World Cupdate: Contender Rise and Contenders Fall

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Via @AFP_Sport

Welcome to your daily 2018 FIFA World Cup update, or World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from Russia while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from Russia.


Here’s What Happened: Thursday, June 21st

Approaching the midway point of the second round of group play and teams continue to book their places in the next round while others are booking their flights home. France has claimed one of the two Group C spots while Denmark and Australia will need a third match-day to decide who plays on.

Croatia also booked a spot in the Round of 16 and took a strangle hold of Group D in the process. Lionel Messi and Argentina face an uphill battle to advance.

Denmark 1-1 Australia

Denmark needed a win to advance and Australia needed a win to keep pace but instead both sides had to settle for a draw following two first half goals. Christian Eriksen scored a stunner to put the Danes up 1-0 just seven minutes into the game but Australia responded thanks to their captain Mile Jedinak’s penalty kick a half hour later. The draw means both teams are still in the hunt for a shot out the Round of 16. Which side goes will be determined during the final matches of group play next week.

Goals

  • Christian Eriksen | DEN (7′)
  • Mile Jedinak | AUS (38′, pen)

Highlights

France 1-0 Peru

While Denmark and Australia will battle for a spot in the Round of 16 next week, France already knows they’ll be there following a 1-0 victory over Peru. It was another unconvincing victory for one of the pre-tournament favorites but three points is three points and France will take them. They only need a draw against Denmark now to win Group C. With the result, Peru has been eliminated from World Cup contention.

Goals

  • Kylian Mbappé | FRA (34′)

Highlights

Argentina 0-3 Croatia

Thursday saved the best for last and Croatia sent a message that they mean business with a 3-0 drubbing of Lionel Messi and Argentina. If a draw against Iceland felt like a loss, then its hard to put into words what this result must feel like for Argentina. A massive howler by the goalkeeper sent Croatia to the lead and they never looked back. Luka Modric submitted his entry for Goal of the Tournament and Croatia is qualified for the Round of 16.

Goals

  • Ante Rebic | CRO (53′)
  • Luka Modric | CRO (80′)
  • Ivan Rakitic | CRO (90’+1′)

Highlights

Argentina now faces a daunting road ahead if they have any hope of surviving the group stage. All eyes will be on Iceland and Nigeria tomorrow where the wrong result could have Argentina crashing out well before anyone expected.


Goals of the Day

Through two and a half game on Thursday it looked like we may not even have three goals to post here but Croatia came through for us in the second half of our game with two beauties. Here’s our three best from Thursday’s slate of games.

Christian Eriksen (Denmark)

Opening Thursday’s scoring was this dandy from Christian Eriksen of Denmark in only the 7th minute of the first game of the day. Eriksen is the engine that drives the Danes and this goal helped push them one step closer to the knockout rounds.

Ante Rebic (Croatia)

Croatia’s dominating second half against Argentina began Ante Rebic taking advantage of a major goalkeeper error and finishing with this beauty of a volley into the back of the net. Rebic’s goal helped put Croatia in the Round of 16 in resounding fashion.

Luka Modric (Croatia)

If Rebic’s goal put Croatia into the next round then this goal by Luka Modric not only sealed the deal but may have ended Argentina’s run in Russia after only two games. Modric creates just enough daylight then hits a sensational strike for his second goal of the World Cup.

Check back tomorrow for more great goals from the 2018 World Cup.


Group Update

France and Croatia both booked spots in the Round of 16 out of Group C and Group D respectively and both are in good position to win those groups as well. In Group C, Denmark are well positioned to go through while Group D will become clearer after Iceland and Nigeria play on Friday.

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Who is Moving on, Who is Going Home

As groups move through their second round of matches, the knockout bracket is starting to take shape. Here are the teams that have qualified for the Round of 16 and the teams that will be heading home.

Moving On

Group A: Russia and Egypt (seeding still TBD)

Group C: France

Group D: Croatia

Going Home

Group A: Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Group B: Morocco

Group C: Peru


Here’s What’s Next: Friday, June 22nd

More great action is on tap for Friday as we prepare to enter the second weekend of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Brazil looks to get back in form after a disappointing opening match against Switzerland while Serbia can book a spot in the next round with a victory.

Group D will conclude their second round of matches when Iceland and Nigeria face-off in a key clash for control of the second place spot and a potential berth in the Round of 16.

Brazil v. Costa Rica (Group E)

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Via @AFP
  • Time: 8:00 AM
  • Location: Saint Petersburg Stadium (St. Petersburg)
  • How to Watch: FS1

Both Brazil and Costa Rica return to action following disappointing results from their opening matches at the 2018 World Cup. Brazil sit in slightly better position with a point in their back pocket but they’ll want to ease the pressure with all three points this time around. If Costa Rica are going to recreate the magic from four years ago, a win will be a must or they could be staring down elimination.

Nigeria v. Iceland (Group D)

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Via @AFP
  • Time: 11:00 AM
  • Location: Volgograd Arena (Volgograd)
  • How to Watch: FOX

If Argentina has any hopes of advancing the result of this game will be vital. An Iceland victory by any margin will make it nearly impossible for Argentina to continue on. Nigeria needs at minimum a draw to stay alive. A draw also means Croatia becomes the first team to clinch their group at the 2018 World Cup.

Serbia v. Switzerland (Group E)

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Via @AFP
  • Time: 2:00 PM
  • Location: Kaliningrad Stadium (Kaliningrad)
  • How to Watch: FOX

Taking three points from their opening match means Serbia can advance to the Round of 16 with another victory in their second match. That will be no small task however going up against a stingy Switzerland side that held the high powered Brazil side to only a single goal. A win or draw by Switzerland will break open a Pandora’s Box of scenarios heading into the final Match-day next week.

You can watch all these games live on the channels listed or streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.


Golden Boot Standings

The Golden Boot Award goes to the stop goal scorer at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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Via beIN Sports

No real change in the Golden Boot standings expect for Luka Modric throwing his name into the mix with his second goal o the tournament on Thursday.


Keep up to date on everything World Cup right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily World Cupdate to recap what went on and preview what’s still to come in Russia.

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