We had to watch the host team, Russia, play Saudi Arabia in the the opener. The opening rounds come fast and furious. The only reason they qualified is because they were the host so it was fun to see them win 5-0. Spain and Portugal, the Iberian rivals, played to a 3-3 tie. We desperately wanted Spain but despite their incredible possession stats, Ronaldo was unstoppable with three goals. And he could have had a winning fourth if he had done what any minor league player would have, just run toward the goal for scraps after you set your teammate up. Wouldn’t want to muss his hair.
Argentina and Iceland was a great matchup. Smallest country ever to qualify vs Messi and company. We sided with Argentina and the 1-1 tie is what they deserved. As bad as we wanted Brazil to win they couldn’t top Switzerland so their 1-1 tie gives both of them just 1 point in the standings and Serbia vaults to the top of that group with their win over Costa Rica.
The ties were good games, all of them, but it felt so good when Mexico defeated Germany 1-0. I think they blew Germany’s minds, like Jessie Owens did in the 1936 Olympics. This was an exhilarating match, probably the best of the Cup but I hope not. The methodical Germans kept their cool and maintained 61 percent possession but Mexico, when they got the ball, knew exactly what to do with it. They sprinted toward the goal. And although they took only half the shots Germany tried, they put one in. Without the US in this thing we are all Mexicans!