“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 Thursday’s match play:
The last day of group matches ended on a bit of a fizzle with the premier match of the day devolving into a clash of who was able to win less. Still, there were goals. As we’ll do every day during the tournament, it’s a countdown to No. 1 …:
June 28, 2018
No. 6 – Yassine Meriah (own goal) – Panama vs. Tunisia
As if the tournament wasn’t going bad enough for Tunisia, Yassine Meriah’s deflection gave Panama a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute. Fortunately, Tunisia picked up Mariah with a pair of second-half goals to take away some of the sting.
No. 5 – Wahbi Khazri – Tunisia vs. Panama
So, Oussama Haddadi should probably claim this ball, though Wahbi Khazri netted the goal. Marvel at the pass, nod in approval at the finish.
No. 4 – Jan Badnarek – Poland vs. Japan
This goal gave Poland a bit of pride to take home from Russia as a disastrous trip for the No. 8 side according to FIFA rankings came to a close. This volley from Jan Bednarek did Japan no favors, but it didn’t hurt the Japanese as a fair play tiebreaker pushed the Blue Samurai into the knockouts.
No. 3 – Fakhreddine Ben Youssef – Tunisia vs. Panama
The beauty is not so much in the goal – a slick redirection by Fakhreddine Ben Youssef – but in the set-up to it. Give Wahbi Khazri just as much credit for feeding Ben Youssef as you give Ben Youssef for finding the net.
No. 2 – Yerry Mina – Colombia vs. Senegal
This goal granted Colombia a Group H crown and advancement into the knockout stage, all while eventually pushing Senegal out when it was left behind thanks to the fair play tiebreaker. The celebration may have been more visually appealing than the header from Yerry Mina.
No. 1 – Adnan Januzaj – Belgium vs. England
As an entire nation shouted “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”, Adnan Januzaj undressed England’s Danny Rose before crafting a bender past Jordan Pickford. It ultimately led to Belgium winning Group G and winding up on the tougher side of the bracket, but this goal was still fun to look at.