This World Cup featured the craziest group stage I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if it was the VAR, something in the Russian water or if Putin's cronies were up to something, but the 2018 edition of the world’s greatest sporting event will forever live on as one of the best.
I hate to bring the USMNT into this, but I’m going to. It totally sucks Bruce Arena is incompetent and the U.S. wasn’t in Russia competing, but if there was a World Cup to keep Americans' interested in the sport while not being in the tournament, this is it. It's been nothing short of storybook endings, heartbreak, controversy, and complete and utter chaos. Let’s just take a look at the absolute madness that occurred during the 2018 World Cup.
Disclaimer: I’m not going to get into every VAR moment or the wackiness of 40 percent of goals being scored on set pieces or even the crazy amount of own goals and penalties we’ve seen, but all of that must be mentioned to encapsulate the madness.
If you get any goosebumps after reading any of these moments, then I’ll send you a The18 water bottle.
Ok, maybe not, but if you ask nicely on Twitter, I might.
Group Stage World Cup Moments That Made You Wish The Tournament Never Ended
Uruguay’s Jose Maria Gimenez Buries A 89’ Header To Stun Egypt And Probably Dash Its World Cup Hopes
Man! The Mohamed Salah hype is booming and he’s not even playing!
Egypt's really hanging in there with Uruguay, and Luis Suarez looks like he might not just bite someone but actually kill them. The Pharaohs are going to do it! They’re going to tie Uruguay without Mohamed Salah and be in the thick of Group A!
Morocco Dominates Iran Then Proceeds To Score A 95’ Own Goal To Lose
Damn, this Morocco-Iran game isn’t that bad! Actually, Morocco is kind of legit! But if only they could finish!*
*We all thought for 94 minutes.
Well, at least they’ll get a point.
Cristiano Ronaldo Nets A Hat-Trick In A 3-3 Tie vs. Spain In A Match That Was As High Octane As A Friday Night Out With Maradona
Oh boy, Cristiano has earned himself a penalty.
Oh boy, Diego Costa just forearmed shivered Pepe, put two Portuguese defenders on ice and buried an equalizer. This is gonna get lit.
Oh boy, David de Gea, the best goalkeeper in the world, just made the Loris Karius fib look a lot better. Now Ronaldo has a brace. Does anyone have any water?
Oh boy, what a tasty set-piece routine by the Spaniards! Costa with a brace now too.
Oh boy, Nacho just ripped a bouncing volley that swerved and hit both posts. It’s only day two, I don’t think I’m going to make it. This has to be over. No way Portugal equalize.
Enter this man:
Iceland, a country of 340,000, Tie Argentina After Its Goalie Who’s Also A Filmmaker Saves Lionel Messi’s Penalty
That’s why you have Sergio Aguero in! What a finish. Argentina look good!
*4 minutes later*
Holy shit Argentina look like trash. Well, they have Messi so he’ll surely save them.
*45 minutes later*
See! I told you! Messi to the spot! He’s going to be a hero!
Peru Fans Travel In Masses, Dominate Denmark And Witness A Missed Penalty For The Ages
Man, I’m not even Peruvian, but Arriba Peru! Dale Carajooo! This team plays with such flair and passion. Denmark has really not shown much, Peru’s moment has to be coming.
The Defending Champions Get Buried By A Mexico Team That Takes A Stronghold On The Group
*Before the World Cup*
Almost everyone:” Germany's probably the team to beat. If there’s a team that can go back-to-back, it’s this Germany squad.”
Mighty Brazil Open The World Cup With A Tie vs. Switzerland
Phil Coutinho might be better than Neymar, guys.
Neymar hasn’t even knocked the rust off from his surgery and he’s getting battered to a pulp. They don't look that impressive, but hey they're Brazil. Just get in and get out with three points.
Harry Kane Rescues England From Doing English Things
KYLE WALKER WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
I can’t believe it. England is going to pull the most England thing ever and tie Tunisia in the opening match. They can’t finish anything! I knew it, same old England.
Russia Destroys Mohamed Salah And Egypt. PEDs Are Working
Yes! Salah is back. The Egyptians are going to be ready to run through a brick wall and get the result they need. I mean, they hung on with Uruguay for 94 minutes and now they have their talisman back? Besides, Russia played an awful Saudi Arabia team.
Croatia Beat Argentina So Bad That Argentine Television Held A Moment Of Silence To Honor A “Dead” National Team
Man what a nervy first half. Messi looked like he’d rather be in a dumpster than at this game during the national anthem, but maybe Argentina can salvage something here.
Oh wow, Big Willy, that’s not how you kick a ball.
Oh wow, Luka Modric take a bow, sir.
Oh wow, Argentina's collapsing and its coach is having a total anxiety attack on the sidelines wearing a shirt that’s way too small for him.
That escalated quickly.
Mighty Brazil Rely On Late Drama To Beat Costa Rica
Brazil's really about to open the World Cup with two ties?! Sheesh, how can the Selecao have such a hard time scoring with all this talent? Maybe this Costa Rica team has a little bit left in the tank after that 2014 run?
