“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 Wednesday’s match play:
Most of Wednesday’s 11 tallies were just kind of there. I mean, nine of them didn’t result in an early exit that caused a “dark day” for a world power. Two did. Which one was Wednesday’s top goal? As we’ll do every day during the tournament, it’s a countdown to No. 1 …:
June 27, 2018
No. 11 – Andreas Granqvist – Sweden vs. Mexico
This penalty – off a pretty dangerous tackle by Hector Moreno – led to Sweden stacking onto its lead and setting the table for the yellow-clad side to capture the top spot in Group F.
No. 10 – Yann Sommer (own goal) – Costa Rica vs. Switzerland
OK, the penalty element of this goal, albeit a huge pride goal for Costa Rica, shuttles it to this end of the ranking. But the own-goal element helps it avoid being dead last. Bryan Ruiz did his part, screaming a try off the crossbar. The ball and an unknowing Yann Sommer did the rest. The Swiss were already locked into the second spot in their group, so all this did was take away two points.
No. 9 – Blerim Dzemaili – Switzerland vs. Costa Rica
Look at what Blerim Dzemaili found! Stephan Lichtsteiner crossed this ball into the box and it was Dzemaili who eventually slammed in this goal, giving Switzerland a 1-0 lead.
No. 8 – Edson Alvarez (own goal) – Sweden vs. Mexico
A missed swipe by Edson Alvarez while trying to defend a cross could not have been more disastrous as the ball bounced off his left leg and across the line. By this point, Mexico was a full-on trash fire against the Swedish attack, which had some things to prove following a heartbreaking loss to Germany.
No. 7 – Paulinho – Brazil vs. Serbia
Mad respect to Philippe Coutinho for this lob to Paulinho, who got to the loose ball before Serbian keeper Vladimir Stojkovic. This put Brazil ahead 1-0, ultimately sealing Group E and a date with recently exposed Mexico in the round of 16.
No. 6 – Heungmin Son – South Korea vs. Germany
An earlier goal caused Germany to have to sell itself out to get at least two goals and three points. This empty-net goal denied both things to the World Cup holder while also shuffling the Germans to the bottom of the group. Good times.
No. 5 – Josip Drmic – Switzerland vs. Costa Rica
The cross from Denis Zakaria. The quick finish from Josip Drmic. It looked like the Swiss had pulled out more late-minute magic to grab three points. It wasn’t meant to be, but this ultimately helped Switzerland avoid a loss.
No. 4 – Kendall Waston – Costa Rica vs. Switzerland
Headers off corners are always fun. Kendall Waston gives Costa Rica something to celebrate with this strong effort from up top.
No. 3 – Thiago Silva – Brazil vs. Serbia
A header off the corner that looks so simple, but also so spectacular. This is the Brazil that the world knows. It’s almost as if Brazil took the news of Germany’s early exit and used it to lift a giant weight from their shoulders.
No. 2 – Ludwig Augustinsson – Sweden vs. Mexico
The finish was pretty. The buildup was incredibly good. Viktor Claesson’s flick-up toward Ludwig Augustinsson left nothing between the eventual goal-scorer and this 50th-minute goal aside from Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa, who couldn’t handle the strong, close-range strike. Sweden went up 1-0 and carried that all the way to a Group F title.
No. 1 – Kim Younggwon – South Korea vs. Germany
No description can justify the impact of this goal. It ended the campaign of a side that had never bowed out this early in World Cup play. Sure, another goal followed, but this Kim Younggwon tally sent shockwaves across the soccer world. Mighty Germany had struck out.