There is a brief lull in the action of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals, which will give the players a chance to rest up and attend a few acting classes, because one can never be too skilled when it comes to displaying the proper agony when one is in near proximity to a player from the opposing team.
Up next are the quarterfinals.
The leading vote getter for Moment of the Tournament, if there were an election, would have to be Belgium’s last gasp win over Japan that transpired beginning in the 69th minute with Japan holding a seemingly insurmountable 2 – 0 lead, only to find themselves on the short end of a 3 – 2 outcome when all was kicked and headed.
Another prime moment, from the French perspective, was the round of 16 clash with Argentina. Down 2 – 1, Benjamin Pavard hit a worldie that will be the gist for World Cup marketing efforts for eternity.
Those moments were indeed scintillating, but for a more long-term thrill, the results Russia have produced seem to be unchallenged.
They entered the World Cup as the lowest of the low, but are still alive, unlike many who came to Russia with much stronger credentials, which was, well, everyone else in the tournament.
In case that reference was too thickly viewed, we are speaking, for one, of defending champions Germany, who went out not with a bang, but a barely audible whimper.
The award for best actor belongs to Brazil’s star, Neymar. His histrionics made the culminating scene of Braveheart look as though Mel Gibson were getting a pedicure.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup on one day alone delivered two consecutive games decided by penalty shootouts, a most excruciating way to go out if ever there was one such. Croatia used one to eliminate Denmark.
That one may have been routine, given that Croatia has been the form side of the tournament, but the one Russia used to eliminate Spain has the entire country in a vodka-induced delirium.