Ranking World Cup goals: June 24, 2018

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“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:

So, this Harry Kane guy is pretty OK. Another prolific day of scoring rolled through as 14 balls crossed the line. While only one match was compelling, the goals are piling up as teams gear up for their third match day.  As we’ll do every day during the tournament, it’s a countdown to No. 1 …:

June 24, 2018

No. 14 – Harry Kane (1) – England vs. Panama

This is the year of the penalty kick. Harry Kane netted two of those goals on Sunday. This was first.

No. 13 – Harry Kane (2) – England vs. Panama

This is the year of the penalty kick. Harry Kane netted two of those goals on Sunday. This was second.

No. 12 – Takashi Inui – Japan vs. Senegal

A long through ball opened the build-up to this goal as Yuto Nagatomo controlled and set the ball on a platter for Takashi Inui in the 18. After that, it was a curvy little shot that crept just inside the post and equalized for Japan.

No. 11 – Yerry Mina – Colombia vs. Poland

James Rodriguez with the pass. Yerry Mina with the header. Colombia up 1-0. In a match featuring two desperate sides, this goal served to make Poland’s situation incredibly dire in the second half. The Colombians made sure to capitalize later.

No. 10 – Sadio Mane – Senegal vs. Japan

It’s cool to have help at times. Youssouf Sabaly’s initial try was punched away – double-fisted, even – by Japan’s Eiji Kawashima … Right to Sadio Mane, who bumped the ball into the net for the first goal of a wildly fun contest sandwiched between two blowouts.

No. 9 – John Stones (1) – England vs. Panama

This was the goal that started England’s first-half layup line. The set-piece in the eighth minute concluded when John Stones stepped up and sent a header past a soon-to-be-overwhelmed Jaime Penedo.

No. 8 – Moussa Wague – Senegal vs. Japan

The goal itself was an impressive piece of striking, but the build-up was maybe a touch better. So, Moussa Wague did send a rocket over Eiji Kawashima to finish. But watch the spin by Youssouf Sabaly before a tiny flick from Mbaye Niang located Wague, who did the rest.

No. 7 – John Stones (2) – England vs. Panama

If there was a Golden Head award at the end of the tournament, John Stones is making his case for it. With the ball acting like a pinball in the 18, a carom off Panamanian keeper Jaime Penedo located Stones, who bonked the ball just under the crossbar and put a fourth goal on the board for the Three Lions.

No. 6 – Jesse Lingard – England vs. Panama

This little give-and-go ditty began with a Panamanian turnover – caused by Jesse Lingard – began a snazzy little sequence with Lingard passing to Raheem Sterling, who sent the ball right back to Lingard. It was then Lingard who sent a whistler into the net, giving England a 3-0 lead and all but assuring a blowout was eminent.

No. 5 – Felipe Baloy – Panama vs. England

This little slider in the 78th minute did nothing to affect the outcome of Sunday’s match, but did everything for a nation experiencing the World Cup for the first time. The free kick from Panama’s Ricardo Avila was sent network by a sliding Felipe Baloy, who will go down in history as the first man to score a goal for Panama in the World Cup.

No. 4 –  Juan Cuadrado – Colombia vs. Poland

We’ve been without big runners leading to goals in this tournament. Juan Cuadrado would like to remind you that they’re still awesome. After receiving a pass, Cuadrado raced past two Polish defenders and pushed a shot to the lower right of the shooter. It was a pleasant cherry-on-top marker, not only for the match but the day itself.

No. 3 – Harry Kane (3) – England vs. Panama

This goal might have belonged to Ruben Loftus-Cheek in a world where Harry Kane wasn’t magically in the 18 to inadvertently deflect Loftus-Cheek’s shot into the net. Kane seriously had no clue that the ball was coming to him, but his boot did.

No. 2 – Keisuke Honda – Japan vs. Senegal

This goal fits nicely in the No. 2 spot as Keisuke Honda piloted this ball into a net big enough to drive a HR-V through. Honda, a civic treasure in Japanese soccer, took this crossing feed from Takashi Inui and got Japan a very important result with advancement still a big possibility.

No. 1 – Radamel Falcao – Colombia vs. Poland

This marker in the 70th minute was massive for Colombia – a pre-tournament dark horse of some – to erase the disappointment of an earlier loss to Japan. With the Colombians up 1-0, Juan Quintero sent a beautiful pass to Falcao, who put a shot past Poland’s Wojciech Szczesny.

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