Best moments of FIFA World Cup 2018

Published: 09th July 2018 10:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2018 02:16 PM  

EXHILARATING KICK-OFF MATCH: Host nation Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the World Cup to start their tournament in style in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on 14 June. Tey continued their wonder-run until being overpowered by Croatia in penalty shootout. A dampener — a resounding loss to Uruguay in their final group game — was followed by a match that will live long in the memory of the average Russian. Over 120 minutes, Russia held Spain to a 1-1 draw, before trumping them in penalties. Stanislav Cherchesov's men truly made the tournament prosper with their tight defense and giant-slaying instinct. (Photo | AP)
Germany football team
SHOCK GERMAN EXIT: From chants of 'goodbye' to stunned silence, Germany fans reacted with dismay to their defending champions' humiliating World Cup exit Wednesday after a first-round loss commentators called a 'historic disgrace'.The defeat was the first time four-time champions Germany have been knocked out of the World Cup group stages since 1938. The country joined a small but unlucky club of title defenders who crashed out of the first round at their next World Cup, a feat last achieved by Spain at the last World Cup in 2014. (Photo| AP)
Cristiano Ronaldo
CR7 RUNS RIOT: Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning hat-trick as Portugal snatched a 3-3 draw with Spain in a World Cup classic on 15 June. He added two more goals to his kitty, one each against Iran and Morocco, before being eliminated by Uruguay in the round of 16. We leave with our heads held high. As the captain of Portugal, I know how hard we have worked and we must be proud of the team,' he had said. The Portugal skipper further said that he is happy with kind of efforts put in by the players and asserted that this team will continue to win in the future. (Photo | AP)
Messi penalty miss
LEO MESSI MISSES PENALTY, AGAIN: Argentina were held to a draw by World Cup debutants Iceland in a Group D clash, with their superstar-captain Lionel Messi blowing a gilt-edged opportunity for victory when he missed a penalty. He failed to respond to his rival Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick for Portugal against Spain a day earlier even as Polish referee Szymon Marciniak pointed to the spot after Hordur Magnusson brought down Maximiliano Meza in the 63rd minute. Messi looked furious as he led his team out for the second half but the Argentines still struggled to dominate. (Photo |
OUCHH BATSHUAYI..!: Michy Batshuayi's celebration after Belgium's winner against England drawn plenty of laughs online. The Dortmund striker scooped up the ball after Adnan Januzaj scored and kicked it hard — probably aiming for the net. Instead, it hit the post and rebounded onto his face. He did not appear to be injured, though his pride may have been hurt. Videos of the second-half celebration were circulating online within minutes and were shared widely. 'Why am I so stupid bro,' he wrote on Twitter, along with a long line of emojis and some expletives. The Belgium forward even claimed to have invented a new goal celebration, moving on from popular dances derived from the Fortnite video game. Belgian sports website called it 'more beautiful than Januzaj's goal.' (Twitter image)
WHERE EAGLES DARE: As Xherdan Shaqiri sped away after scoring an extra-time winner that dealt a blow to Serbia’s hopes of reaching the last sixteen, he brought his palm together and formed the symbol of an eagle, just like his Switzerland teammate Granit Xhaka had done after his goal. The symbol was a reference to the two-headed eagle on the Albanian flag. For both Shaqiri and Xhaka, scoring against Serbia was an emotional moment. The duo’s actions had their share of detractors with many taking the cliched line that politics should be kept away from football. If there is anything Russia’s World Cup, and the build-up to it, has shown us, it is that politics and football will always go hand in hand. But Shaqiri and Xhaka drawing attention to their status as former refugees is significant, given the unfavourable light in which most countries view displaced people.(Photos | AP)
Neymar injury
ROLLING NEYMAR GATHER NO SYMPATHY: So often did the PSG forward kept going down on the field that a Rio de Janeiro bar invented a new drinking game - offering free shots every time the superstar falls down.n Brazil's first two games he disappointed many fans and inspired online mockery of his frequent dives. Against Costa Rica, he won a penalty after falling dramatically in front of the goalmouth but saw it annulled after VAR analysis showed he had exaggerated the incident. However, the world's most expensive player can point to stats showing that he comes in for unusually rough treatment from opposition teams. He easily leads the table at the World Cup for number of fouls against him: 10 in the first game against Switzerland and four against Costa Rica. (Photo | AP)
Japanese fans in FIFA World Cup
