“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.
Now let’s rank some goals from Sunday’s match play:
The goals were not plentiful over the three matches, but they all carried some serious impact. As we’ll do every day during the tournament, it’s a countdown to No. 1 …
June 17, 2018
No. 4 – Aleksandar Kolarov – Serbia vs. Costa Rica
Direct-kick goals are apparently the theme of the early stages of the World Cup, so let Aleksandar Kolarov send this rocket to the top corner in the 56th minute of a slugfest that was low on scoring, but plenty entertaining … Also about as even as a match has been in the World Cup. If FIFA commissioned a rematch between these two just for funsies, I’m on board … Right after rematches of Spain-Portugal and Denmark-Peru.
No. 3 – Steven Zuber – Switzerland vs. Brazil
Steven Zuber played a role in both goals out of this match, but this one benefitted the Swiss way more than the other (SPOILER ALERT). Xherdan Shaqiri’s corner found Zuber at the peak of his jump as a quick flick of the neck sent home an equalizer, thus ensuring Switzerland a point in one of the premier clashes lined up in group play.
No. 2 – Hirving Lozano – Mexico vs. Germany
He’s 22 years old and Hirving Lozano may never score a bigger goal than this one. With Germany attacking for what felt like days, one swift counter resulted in the only mark of the match as Lozano grabbed a feed in the 18, undressed Mesut Oezil and calmly put the ball past keeper Manuel Neuer. Not saying that this is the biggest three points in the history of Mexican soccer, but Lozano’s goal put that result in place against the defending World Cup champions and FIFA’s No. 1-ranked side.
No. 1 – Philippe Coutinho – Brazil vs. Switzerland
One touch. A swing of the right boot and a curving ball that struck the post with such precision that you can believe that Phillipe Coutinho planned to put Brazil on the board with this play. When Steven Zuber’s clearing header found its way to Coutinho, the goal may as well been posted on the board before the shot boomed by Yann Sommer. Wasn’t quite a totally Brazilian goal, but it’s plenty good as an opener.