Ranking World Cup goals: June 26, 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 Tuesday’s match play:

If there was ever a clear No. 1 in terms of overall importance, it happened on Tuesday. Anyone paying attention to Tuesday’s matches can already guess the top tally. If you weren’t, get ready to be wowed. As we’ll do every day during the tournament, it’s a countdown to No. 1 …:

June 26, 2018

No. 8 – Gylfi Sigurdsson – Iceland vs. Croatia

Iceland left the World Cup without a win, and only a point, but they’ll have this penalty kick to maintain warm memories before taking a whack at 2022 qualifying.

No. 7 – Victor Moses – Nigeria vs. Argentina

This one almost wrecked Argentina’s chances of advancing. Almost. The flip in celebration was actually more impressive than the goal, which came on a penalty kick. Been a lot of those in this tournament.

No. 6 – Andre Carrillo – Peru vs. Australia

With Paolo Guerrero’s cross setting up this screamer by Andre Carrillo, Peru notched their first World Cup goal since 1982, while also posting the country’s first World Cup win since 1978. This was a big one for Los Incas.

No. 5 – Paolo Guerrero – Peru vs. Australia

If one goal can be historic, a second goal can be cathartic for a nation not accustomed to victories on the world’s biggest soccer stage. This strike from Paolo Guerrero came when a Christian Cueva attempt was deflected to a waiting Guerrero. In an instant, Peru led 2-0.

No. 4 – Milan Badelj – Croatia vs. Iceland

Croatia was already in, and likely the Group D winner pending an epic Nigeria blowout victory that never came to fruition. But this Milan Badelj hammer in the 53rd minute shouldn’t be ignored. Sometimes awareness is half the battle.

No. 3 – Lionel Messi – Argentina vs. Nigeria

At last! An actual goal in the 2018 World Cup from Lionel Messi. Credit a fantastic ball from Ever Banega to build up this goal from Messi, who stayed a step in front of Nigeria’s Kenneth Omeruo before putting Argentina up 1-0, giving life to a side that had shown very little in its two previous matches.

No. 2 – Ivan Perisic – Croatia vs. Iceland

It was a skilled strike and it sewed up a perfect nine points for Croatia in Group D. This did have some impact, though. Had Iceland been the side to break the 1-all tie, we’d be talking about Iceland in the knockouts and not Argentina.

No. 1 – Marcos Rojo – Argentina vs. Nigeria

This goal accomplished two things. It pushed Argentina through to the knockout stages. It drew a large cheer from staffing in The Bat Flip’s New Florence bureau. But Gabriel Mercado’s cross to Rojo in the 18 opened a celebration-inducing sequence that came with a goal, Lionel Messi getting a ride on Rojo’s back and seemingly anyone in an Argentina kit joining the dogpile. That’s not including the legendary (and cartoonish) Diego Maradona playing the part of scoreboard in celebration.

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