Sport

The World Cup Day That Was

#Russia2018: A bear blowing a vuvuzela, late goals and Ronaldo arrives

Portuguese fans cheers as they watch on a giant screen the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Spain in Lisbon, Portugal, 15 June 2018. EPA-EFE/JOSE SENA GOULAO

It's not officially a World Cup until there is a bear riding down the street blowing a vuvuzela and Cristiano Ronaldo scores a hat-trick. Kapish?

If you’ve been following closely, you’ll know that the best World Cups are the goalfest World Cups. Those tournaments where defensive structure is abandoned and it’s all bish, bash, bosh in favour of gluttony.  If you missed it, read about it here.

There was a glut of goals, including a hat-trick from that guy who has an airport named after him. Here’s what you might have missed.

Spain 3-3 Portugal

Who needs defence when you’ve got attack and a goalkeeper who has a ‘mare? Cristiano Ronaldo scored thrice, Diego Costa twice, David de Gea let a screamer slip and Nacho found the back of the net. If that’s not enough to entice you to watch the highlights over here, then we give up.

Morocco 0-1 Iran

Gotta love those late goals. Aziz Bouhaddouz headed into his own net five minutes into injury time to help Iran seal a dramatic win over Morocco. The scoreline perhaps belies just how tense things were on the pitch. Filthy fouls, dubious concussion treatment and yellow cards galore just about sums it up. The highlights are available here. But they should probably come with a PG 13 rating.

Egypt 0-1 Uruguay

The only good thing that came from Friday’s early kick off between Egypt and Uruguay was that Luis Suarez didn’t score. If you’re feeling nostalgic about Uruguay breaking hearts like it’s 2010, you can watch the highlights here. Poor Mo Salah. His coach assured everyone he was fit and ready to go, but he spent his birthday in tears on the bench after a late goal clinched victory for The Sky Blue.

News you might care about

In one of the most WTF moments of the tournament so far, a video of a bear blowing a vuvuzela and being driven around in a car went viral after Russia’s win over Saudi Arabia. The man who shared the clip to Twitter insists it’s real and not just some bloke in a very good bear suit.

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly agreed to pay an eye-watering sum of his self-care fund over to Spanish tax authorities. The payment (R295 million if you’re wondering) relates to alleged tax fraud and is likely to come with a two-year jail term. Fortunately for Ronaldo, his beauty regime will stay intact as jail terms of that duration aren’t normally served in Spain. [EWN]

In happier news, take a moment to indulge in the story of Iran keeper Alireza Beiranvand. He ran away from home to seek greener pastures, so to speak. His nomad family moved around a lot, but Beiranvand wasn’t so keen on that idea. He worked a number of jobs, including in a car wash and as a street cleaner. Eventually, in 2015, he became the country’s first choice gloveman. Read the rest of his wonderful tale on The Guardian.

Quote of the day

“To save questions again: I’m still a dentist and I will never stop being a dentist.”

Iceland manager Heimir Hallgrimsson opts for efficiency at his press conference and gives us even more reason to love this team we never knew we needed.

Fixtures on 16 June

12:00 France vs Australia
15:00 Argentina vs Iceland
18:00 Peru vs Denmark
21:00 Croatia vs Nigeria

Dish of the day

Their players might be of such persuasion, but French cuisine is not revolting. Keeping with the winter warmer theme, cassoulet (or stew, as most people call it) is a classic.

Essentially nothing more than a tarted up version of samp and beans (without the samp), cassoulet takes many forms built from a few constituent parts. White beans and meat (sausages and duck as your base) make this a hearty delight.

The French are literal people so the name comes from the traditional vessel this dish is cooked in. It originated as something for peasants but has evolved into something decidedly more posh.

There are loads of recipes out there, many of which have bastardised the traditional idea. We’re opting for Rick Stein’s version, mostly because he is one of the few who has not sullied it with tomatoes. DM

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