1) Luis Chávez v Saudi Arabia
Chávez scored a stunning left-footed free-kick versus Saudi Arabia in a 2-1 victory for Mexico. The Mexican curled home from approximately 31.9 yards out with his strike also registering as the most powerful goal (121.69km/h) in the group stage and round of 16. One of the all-time World Cup goals that will be shown on several highlight reels throughout the years. Technique, power and precision. A goal that typified bravery to even attempt to shoot from such a distance.
2)Richarlison (2nd) v Serbia
Richarlison was at the double versus Serbia as Brazil won 2-0. His first goal was an instinctive finish as he anticipated the initial save from Vanja Milinković-Savić to follow up and tuck home the rebound. However, his second goal was a thing of beauty. A rather hopeful cross from Vinicius Jr as the ball was slightly behind Richarlison, but the Tottenham Hotspur forward improvised quickly as he touched the ball into the air before acrobatically volleying the ball over his head into the corner of the net. Sublime.
3)Neymar Jr v Croatia
The poster-boy of Brazilian football, Neymar Jr, scored a quite brilliant team goal with the PSG winger playing two ‘one-two’s’ before rounding Dominik Livaković to put Brazil 1-0 up versus Croatia in the last eight of the World Cup. The game needed some creative endeavour and Neymar did just that in the 105th minute seemingly putting his nation through to the semi-finals. However, Bruno Petković levelled the score for Croatia in the 117th minute before beating Brazil on penalties.
4)Lionel Messi v Mexico
After opening their World Cup campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia, Argentina desperately needed to beat Mexico on the second match-day in order to keep their World Cup dream alive. In the 64th minute, Lionel Messi broke the deadlock after Ángel Di María fired in a pass which Messi controlled perfectly before he then struck a precise left-footed shot into the corner of the goal past Guillermo Ochoa. A goal that required no room for error with the first touch needing to be inch perfect in order to get the shot off ahead of the array of Mexican defenders.
5)Wout Weghorst (2nd) v Argentina
Netherlands looked all but out in their quarter-final clash versus Argentina with Louis van Gaal’s side 2-0 down in the 82nd minute. Wout Weghorst came on in the 78th minute before pulling a goal back in the 83rd with a smart header. In the 10th minute of stoppage time, Teun Koopmeiners disguised a free-kick by playing the ball short into the feet of Weghorst who then touched the ball into his path before finishing brilliantly on the half-turn past Emiliano Martínez to send the game into extra-time. The audacity to even attempt such a creative set-piece with virtually the last kick of the ball makes this goal one of the best in Qatar.
Mark Marston | GWFN