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More Unpredictable Moments

World Cup Historical

During the Round of 16, the losing team is eliminated and have to wait another 4 years at a chance to win the World Cup. And like the group stage, there many unpredictable outcomes. Even if your country/team is no longer participating, or if they did not qualify, you could have still just enjoyed the craziness of the World Cup.


Lionel Messi has won lots and lots of trophies and awards, 40 different titles to be exact, but has yet to win a World Cup. He is, arguably, the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) and it’s safe to say he carries his national team and his countries pride on his shoulder.  Argentina did make it to the round of 16 and was set to face France. Lots of pressure was put on Messi, who according to rumors were calling the shots. Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina’s head coach, of course, denied it but after Argentina’s humiliation loss to Croatia, lots of media attention were focused on the incompetent head coach.


The match was anything but boring. Antoine Griezmann gave France the lead early in the match with a penalty but by the 50’, Argentina was then up by a goal. Young defender Benjamin Pavard scored an amazing equalizer for France at the 57’. Kylian Mbappé then scored 2 more goals giving France a lead by 2 goals. Sergio Agüero was able to score the third goal for Argentina after stoppage time but that was not enough for Argentina to overcome France.


On the same day as Messi was eliminated from the World Cup, his biggest contender Cristiano Ronaldo was too sent home with the rest of Portugal’s national team. Portugal faced Uruguay who has yet lose while in Russia. But there is bad news for the team and fans: after scoring 2 goals for Uruguay’s that day (and that lead to his team’s to victory), the Paris Saint Germain’s prestige striker Edinson Cavani was subbed off due to injury. In the end, his goals were enough to send Portugal home, despite having over 60% of the ball possession during the entire match.


Russia had an advantage over mighty Spain and that was the home crowd. During the match, Spain advantage was not only the team being filled with Uefa Champions League winners and legends like Andres Iniesta, but they were given a goal by Russia’s Sergei Ignashevich own goal. Russia was able to equalize with a penalty by Artem Dzyuba. When the match went into a penalty shootout, in the end, the home crowd made a difference help Russia defeat Spain.  Spain’s first choice keeper David de Gea only made 3 saves during Spain’s time in Russia. He was not able to save any penalties and Spain was eliminated.


Demark went up against Croatia and this match was keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. Croatia made many amazing shots but Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was clearly the man of the match allowing the score to be kept at 1-1. At the 119’, Croatia was given a penalty and Schmeichel made an amazing save to stop Luka Modric from winning during extra time. The teams then went into a penalty shootout and then Schmeichel and Denmark were defeated.


Regardless of having 8 saves against Brazil, Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa and Mexico were unsuccessful in coming out of Round 16. Neymar and Roberto Firmino can be thanked for the goals and for helping Brazil getting a step closer to another World Cup win. And although Mexico might not have won the World Cup they have won the respect of many soccer-ignorant Americans. A new fan of theirs is a lady born in a small town named Kosciusko in Mississippi; her name is Oprah Winfrey.


Another team that won many new fans hearts was Japan. Japan went up against Belgium, also known as ‘Red Devils’. No goals conceded during the first half but the second half was actioned-packed with goals and tears. Japan scored 2 goals in 4 minutes (48’ and 52’). Audiences, fans, sports lovers, sports journalists, everyone was amazed and shocked. However, there is a reason why Belgium is called the ‘Red Devils’, it’s because they wear red and are a force to be reckoned with. The Red Devils then went on to score 3 goals and eliminate Japan from the World Cup.


When Sweden qualified to participate during the World Cup, lots of questions were raised on whether Zlatan will be part of the team and head coach Janne Andersson decided to leave the egotistic scoring machine out of it. Lots of fans would say “No Zlatan, No Party”, but not the Swedes! Their party still continues as they surpass Switzerland and land a spot in the quarterfinals from a goal by Emil Forsberg.  


   Colombia faced England in the Round of 16. Although Colombia is a high profiled team, a lot of pressure was put on England while fans chant and demand for “football to come home”. 36 fouls were made and 8 yellow cards were given out in this intense match. What made it more intense for Colombia fans was that James Rodríguez, Colombia’s most high profiled player, was benched and was not used at all during Colombia’s fall to England. England’s Harry Kane scored England’s only goal and Colombia’s Yerry Mina scored the equalizer in during stoppage time. The match then went to extra time and then ended with a penalty shootout. England’s young goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, was the star of the match; Pickford stopped 2 penalties and England now advances to the quarterfinals.


Now that we’re heading into the quarterfinals, fans have to wait a few extra days to catch a match but it will be worth it. Uruguay has not lost in Russia yet but they might lose Cavani due to injury when they face France on Friday. On the same day, audiences can catch Brazil and Belgium, the number 2 and 3 on the FIFA rankings. Next, on Saturday, Sweden versus England. Yes, both teams are shocking the world with their talents but only one can go through. The last match of the weekend will be later on Saturday when Russia, with the home-field advantage, are against Modric and Croatia. Lots of action, maybe we’ll have more unpredictable moments that might knock us on our feet. 

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