This World Cup has been the most unpredictable World Cup so far in the history
The teams which are less stronger on paper proved to be much more stronger on the field. It has been the World Cup of upsets. The gap between lesser known teams and the teams with great legacy has decreased noticeably. The results can’t be predetermined from before. For some, this has has been a heartbreaking World Cup. But for the football lovers this is the oppurtunity to witness history in the making. As the lesser known teams are moving forward towards glory.
Italy and Netherlands faced the 1st upset of the tournament.
Both of the teams of such great history and legacy, failed to reach the main stage of the tournament. Buffon’s dream of playing his last World Cup was shattered into pieces. Robben’s dreams was also paralysed half way as they didn’t qualify.
The upsets of the Group Stage
Iceland handed Messi and his team a nightmare start to this tournament. They successfully managed to keep Messi at bay and even saved his penalty. The final score was 1-1. But still Argentina managed to reach the round of 16.
Brazil also had the same fate as they drew 1-1 with Switzerland but progressed into the next round.
The shock of the tournament came when Germany failed to reach beyond the group stage for the 1st time in recent years. Mexico beat the Germans 1-0 in the 1st match. Then the Swedish almost had the Germans packing their bag. But a 95th min Kroos freekick kept their hopes alive.
But the Koreans proved the world that the Asian countries aren’t much behind. They defeated Germany 2-0 and handed the reigning champions a shock exit.
The upsets of the Round of 16
Kylian Mbappe scored 2 goals against Argentina and denied Messi to have his hand on the World Cup trophy. France beat Argentina 4-3. Argentinian hopes were shattered. Messi have to wait another 4 years to have a try of landing a World Cup trophy.
For detailed information of that France vs Argentina match, click here.
Uruguay’s Edison Cavani single handedly won the game against Portugal by scoring two marvellous goals. Ronaldo like his compariot Messi was handed elimination from the World Cup.
The whole world mourned for both of them. The best players of this generation was unable to win a World Cup for their nation.
The hosts Russia proved that they are no less than the footballing powerhouse Spain. Russia won 4-3 on penalties. Spain was one of the favourites for this World Cup. But once again their tiki-taka proved ineffective as their World Cup run ended prematurely.
Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel saved Modric’s penalty in extra time and almost won the match for Denmark. But Subasic has other things in his mind as he saved 3 shots in the penalty shootout. And Croatia won 3-2 on penalties.
Japan was on the verge of making history by qualifying for the play offs. Kagawa, Inui and their teammates played exceptionally well and took a 2-0 lead after the half time. But the Belgium substitutes Fellaini and Chadli inspired Belgium’s comeback and proved why they are the no. 3 ranked team and one of the favourites for the World Cup.
But Japan made the whole of Asia proud. They fought like the Blue Samurais.
This World Cup is so unpredictable that it is almost useless to have a World Cup favourite in your head in advance. Russia as a host nation would look to reach the semi finals atleast. For Belgium, France and Brazil this is a golden oppurtunity to win the World Cup as their are lesser number of so called big teams in the quarter finals, compared to previous World Cups. But Croatia can be this year’s darkhorse. It is the last chance for their golden generation of midfield maestroes Modric and Rakitic to win a World Cup for their country.