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FIFA World Cup: Top 10 Moments from the Group Stages

Many consider that this World Cup is already much more entertaining than the previous two. It's been a World Cup of several great moments. 
The 2018 World Cup is moving on from the group stage and onto the knockout rounds. 
With a day off after two weeks full of games, this is an appropriate time to look back before moving forward on Saturday with the Round of 16.

These are the best moments of the World Cup so far:

10. Russia opens with emphatic win 

Host nation Russia made a statement in the tournament's first match, trouncing Saudi Arabia. Denis Cheryshev — who'd never scored an international goal heading into the World Cup — scored two goals in the win, including one right before the end of the first half that put Russia up 2-0. 
The five-goal win was the second-largest margin of victory in World Cup history for the host nation in its opening match, trailing only Italy's 7-1 win over the United States in the 1934 World Cup. The win also meant that the host nation has never lost its opening match in any of the 21 World Cups.

9. Kane heads in winner vs. Tunisia 

England can have a bit of a defeatist attitude when it comes to the World Cup (or any major international soccer tournament, that is). Just when it looked as though Tunisia might hold England to a disappointing 1-1 draw, Harry Kane saved his team with a well-placed header for the win. This marked the first time in 10 World Cup matches (going back to 2006) that England scored more than one goal.
It would get better for England, which beat Panama, 6-1, in its next game. Kane recorded a hat trick in that lopsided victory.

8. Son ends Germany's World Cup

Defending champion Germany was knocked out of the World Cup in shocking fashion. While Sweden was busy beating Mexico 3-0, all Germany needed to do was score a goal against South Korea. Instead, South Korea got two goals late, including Son Heung-min's goal late in stoppage time that put an exclamation point on one of the more startling results in recent World Cup memory. Perhaps football fans shouldn't be too surprised to see Germany get eliminated; four of the last five defending World Cup champions didn't make it beyond the group stage.

7. Iceland goalkeeper denies Messi

Everybody's favorite underdog, Iceland had its shining moment in its first-ever World Cup game. The highlight of its draw with mighty Argentina was Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson stonewalling Lionel Messi on a penalty kick. The Icelandic goalkeeper is by profession a film director and a part-time football player. A moment of ecstasy, saving the penalty of arguably the greatest plyaer of all time.

6. Shaqiri nets late winner for Swiss

Switzerland followed up a surprising opening draw against Brazil with a thrilling last-minute win over Serbia. Xherdan Shaqiri provided the heroics with a goal in the 90th minute. Thanks to this win, Switzerland would go on to advance to the Round of 16, marking the fourth time in its last five World Cups that Switzerland have moved on past the group stage.

5. Modric's goal vs. Argentina

Croatia pushed Argentina to the brink of absolute collapse after this rout. Luka Modric's goal in the 80th minute put Croatia up 2-0 and virtually assured victory. While Argentina failed to win either of its first two group stage matches for the first time since 1974, Croatia scored its first win over a team from South America.

4. Kroos saves Germany vs. Sweden

Right when it appeared the defending champs were done, Toni Kroos saved their World Cup ... albeit momentarily. Down to 10 men after a red card to Jerome Boateng with the score tied 1-1, Germany got the game-winner at the last possible moment. Kroos' free kick in the 95th minute was the latest goal ever scored by Germany in a World Cup game that didn't go into extra time.

3. Messi, Rojo provide magic vs. Nigeria

Right when it seemed time to bury Argentina — the 2014 World Cup runner-up — Lionel Messi provided a moment of magic with a masterpiece of a goal to give his team a 1-0 lead over Nigeria. Argentina pulled out a thrilling victory on a late goal by Marcus Rojo to reach the Round of 16. An ecstatic Maradona celebrated so much in the stands, he fell ill. That, precisely, was the intensity of the match. 

2. Lozano sparks Mexico's upset of Germany

In what was expected to be a classic clash between the defending world champion and a potential contender, it was upstart Mexico that made the biggest statement. Hirving "Chucky" Lozano's goal in the 35th minute gave Mexico the only score it would need to take down mighty Germany. 
Germany followed the recent trends of reigning World Cup champions. This was the third consecutive World Cup in which the defending champion didn't win its opening match. 

1. Ronaldo's strike vs. Spain 

Cristiano Ronaldo put on a splendid show in what was the most entertaining game of the World Cup so far, and one of the best games ever. The capper was Ronaldo's hat trick, in which the third goal came on a laser of a free kick that went into the top right corner of the goal and tied the score at 3-3.
 Ronaldo also made a bit of history, becoming just the fourth player to score goals in four different World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018), joining Pele of Brazil, and Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose of Germany.