Here's What You've Missed At The World Cup So Far...
Broadcasting issues aside.
Billions around the globe have been watching the World Cup (unless you're in Australia), so here's a look back at some of the best -- and worst-- history-making moments in Russia so far.
Mexico beat Germany and the world lost its mind. A shaky Die Mannschaft looked rattled in the opening minutes, and a 35th-minute goal by Mexican Hirving Lozano did not help settle the nerves. The Germans didn't recover and Mexico did the unthinkable -- beating the defending World Champs. Celebrations in Mexico were so wild they triggered seismic sensors to detect a small earthquake.
Nacho verse Portugal. The Spanish defender wouldn't have been feeling too great when he gave away a penalty in just the third minute for tripping Cristiano Ronaldo (training at Real Madrid will be awkward when the club teammates are reunited). But Nacho more than made up for it in the 58th minute, with a firebolt from outside the penalty box. The ball hit the outside post and ricocheted into the net giving Spain the lead (if only for 30 minutes).
Juan Quintero against Japan. The cheeky midfielder stepped up to a 39th-minute free kick in the absence of free-kick-master James Rodriguez (no pressure at all). Positioned in front of a four-man wall, Quintero was unfazed, and calmly slotted the ball UNDER the jumping Japanese defence. We don't know who was more surprised, the Colombians or the goal keeper Eiji Kawashima, who failed to stop it.
Best Solo Performance
CR7 has done it again. Cristiano Ronaldo stunned the world with a magnificent hattrick against Spain. A penalty, a fumbled thunderbolt from outside the penalty box and a superb free kick in the last minutes of the match snatched a point. Should Portugal go far in this tournament, Ronaldo is well on his way to take out the Golden Boot for most goals.
History Making Moment
Japan became the first Asian team to beat a South American team at a World Cup EVER when they beat Colombia. The Blue Samurai had a perfect start to the match -- a red card to Colombian defender Sanchez and a penalty in just the third minute (second-quickest red card in World Cup history) put them in the driver's seat. A 10-men Colombia did their best to keep up, and were given hope by Juan Quintero (see above), but a 73rd-minute set piece by the Japanese wrote them into the history books.
Worst Ref Call
Australia was on the wrong side of history when they became the first country to have VAR used against them in a World Cup. A sliding tackle by Joshua Risdon on Frenchman Antoine Griezmann was initially let go by the referee, only for VAR to overrule. Griezmann slotted a rocket-of-a-penalty away and took the lead.
But other angles not used by VAR officials show Risdon clearly made contact with the ball before Griezmann, and Australia will forever be known as the first team robbed by VAR at a World Cup. (We are also slightly biased)
Biggest Off-The-Pitch Scandal
Spain sacked their coach Julen Lopetegui just two days before the tournament started. After being at the helm for two years, Lopetegui was given his marching orders for accepting a new role as the coach of Real Madrid.
An honoruable mention also goes to Nikola Kalinic. The Croatian striker was called upon to be a substitute in Croatia's Group D match against Nigeria, but refused to go on. Claiming to have a back injury, Kalinic stayed on the bench. Just 24 hours later, he was banished from the Croatian camp -- without playing a single minute.
Amr Warda tried his best to energise a a flagging Egyptian side in their tight match against Uruguay. Warda went for the classic bicycle kick -- only to miss the ball, land awkwardly on his back and injure himself. The worst part? There was no need for the trick -- he was 40 yards from goal and surrounded by his own teammates.
Enjoy the rest of the opening rounds, thanks to SBS.