FIFA World Cup 2018: Top 5 Moments

This FIFA World cup has been one of the best ever and has never failed to disappoint the fans. Here we look at 5 of the best moments at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018:

1. Senegal and Japanese fans clean their stand after the match:
This was undoubtedly one of the most iconic moments of the World cup. It was humanity at it’s best and The fans of Senegal and Japan will be remembered for a long time to come for their act. Their teams may or may not progress further in the competition but they showed the world that Humanity comes before everything.

2. Mexico stun World Champions Germany: This was a World cup to forget for the German’s and they didn’t start in a good fashion either. They were beaten by a Mexican team that was much below the standard that Germany had set for itself over the past numerous years. After having most of the possession they were somehow unable to find the back of the net. They were shocked by a swift Mexican attack led by Carlos Vela from the midfield and the Mexicans ended up scoring the only goal of the game.

3. Harry Kane hattrick: England needed an inspiration this World Cup and it has come in the form of their captain Harry Kane. Kane has set the standard high for strikers around the World after his performances over the years and has yet again proven that he is one of the best, if not the best striker in the World currently. After scoring both the goals, in England’s opener against Tunisia out of which the second was a last minute winner, he scored a hattrick against Panama in their second game and showed that this young English side is truly a force to be reckoned with.

4. Ronaldo hattrick against Spain: Cristiano Ronaldo has brought his best game to Russia and in Portugal’s opening game against former champions Spain and showed us all why he is one of the best of all time. He single-handedly carried his team and took them to a three all draw against Portugal. He bears the responsibility of goal scoring for his country at Russia as he has over the past few years and will yet again look to make a mark in the tournament.

5. South Korea send the Germans packing: Germany had a miserable tournament and needed to win their final match to progress. They were however dealt a heavy blow as the Koreans finally put an end to their misery and sent them packing with two late goals in a game that finished 2-0 at full time. This has to be the biggest shock of the tournament and for the neutrals probably the best moment at Russia 2018.

FIFA World Cup: Ronaldo scores a hattrick as Portugal deny Spain victory

PORTUGAL-VS-SPAIN

Russia witnessed history in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo as he scored another hattrick for his nation in the World Cup on Friday. This hattrick denied Spain to declare themselves victorious in a clash of Group B’s most powerful teams.

Ronaldo gave Portugal the lead twice, only for Diego Costa to bring Spain level twice before defender Nacho scored a good goal to put Spain in the lead. It was the biggest twist when the Real Madrid man found the net with a stunning free-kick late in the game which denied Spain the 3 points.

A Fine Show

At first, Nacho brought Ronaldo down which led to a penalty in the 2nd minute.  Ronaldo kept his strong composure against De Gea and scored a fine goal from 12 yards away. Spain, then came back on level with Portugal when Costa fired a shot into the bottom corner. It was a brilliant and a controversial goal that led to more tension with 1-1 in the Iberian derby. 
Portugal then struggled for while and there was very little understanding in between the team members. Guedes failed to finish twice putting his team into more frustration. This match had a lot more left in it. Isco fired the ball onto the bar that landed right on the line but the goal line technology denied him the goal. Spain tried hard to score another and they were in better co-ordination than their Portuguese opponents. Portugal regained the lead right before the half-time as De Gea made a grave error which led Ronaldo’s shot into the net. With this, the whistle blew for half-time giving Portugal a 2-1 lead.

Spain worked the ball well but failed to finish the job several times. Nacho had an opportunity to score but the ball flew off the post. Their passes were accurate with perfect touches, yet they struggled to score. But this drought ended when Costa equalizes with a close-range strike at the 55th minute.

Immediately a few minutes later, Nacho scored a wonder goal turning the scoreboard around in their favor
. This marked an amazing comeback for Spain and it would have been a fairytale finish but it was not to be. At the 88th minute, Pique fouled Ronaldo on the edge of the box. The referee without hesitation awarded a free-kick to Portugal. The captain completed his hattrick, by scoring an emphatic goal. 

The match ended in a draw as both the teams scored 3 goals each. Undoubtedly, Cristiano Ronaldo was the best player on the pitch leading his team to draw against an arguably stronger team. This was the 51st hat-trick of his career.

Ronaldo shows no signs of stopping

At the age of 33, Cristiano Ronaldo was expected to have slipped from the Ballon d’Or pedestal by now. Instead, he’s refined and refocused his game to become football’s ultimate player. And every time he manages to make an impact on a big game like this,  he adds another achievement to his incredible legacy.

Just four minutes were required for Ronaldo to join Pele, Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler in the exclusive club of players to have scored at four different World Cups. At this rate, it is hard to see him miss the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

Diego Costa is exactly what Spain needs

Diego Costa proved that he can be good at a World Cup when he has two working hamstrings. His performance yesterday was the perfect statement to those who mocked his unproductive display in Brazil four years ago, as well as those who doubted that he could be an asset to a squad brimming with talent. The 29-year old appeared at the moment of greatest need, scoring a brace for Spain yesterday.

The Atletico striker does not fit Spain’s style of football at all, and that’s exactly what makes him invaluable to them. His relentless physical ability and harsh style of play known occupy entire defences to free up space for the creators behind him. And when their delicate passing doesn’t get them ahead, he can still cause havoc on his own and get the ball through the net however possible. Both of his goals yesterday, epitomized what Costa does best and what his international teammates cannot.

Spain is not the same without Lopetegui

In the end, it was neither the silly penalty that Nacho gave away nor De Gea’s failure to palm away Ronaldo’s relatively calm shot. But it was Spain’s uncharacteristically inferior performance and sense of panic under the pressure that suggested the downfall of this vastly experienced group of players.

After the departure of the coach, Julen Lopetegui, who had overseen their revival since 2016, Spain did not play like the Spain that was expected to challenge for this World Cup. With all due respect to Fernando Hierro, Spain showed a severe lack of managerial experience.