Switzerland Walk Off vs. Serbia With Its Players Giving A Big Middle Finger To Serbian Fans As Their Cellys
That Aleksandar Mitrovic is a bull! Serbia looks nice and that Kolorov free kick in the first game was cool.
*XHAKA thunder bastard*
Xhaka is a real wild card, you never know what you’re going to get. Did you know he’s of Kosovan descent? That must have been crazy for him.
*38 minutes later*
What a hard fought game for both sides. Both will wish they had done more but a draw isn’t a terrible result.
TONI KROOS ARE YOU KIDDING ME
Sweden's a brick wall back there! And now they are up one! Man, this German team just doesn't look like it has it.
Well, there is no way that Sweden concedes another here. This is their bread and butter. Playing for a draw is right in their wheelhouse. Besides, look at Germany these last two games. Their finishing has been absolute shite!
LOS CAFATEROS BAILANDO
Big game here for Colombia. They played pretty well with 10 men against Japan, but they got a tough one here against Poland. Poland also needs to save face after that Senegal game. I mean Poland is ranked pretty high in the FIFA rankings and have Robert Lewandowski. This should be a pretty good and close game.
Dueling VAR Action In Spain vs. Morocco and Iran vs. Portugal Which Flipped The Group Standings In A Span Of 30 Seconds
This two-screen thing is hard to follow. Good thing these matches should be easy.
MOROCCO'S WINNING! Damn!
Oh never mind. Spain tied it up. And now Quaresma just scored an absurd trivela. Looks like Portugal's going to win the group, especially now that Ronaldo just got this penalty. Good for them.
Whew, that was crazy! Portugal kind of left the door open for Spain! They totally got the group wrapped up here now that Morocco is winning 2-1.
Messi's Two Touch Brilliance And Left-Footed Marcos Rojo Buries A Right-Footed Volley In The 86’ To Send Shambles Argentina To The Knockouts
MESSI IS BACK! WHAT A GOAL. WHAT A FINISH. WHAT A BALL. Ever Benega is just what Argentina needed. They look like such a better team out there today. And Nigeria's playing kind of conservative. Almost like they were looking for a tie! Argentina’s got this and Maradona’s going to have a rager tonight.
Mascherano is such an idiot. Yeah, there have been worse muggings in the box, but you leave the ref no choice wrapping your arms around the guy. Now, look at him, running around the field all bloodied. Argentina is done. Higuain had his chance. It's over.
Oh Nothing To See Here, Just South Korea Eliminating The Defending World Cup Champions By A Scoreline Of 2-0 Which Propels A Mexico Team That Just Lost 3-0 Into The Round Of 16
Wow, Mexico. What an absolute collapse. You win your first two games of the group and they aren’t going to advance.
I can’t believe you’re relying on South Korea to beat or tie Germany. THEE defending World Cup champions. ZE GERMANS. They’re robots! You’re not even going to have a chance to play for the quinto partido!
Craziest Knockout Stage World Cup Moments
RUSSIA BEATS MIGHT SPAIN?!
Russia needs to GTFO of this tournament. There is no way those PEDs drugs will give them enough to be La Furia Roja.
This is the most boring game of all time. Whatever at least Spain has the lead. Russia is going home, no way a team of Spain's caliber blows this.
You Shake A Tree And A Belgium Is Going To Fall Out
Belgium is so dumb for beating England to get on this side of the bracket. At least they have some consolation and get to play Japan. They squeaked out of their group because of "fair play." SMH
Oh, it’s LIT! Japan is up 2-0. Amazing goals too! Now Japan can just do what they do best! Defend! What an upset! On to the quarterfinals for the Samurai Blue!
England Won A Game In Penalties. What Is Happening!? The World Is Ending
Damn, no James Rodriguez for Colombia. That’ll be brutal.
Oh, what do you know? A Harry Kane penalty. Is this team capable of scoring in the run of play? Sheesh.
Wow, well it was a good run Colombia. Y'all are scrappy and we’ll miss your dancing.
DAMN! What a comeback from Colombia! And now penalties. The Three Lions are sure to buckle under the pressure. They’ve never won a penalty shoot-out at the World Cup ever! Onward, Los Cafeteros!
Croatia Ends The Russian Fairytale
OK, this has gone off long enough. Croatia, do something about this madness!
OMG DENIS CHERYSHEV YOU DESERVE THE GOLDEN BOOT. YOU'RE ON PEDS AND I DON'T CARE.
OK. Extra time it is. Good start for Croatia. They are 19 minutes away from the semifinal. No way this Russia team finds an equalizer. They’ve shown NOTHING offensively. Absolutely inept when it comes to scoring.
It’s Not Coming Home
KIERAN TRIPPIER YOU DOG YOU! The Bury Beckham! IT’S COMING HOME! This is a new England!
Oh, Harry Kane is through! Surely he’ll score! England is going to go to the World Cup final!!!!