FIFA 2018 World Cup: The Most Interesting Results So Far
Mexico is out joining the ranks of Germany and other countries who are out of the 2018 World Cup.
Updated: The 2018 World Cup is on and has already sparked controversy among soccer fans the world over. The games run until the FIFA World Cup Final on July 15.
The biggest story so far has been in the knockout stage with Russia advancing and kicking Spain to the curb with a 4-3 victory in penalties. The host country for this 2018 World Cup entered the international competition with the lowest FIFA ranking — a bottom rank of 70 and beat Spain, the 2010 champion.
This is a soccer fairytale of success.
Russia was the lowest-seeded country and is clear proof that the coach can be the most important person on the pitch. While the Russian squad may have lacked the superstars of other countries, their coach’s intelligence proved tactics can win matches. Russia’s defensive approach reigned supreme and conquered what many believe to be Spain’s superior talent.
The 1-1 draw led to a penalty-kick tiebreaker which ended with a 4-3.
The Russian victory lifted the fans to a record new feeling of intense excitement as euphoria filled the Luzhniki Stadium and seeped out across Moscow and then the country. Igor Akinfeev may have been announced as the man of the match, but we think it should be Russian Coach Stanislav Cherchesov.
Everyone loves to love the underdog. And having the lowest seed team beat a well established former World Cup champion — well, it gives hope to the USA that we can make it happen for our country too. In fact, the usual suspects for the title are out — last World Cup victor Germany bowed out earlier and now Argentina and Portugal join the list of losing countries. Even Croatia has surprised a few soccer fans by fighting hard to beat Denmark in penalty kicks and claim a spot at the World Cup quarterfinals.
Mexico Loses Clash with Brazil and is Out
For the die-hard fans of 5 time World Cup Champions Brazil, at least Brazilian supremacy finally emerged as they defeated Mexico 2-0 today.
Mexico was amazing to watch. With 13 attempts on goal and the highest passing accuracy of the match at 85%, Mexico demonstrated their technical skill, even if they could not find the back of the net. Neymar scored and set up one goal and that was all it took to eliminate Mexico and have Brazil advance.
Mexican supporters felt the sting of the loss deeply — the round of 16 has historically been tough and meeting Brazil in this knockout stage was heartbreaking. Mexico’s bright future will have to wait another four years to achieve second-round stage hope.
Mexico came out strong in the match but was unable to convert any real chances to score. Denied by Brazil, Mexico will have to retool for their next chance in the World Cup when perhaps they will not be pushed aside in the second half of the match by the dominance of Neymar. Did Mexico waste their chances? Can a 30-second sequence change the fate of a nation?
In soccer, the answer is yes.
While who lifts the championship trophy this year remains a mystery, the odds are that this year’s World Cup will prove that, in soccer, anything can happen.
And, this will grow the sport.