“The Beautiful Game” is more than just goals, but we at The Bat Flip really like goals. This semi-ambitious project will take every goal scored during the 2018 World Cup and rank them daily, with a master list compiled at the end of the tournament.
A few things to consider when figuring your proper dosages of salt grains:
- Importance of the goal may supersede beauty.
- Penalty kicks will be considered on a case-to-case basis.
- Shootout goals will only be ranked if they were the match-winners, or if some absurd act made the goal possible.
You should also check out Robbie’s World Cupdate for a more detailed rundown of Friday’s action while taking a look at Saturday’s play to come.
Now let’s rank some goals from Friday’s match play:
Friday’s main event did not disappoint after the first two matches were lacking in attack, but not in late drama. As we’ll do every day, let’s count down Friday’s goals from No. 8 to No. 1 as Saturday’s run of four matches washes over the world …
June 15, 2018
No 8 – Cristiano Ronaldo (1) – Portugal vs. Spain
This was what it was. A penalty kick in the fourth minute to open a wild clash between Iberian Peninsula rivals. Cristiano Ronaldo drew a penalty in the box and then made Spain pay dearly for the transgression. It wasn’t the first time that we heard from Ronaldo on Friday, though.
No. 7 – Aziz Bouhaddouz (own goal) – Iran vs. Morocco
An absolutely beautiful finish by Bouhaddouz on a through ball into the 18. It almost felt too easy as Iran barely marked the Moroccan defender on … Wait. This was an own goal in the least opportune time for Morocco as a draw was only minutes away with the match in stoppage time. The result quickly became Iran’s first World Cup win since 1998.
No. 6 – Diego Costa (2) – Spain vs. Portugal
Teamwork makes the dream work and there was plenty of help in the kitchen to set up Diego Costa’s second goal of the match. The header from Sergio Busquets to the boot of Costa put the ball in a spot that could only result in a goal. The drunkenness of the Iberian Derby had officially taken grip at this point.
No. 5 – Cristiano Ronaldo (2) – Portugal vs. Spain
A gift from David de Gea allowed Ronaldo to collect his second goal of the World Cup. That’s not to say that Ronaldo didn’t play a large part in making this goal happen, sending a boomer from just outside the 18 to de Gea’s gloves. The Spanish keeper’s inability to keep a handle on the strike led to a 2-1 Portugal advantage in the 44th minute.
No. 4 – Jose Maria Gimenez – Uruguay vs. Egypt
A deft header in the 89th minute lifted Uruguay to a very important three points over a spunky Egyptian side playing without offensive dynamo Mo Salah. A free kick into the box by Carlos Sanchez found its way to a leaping Gimenez, who sent the ball netward.
No. 3 – Diego Costa (1) – Spain vs. Portugal
So, Diego Costa made his first impact on the World Cup a big one with a near-superhuman effort as he won possession from Pepe before dancing around and through five Portuguese defenders and sending a strike into the net in the 24th minute. It was the first true golazo candidate of the tournament.
No. 2 – Nacho – Spain vs. Portugal
Just bask in this one. First, his name is Nacho. Nacho! The Spanish defender picked a great time to send in his first national team goal when this 58th-minute laser rang off the far post and across the line. Had this been the final tally of Friday’s showdown, it would have been incredibly appropriate. Alas …
No. 1 – Cristiano Ronaldo (3) – Portugal vs. Spain
Maybe don’t take a foul in the 87th minute when Portugal can send the ball off the boot of one of the world’s all-time great players. Then again, this game deserved to be a result for both sides. Give the win to Portugal on style points, though as Ronaldo sent the free kick to the left of the wall and tucked it inside the near post. His status as G.O.A.T. may be up for debate, but his status as a must-see talent is not.