'CULTURED' JAPANESE FANS WIN HEARTS: Footage of Japanese supporters tidying up after games - cue amazed reaction from fans of other countries - has become a staple of the World Cup. After the matches of the Blue Samurais, the fans gathered up their rubbish and stuffed it inside blue plastic bin bags. Their behaviour appeared to inspire Colombian and Senegalese fans to follow suit. This could be the tidiest World Cup in history. It may be a surprise to many, but Japanese football fans cleaning up after themselves happens at league matches in the country too. (Photo | AP)
Carlos Sanchez  red card
HE CAME-HE FOULED-HE WENT: Colombian defender Carlos Sanchez received the second-quickest red card in World Cup history when he was dismissed in the Group H opener against Japan on 19 June. The midfielder was sent off after two minutes and 56 seconds in Saransk, for deliberately hand-balling Shinji Kagawa's 20-yard drive. Following Carlos' exit, his team was upset by the Asians to record their first victory over a South American team. That record for fastest sent-off belongs to Uruguay'sJose Alberto Batista, who was given his marching orders just 54 seconds into a game against Scotland at Mexico in 1986. (Photo | AFP)
TONI KROOS STUNNER: Toni Kroos couldn't help his team avoid a disastrous exit from Russia but his late-strike against Sweden is one of the finest moments of the whole tournament. Tied at 1-1 against the Scandinavians, Kroos sailed one in from a free-kick with not more than 30 seconds left. If Kroos' shot was deflected, a little too high, or didn't have the perfect whipping curl, Germany would have tasted humiliation a week earlier. But he was perfect. The perfect pace. The perfect curl, the combo play with Reus catching Sweden by surprise just enough that defenders and goalkeeper Robin Olsen were unable to react. (Twitter image)
Denmark Croatia goal
GOAL IN 60 SECONDS: The Denmark-Croatia round of 16 match witnessed an astonishing start with both teams scoring within four minutes from kick-off. Denmark's Mathias Jorgensen turned home in after Croatia failed to clear a long throw-in from Jonas Knudsen, the defender's shot creeping under Subasic to give Denmark the perfect start. Though he clocked the fastest goal of the Russian edition, the effort was not enough to find place even in the top-10 swiftest goals in the history of the tournament. (Photo | AP)
Harry Kane
HARRY KANE THE HURRICANE: Kane is leading the race for the World Cup Golden Boot as he bids to become the first England player to win the prize since Gary Lineker 32 years ago. The clean-cut skipper is on the fast track to virtual sainthood in England, matching Lineker's tally of six goals from 1986 in just three matches.scored twice against Tunisia in England's first match in Russia and then bagged a hat-trick in a 6-1 romp against Panama. He Gareth Southgate rested Kane for the third group game - a 1-0 defeat to Belgium - but the Tottenham striker returned to score from the penalty spot against Colombia in the last 16. In doing so the England captain became the first player to score in six consecutive England appearances since Tommy Lawton in 1939. Kane's goal against Colombia took him two clear of Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and three clear of a clutch of players on three. (Photos | AP)
Senegal football team
'BAD BOYS' SENEGAL ELIMINATED: The Teranga Lions required only a draw with Colombia in their final Group F game in Samara, but could also have squeezed through to the last 16 in the event of defeat depending on the result of the other group game between Japan and Poland. When already-eliminated Poland stunned Japan 1-0 in Volgogrard and Senegal suffered a 1-0 defeat, it left Japan and Senegal with the same points and the same goals difference. The third criteria used to separate teams in this instance is their disciplinary record. With six yellow cards in three group games, Senegal were eliminated because Japan had only been issued four, leaving Africa without a representative in the last 16. (Photo | AP)
Panama football team
HAPPY PANAMA CELEBRATES FIRST GOAL AMID ENGLAND HAMMERING: The biggest cheer on a day when England recorded their biggest ever World Cup finals win by thrashing an ill-disciplined Panama 6-1 was reserved for the 78th minute when Felipe Baloy scored Panama's first ever goal in the history of the tournament.Theirs is arguably the purest form of fandom, for they demand nothing of their team in return. Yet, their team — and by extension, they — were ridiculed and mocked for daring to match up to and ending up being nowhere near a country with infinitely more footballing resources. After the game, Gomes described his team as ‘a baby born six months before the due date’. Yet a section of football’s elitist establishment just chose to flush it down the drain. (Photo | AFP)
THE EPIC BELGIAN COMEBACK: In one of the best matches of the tournament, Nacer Chadli scored a stunning injury-time winnner as Belgium fought back from 2-0 down to defeat Japan 3-2 and advance to a World Cup quarter-final. Chadli's superbly worked goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time was the final act of an epic last-16 battle that saw Belgium become the first team in 48 years to successfully overturn a 2-0 deficit in a World Cup knockout game. (Photo | AP)
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