The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

World Cup 2018: Week 1 Round Up

The first round of World Cup matches are in the books; what a first round they were. There was everything from dramatic stoppage-time goals to unbelievable upsets. And as for the fans, there was a 300-pound Tunisian man covered solely in body paint.

There were 4 stoppage-time goals in the first set of games. Two came for Russia in their rout of Saudi Arabia, a 5-0 win which does nothing but add to my prediction of Putin fixing the World Cup.

The other two stoppage-time goals were much more important. Harry Kane scored a header in the 91st minute to give England a 2-1 win over Tunisia. While Iran had a dramatic 95th-minute game-winner as well to secure a 1-0 victory.

How did the big stars fair in the first matches? Some were heros and others struggled.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick which featured a curling free-kick in the 88th minute to secure a draw with Spain.

Messi’s performance was much more… Messy. He missed a penalty kick in the second half that would have given Argentina the lead against Iceland. They ended up drawing much to the displeasure of their fans.

The country of Iceland has 1/10 of their population in Russia for the world cup. That should tell you all you need to know about how small the country is.

Neymar was in typical Neymar fashion, rocking a Ramen noodle haircut that would make all college students proud. He set a record for the most times fouled in a World Cup match as he went down 11 times.

The wind must have been pretty intense during the game because he was getting knocked over everywhere. But hey, a foul is a foul.

We saw the Germans lose which always brings back fond memories for us Americans. They lost 1-0 to Mexico and were shown again that North America > Germany.

All in all, the first round was very entertaining and full of drama. If this excitement keeps up, we are in for a thrilling World Cup.

-Matt Baker

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