After four long years, World Cup soccer has finally returned. Russia and Saudi Arabia kicked off the 2018 affair Thursday in Moscow, with the hometown Russians scratching first. Midfielder Yuri Gazinski connected on a header at the 11:32 mark, sending the friendly crowd into an early frenzy:
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) June 14, 2018
ESPN notes that the goal was Gazinski's first for Russia in international play, and that the Russians are 17-3-4 all-time at the World Cup when they scratch first. Up in the stands, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a cordial handshake to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in response to his team's early lead.
Both Spain and Italy won their second-week matches in the UEFA Euro 2016, allowing both teams to advance to the next round of the tournament. Italy's star striker Eder booted in a goal in the 88th minute of the match against Sweden to send the Italians to the knockout stages, while Spain thoroughly dominated opponent Turkey in a 3-0 victory, cementing their status as tournament favorites. Also Friday, a match between Croatia and the Czech Republic ended in a 2-2 draw after Czech Republic rallied back from a two-goal deficit.
Week 2 play continues Saturday with two games: Belgium vs. Ireland at 9 a.m. EDT and Iceland vs. Hungary at 12 p.m. EDT. Kimberly Alters
Lionel Messi is pretty good at soccer.
And by pretty good, I mean really, really, ridiculously good. Want proof? Check out his clutch goal in the first minute of stoppage time, ending a 0-0 draw with Iran.
Argentina moves on through to the knockout round. The World Cup frenzy moves closer to a fever pitch. Sarah Eberspacher
Another week, another Rob Ford moment.
This time, the Toronto mayor took on a young soccer goalie during an appearance at Soccerworld Polson Pier. Apparently feeling the need to gain some sports cred, Ford hammered not one but two shots at the boy tending goal, who dove for — and missed — each shot.
Ford did apologize afterward for kicking the ball so hard two times, so there’s that. And how about his lovely footwork at the 25-second mark?
Considering his skills — or lack thereof — with the other football, it makes sense that Ford would feel the need to redeem himself however possible, even if he is facing a goalie half his height and age.
Nailed it. Sarah Eberspacher