written off as underdogs and still lived up to the fight.
If Russia vs South Africa was the most surprising game of the tournament so far, the most exciting definitely has to be Spain vs Portugal, which took place on Friday. This match was a great example for a time when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. The unstoppable force being the legendary squad of Spain and the immovable object being Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Spaniards were looking forward to a relatively easy win, but things quickly changed when their defender Nacho made a foul against Ronaldo in the penalty area, rewarding a penalty to Portugal. The rest was history as the Portuguese called upon their ace sharp-shooter, Cristiano Ronaldo to take the penalty, and he happily obliged. He sent the ball flying into the bottom corner like a bullet and there was nothing that the goalkeeper David De Gea could do. As part of celebration after scoring this goal, he stroked his beard, hinting towards the fact that he was the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T), not Lionel Messi, who has been associated with that title in the past.
There was a new infectious energy in the team after this early goal but Spain weren’t about to go down without a fight. Diego Costa, in an amazing one on two situation scored a crisp equalizer and balanced the scales once again. A few minutes later, however, goalkeeper De Gea let in a weak shot from Ronaldo tipping the scales in Portugal’s favour again. The whistle for half time blew, and Portugal headed to their dressing rooms quite content. Not Spain, and one can only imagine what must’ve happened in that break, because when they came back they had a fire in their eyes. In rapid succession, they scored one goal after another, making the score 3-2.
All seemed lost for Portugal now that the Spaniards had shown their true strength, but lady luck agreed to shine on them one last time by handing them a lucrative free kick. Guess who Portugal picked to take this free kick? That’s right, their best player, and probably the world’s best player; Cristiano Ronaldo. The free kick was placed just outside the penalty box, and a wall of Spaniards stood between Ronaldo and the players. But this didn’t bother him. He ran up and shot a unique curve ball that dodged the wall by a hair’s width and entered the top corner of the goal; a place where no keeper has ever gone.
— W!$H Bari ™ (@Wishbari) June 15, 2018
And thus ended the most scintillating match that we have seen from the 2018 FIFA World Cup. even though it was a 3-3 tie, it felt like a win for Portugal, because they denied one of the greatest teams a victory, which is quite a feat. We hope and know that there will be such nail biting moments in the World Cup as it begins to enter its knockout stage.