10 Unforgettable Moments from World Cup 2018
It may be over, but we’re not quite ready to let go of our World Cup fever yet.
World Cup 2018 will be remembered as one of the most entertaining World Cups ever. A tournament where football dazzled.
We had furious, flashy and fantastic action – and lots of it! There were goals galore. Big favourites suffered early exits. Lots of stoppage-time drama. Underdogs created history. And more.
Here, we recap the top 10 moments that made us laugh, scream or cry. (And for fans of bookie football and online betting Malaysia, wished we bet on the other team, gave/took less balls, or placed a bigger bet on the winning team!)
Russia 2018 was the first World Cup to feature Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
VAR became a hot topic around the world, stirring up endless debates in stadiums, coffeeshops and millions of households – and courted controversy even in the final.
Obviously there is still room for improvement, but for those of us who enjoy bookie football and sports betting on online casino Malaysia, fouls and penalties are clearer – so results are fairer too (according to FIFA, VAR was 99.3% accurate in the group stage). It’ll be interesting to see if VAR will be implemented in Euro 2020 too!
Like it or not, VAR could be the greatest legacy of this World Cup.
The iconic chant of Icelandic football fans – dubbed the ‘Thunderclap’ or ‘Viking Clap’ – has captured hearts and imaginations in Russia. It is an incredible, visually spectacular thing to witness in a stadium
Watch 30,000 Icelandic football fans let rip the thunderclap ahead of their World Cup 2018 debut against Argentina here:
With thousands of passionate Icelanders pushing their team to victory, it’s no wonder they held mighty Argentina to a historic 1-1 draw.
In a shocking upset, South Korea beat Germany 2-0 – and eliminated the defending champions in the group stage for the first time in 80 years.
Bookie football odds were heavily in favour of Germany, who came to Russia as world No. 1. Whereas South Korea wasn’t even listed in the top 50. Sports bettors who took South Korea’s side in football betting and online gambling Malaysia won big money in this game.
All Germany needed to do was score a goal against South Korea. But for over 90 minutes, the score stayed at 0-0. Finally, two stoppage-time goals by South Korea sent the defending champions packing.
And boy, did the world celebrate. Oh the schadenfreude…
All World Cups need great players to do great things. And there are few who do so more consistently than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and one of the biggest soccer stars of World Cup 2018 alongside Lionel Messi.
In Portugal’s opening game against pre-tournament favourite Spain, Portugal were trailing 3-2. It was close to the 90th minute. Portugal was losing hope.
But in the 88th minute, Portugal wins a free kick. Ronaldo steps up to it. Once again, the weight of a nation rests on his shoulders.
As he takes a few steps back and a deep breath, somehow you just knew “magic” was about to happen. He curls it in the top right corner so accurately that David de Gea did not even spring for it.
Reliver his soccer magic here:
Although the final result was a 3-3 draw, Ronaldo’s hat-trick was just spectacular!
Group G favourite Belgium faced Japan in the second round. Everyone thought it’ll be a walkover. Oh how wrong we were.
It ended up being one hell of a game. The Japanese scored 2 goals, setting themselves up for a historic upset.
Then came the comeback of the decade. Belgium equalised. And finally Nacer Chadli scored in the 94th minute for a 3-2 win against Japan.
The sound of heartbreak could be heard from Russia to Rio, from Japan to Johannesburg, from Maldives to Malaysia.
Even those of us who didn’t make a football bet on Japan in bookie football or online betting Malaysia were rooting for Japan! Their World Cup performance was the best ever by an Asian country – and that made us all so proud.
We can’t wait to see how the Samurai Blue will perform in World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Ganbatte!
In Asia, the most popular football league is the Premier League. Lots of us watch the matches, follow the league closely and play football bet on bookie football or online casino Malaysia. So it’s only natural that a lot of us here in Asia are England fans too.
And in World Cup 2018, England captured the public’s imagination once again!
They beat Tunisia, thrashed Panama, scraped past Columbia and won against Sweden. They were in the top four, and slowly hope crept back in. Harry Kane, Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire and Southgate have become national heroes.
But it wasn’t just that they won. England FINALLY broke their penalty curse when they beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties. And England fans went CRAZY celebrating!
Even though England eventually lost to Croatia, pride has been restored. The Three Lions has convinced the world, and themselves.
Many thought this was Brazil’s year. Lots of us put our money on them on football bet and online betting Malaysia to Brazil lifting the trophy.
Instead, most of the attention was focused on Neymar. And not in a good way.
The Brazilian’s diving theatrics and playacting in Russia garnered criticism and made him the butt of a joke that swept the internet (remember the #neymarchallenge that went viral?).
He tumbled. He rolled, and rolled, and rolled.
He hurled himself backwards. And in the match against Mexico, spent 14 minutes on the ground – writhing, squirming and rolling in (fake) agony – asking for a foul.
Football fans expressed their disappointment and scorn at his foolhardy antics. Some say that in a way, his diving stole the World Cup away from Brazil.
Brief Introduction on Neymar
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In France’s match against Argentina, Lionel Messi was expected to shine. Instead, Kylian Mbappé took over the show and showed the world what he is truly capable of.
The 19-year-old sensation’s lung-bursting run through the Argentine defense is nothing short of watching Usain Bolt sprint. Later in the match, he ran past the defense again, scoring a powerful left-footed winner. Relive the match highlights:
Mbappé’s unmatched pace and smooth dribbling ability were too much for Argentina. And he continued to shine throughout World Cup 2018 too. He definitely deserved the Best Young Player Award for his performances.
The dark horses of Russia 2018 (and supreme bookie underdog in football betting and online gambling Malaysia), Croatia stunned the world with their brilliant technical display and solid defense by reaching the final.
Led by midfield mastermind Luka Modric, they swept through their group with complete dominance. In the knockout stages, they demonstrated their sheer willpower and determination, beating Denmark, Russia and England, to face France.
Arguably the hardest working team at this World Cup, they might have lost the World Cup, but they surely won our hearts.
The 2018 World Cup’s greatest moment is its last – when France won their second ever World Cup.
Under manager Didier Deschamps, France was a clinical and effective team from the tournament’s outset. And stars like Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, N’Golo Kanté and Raphaël Varane shone on the biggest stage and scored wonderful goals.
They thrashed Argentina, held off Belgium, and sealed off a perfect World Cup showing with a 4-2 victory over Croatia. It was the best World Cup final in a long time, and the players and fans partied like there was no tomorrow.
So with all the drama, thrills and controversy, Russia 2018 was definitely one of the best in recent times. Here’s to Qatar 2022!
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