Wow, what an unbelievable World Cup! The unexpected has become the norm, with upsets at every stage. All these upsets have made our daily prediction game even more tricky, with an abundance of our new token, STRYKZ, still waiting to be claimed! In preparation for the Final, we’ve made a list of what we think have been the most interesting moments so far in the World Cup, in no particular order.
1. England — Colombia Penalty Shootout
We’ve seen it happen before. With an unbelievable header from Colombia to tie the game in the 93rd minute, and a scoreless extra time, the game came down to a penalty shootout, England’s achilles heel. With both teams scoring their first two shots, disaster struck as England failed to score on the third penalty shot and it seemed like history was going to repeat itself. However, with Colombia’s next shot crashing into the crossbar, and then an amazing save by Pickford, it all came down to Dier. With all eyes on him, Dier drilled the ball into the net and shattered England’s shootout curse!
2. Kroos’ Free Kick against Sweden
With the game tied, and looking calm, Toni Kroos must have been facing an immense amount of pressure. After the loss to Mexico, all of Germany wanted to play like the 2014 champions and win against Sweden. Kroos had already slipped up early in the game, with an intercepted pass leading to Sweden scoring. In the last minutes of stoppage time, at a difficult spot, Kroos had the opportunity to prove why Germany deserved to be there. With a quick pass to Reus to give himself a better angle, and a beautiful shot, Kroos put Germany back in the World Cup!
3. Neymar’s non stop flopping
Football players will flop. It’s an undeniable fact of the sport. Even so, in this World Cup, Neymar’s flopping has appeared often excessive, with some people taking bets on how many times Neymar will roll when fouled. One statistic even suggests that he spent 14 minutes on the ground in this World Cup. However, when looking at out Football Stars statistics, Neymar has also performed phenomenally and is still at the top of the overall performances list.
4. Croatia’s Crazy Shootouts
After cruising through the group stages, many people expected Croatia to put up a strong showing in the later stages of the World Cup. However, in the round of 16 as well as the quarterfinals, they couldn’t quite finish off their opponents and went to penalty shootouts. The surprising part is Croatia has some of the best midfielders in the tournament in Rakitic and Modric. According to our Football Stars statistics, Modric has consistently performed above average compared to others in his position.
5. South Korea shocking Germany
No one expected this outcome. In the last game of the group stage, coming fresh off their amazing win against Sweden, everyone expected Germany to steamroll South Korea and move on to the round of 16. With a bit of luck, Germany could put behind them their loss to Mexico and prove why they were the reigning champions. But South Korea had other plans. Led by superstar Son Heung-Min and with an unbelievable performance by goalie Cho Hyun — Woo, who performed consistently above average goalkeepers, South Korea held Germany scoreless and scored two goals against the reigning champions, leading to Korea’s victory!
6. Russia’s World Cup Run
Russia was the lowest ranked team at the World Cup this year. Most people, including their own, seemed to expect a somewhat mediocre run. But instead of rolling over and resigning themselves to another poor showing, the Russian national team fought hard. Making their way through the group stage, they faced Spain, the 2010 champions. Russia took Spain to extra time, and in a shootout that shook the entire world, managed to win! Even though they lost to Croatia in a close quarterfinal game, Russia proved they were more than just World Cup hosts, and inspired a new football generation in their country!
7. Senegal’s Warm Up
In one of the most entertaining warm up routines in modern football, Senegal’s cheer-filled dancing made it impossible to root against them. Managing to pull off an impressive win against Poland, it’s easy to see why Sengal was so joyful before their next match. Even though they didn’t quite make it to the round of 16, they are definitely the champions when it comes to warm ups. If we had Football-Stars statistics for warm up performances, Senegal would be in a league of their own.
What do you think of our moments? Did we forget one of your favorites? If so, leave a comment below or head to our Telegram page and let us know what we forgot. While at our Telegram, don’t forget to also give us your World Cup match prediction for your chance to win some STRYKZ, our newly launched token!
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