#Russia2018 in Pictures

VAR, penalty howlers and colourful fans light up the World Cup

By Antoinette Muller 16 June 2018

Supporters of Croatia during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Croatia and Nigeria in Kaliningrad, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK EDITORIAL USE ONLY

World Cup day three done and dusted. If you didn't have time to watch it all, here's a visual wrap.

Stay up to date with all the latest news from Russia with Daily Maverick‘s dedicated World Cup 2018 section.  For the latest highlights, results and standings from all the groups, click here.

Compiled by ANTOINETTE MULLER, photos by EPA.

The early kick off brought VAR into action for the first time, but it was Paul Pogba’s goal that made the difference as France beat Australia 2-1. For your picture pleasure, we include an insider’s view of the VAR booth.

A view of the video assistant refereeing (VAR) operation room of the 2018 World Cup International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Moscow, Russia 09 June 2018. The FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place in Russia from 14 June until 15 July 2018. EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV
Australian players argue with referee Andres Cunha of Uruguay after a penalty decision during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group C preliminary round soccer match between France and Australia in Kazan, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
Mile Jedinak (L) of Australia celebrates with teammate Robbie Kruse after scoring the 1-1 goal during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group C preliminary round soccer match between France and Australia in Kazan, Russia, 16 June 2018.  EPA-EFE/DIEGO AZUBEL
Paul Pogba (2-L) of France celebrates with teammate Olivier Giroud (L) after scoring the 2-1 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group C preliminary round soccer match between France and Australia in Kazan, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/DIEGO AZUBEL EDITORIAL USE ONLY

In a dramatic upset, Iceland held Argentina to a 1-1 draw. Lionel Messi missed a penalty. Or, if you prefer a more colourful narrative, had his spot kick saved by a part-time filmmaker.

Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Iceland in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/Felipe Trueba
Hordur Magnusson of Iceland in action against Eduardo Salvio of Argentina during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Iceland in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/Felipe Trueba
Alfred Finnbogason (R) of Iceland beats goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero of Argentina to score the 1-1 during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Iceland in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV
Lionel Messi of Argentina (4-R) misses a penalty during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Iceland in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH
Lionel Messi of Argentina reacts after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Iceland in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2018.
EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Soccer is completely amateur in Iceland. Nobody is paid to play or coach. The man in charge of the Nordic-side is Heimir Hallgrímsson, a part-time dentist who had to get leave from work to come to the World Cup. And yes, he will always be a dentist, in case you are wondering. Or that’s what he told journalists ahead of the opener anyway.

Iceland’s coach Heimir Hallgrimsson reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Iceland in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/PETER POWELL

How lucky are we? We got to see VAR in action not once, but twice. Only it didn’t go quite as well for the penalty-taker on its second use. Peru’s Christian Cueva had an absolute mare of a shot.

Maybe he’s mates with Messi and was trying to take some of the embarrassment away from the Argentinian.

Yussuf Poulsen of Denmark celebrates scoring the 1-0 during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group C preliminary round soccer match between Peru and Denmark in Saransk, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

There was another goal for all of Africa early in the first half between Croatia and Nigeria. Except it went in the wrong net. Oghenekaro Etebo was the offender but it was a pretty awful first half all round, with not one of the 13 shots on target. Unless you count shots on your own goal.  The Blazers ended with a 2-0 win.

Luka Modric (L) of Croatia celebrates scoring the 2-0 lead from the penalty spot during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Croatia and Nigeria in Kaliningrad, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ARMANDO BABANI
Luka Modric (C) of Croatia celebrates with teammates after scoring the 2-0 lead from the penalty spot during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Croatia and Nigeria in Kaliningrad, Russia, 16 June 2018.  EPA-EFE/ARMANDO BABANI

Finally, let’s hear it for the fans.

Fans of Argentina arrive to the the stadium before the start of the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Iceland in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/Felipe Trueba
Supporter of Nigeria prior the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Croatia and Nigeria in Kaliningrad, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK
A supporter of Argentina reacts after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Iceland in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2018. The match ended 1-1. EPA-EFE/PETER POWELL
Fans of Iceland pictured before the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Argentina and Iceland in Moscow, Russia, 16 June 2018. EPA-EFE/FELIPE TRUEBA

Ordinary service resumes on Sunday with just three fixtures scheduled. DM

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