Let’s just rename this World Cup to the year of the underdogs. From the group stages itself we have seen smaller teams dominate and perform at levels no one expected them to reach, troubling football giants such as Argentina, Portugal, Spain, etc. But that magic didn’t dissipate in the Round of 16 – instead it has only amplified as shocking results have shaken the World Cup 2018 and we have more incredible matches left to witness in the Round of 16. So who goes through to the Quarter Finals?
Through a brilliant display of resilience and passion, both football giants went head to head in what has been the best match this World Cup. Going a goal down first, Argentina responded brilliantly with 2 goals to take the lead, only to be leveled again by Pavard’s wonder-strike, and then destroyed by the future star, Kylian Mbappe, who scored two back to back goals and left Argentina shaken and stirred. A late header from Sergio Aguero wasn’t enough to help bring Argentina back and as such, they are out of the World Cup with a 4-3 defeat to France.
Edinson Cavani gave Uruguay the lead at just 7 minutes into the game, throwing Portugal off early on in the game. Pepe might’ve levelled the game at the 55th minute but it was the man, Cavani, again who scored a sublime goal at the 62nd minute, after which Portugal kept looking for a second goal, giving only 30% of possession to Uruguay in the second half, alas, to no avail. Uruguay maintained its winning streak this World Cup and is through to the Quarters, kicking Portugal out.
Spain and Russia ended their match with a 1-1 draw through extra time and thus had to move into penalties. Every spot-kick taker who stepped up scored a goal for their country but a miss from Iago Aspas led to Russia going through to the Quarter Finals. Spain is out.
Similarly, Croatia and Denmark were held at a stalemate even after extra time and penalties were the only way to decide who would go through. Even though Kasper Schmeichel did his best to keep his country in the World Cup, a miss by Nicolai Jorgensen and Lasse Schone cost Denmark, allowing Croatia to go through to the Quarter Finals, knocking Denmark out.
Brazil took on Mexico whilst Belgium went head to head with Japan. Brazil’s line-up consisted of superstars such as Neymar, Jesus, Coutinho, Firmino, Thiago Silva, Marcelo and more who took on not-such-superstars in the likes of Hernandez, Herrera, Vela and more. The same could be said about Belgium who boasted a line-up of Eden Hazard, Lukaku, Kevin DeBruyne, Batshuayi, Dembele, and more, taking on players such as Okazaki, Nagatomo, Sakai and more. Brazil went ahead with a 2-0 victory against Mexico and Belgium came back from being 2 goals down to winning the game with a 3-2 score at the 94th minute. The giants are through, but definitely a little battle damaged. Good fight Mexico and Japan, kudos!
Sweden might be missing their superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovich, but they showed enough determination to defeat Switzerland in a 1-0 match in a very close game. England on the other hand faced a very difficult and resilient Columbia, ending their 1-0 lead with a 90th minute goal, taking the game to extra time and then furthering it to penalties – which they finally won by scoring 4 penalties to Columbia’s 3, taking themselves to the Quarter Finals along with Sweden.
It’s been a difficult battle at Quarter Finals with a few surprises already laid bare in front of us through the shock exit of Portugal, Argentina and Spain. Will Brazil, Belgium and England also suffer the same fate or will they prove their grit and move onto the Semi Finals? Will your team make it? Let’s wait in anticipation and cheer them on while we still can! Shop online now with Sun & Sand Sports and take home your favourite team kits, jerseys and football gear.