After the whistle was blown to end the World Cup final match between Argentina and France on Sunday night, the 64th World Cup game was played in Qatar. A total of 172 goals were scored in five weeks, setting a new tournament record, surpassing 171 in 1998 and 2014.
However, the trip to the final yielded many memorable moments, from great goals to standout performances, especially in the final where it became solely a Lionel Messi vs. Kylian Mbappe show. PUNCH Sports Extra takes a look at ten of the best goals scored at the Qatar 2022 winter tournament
Di María’s full-back shot against France
All eyes were on Argentina’s perpetual number 10 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Sunday’s final, but Angel Di Maria, in top form, wanted a piece of the action alongside Lionel Messi and scored one of the best goals of all-time team in a World Cup.
Unsurprisingly, Messi was involved in a lightning-quick Argentinian counter-attack, producing a bold move towards Julián Álvarez, who released Alexis Mac Allister into acres of space on the right.
The Brighton & Hove Albion star looked up before providing a perfectly weighted pass to Di Maria, who produced a sublime technique to deflect the ball over Hugo Lloris sprawled in the far corner.
Tears nearly flowed for the 34-year-old as he put Argentina 2-0 up before he was taken off on 64 minutes in what is expected to be his last international appearance, and he could hardly have imagined a more perfect one. way to say goodbye on the biggest stage of all.
Richarlison’s volley against Serbia
Some eyebrows were raised when Richarlison was chosen to lead the Selecao line ahead of Gabriel Jesus, but Tottenham Hotspur won that section of their north London rivalry with Arsenal, and Tite’s bold selection call was soon justified.
During their opening game of the 2022 tournament, Richarlison put Brazil ahead from close range in the 62nd minute before Vinicius Junior intercepted him with a cross from the left 11 minutes later.
The Tottenham man flicked the ball cleanly before channeling his inner acrobat with a sensational bicycle kick into the bottom corner, but Brazil’s attacking effectiveness disappointingly only lasted until the quarter-finals.
Mbappé’s second goal against Poland
Having scored an impressive first goal, Mbappe claimed his second with a brilliant curling effort late on for his fifth overall in the tournament.
He received the ball inside the box, surrounded by two or three defenders, adjusted his feet as fast as he wanted, never lifting his back on the shot, and before he knew it, the goal net was billowing again. Szczesny couldn’t have done much about it; he was hit right in the top corner with some serious power behind him. He had no right to score from there, a fabulous goal for the French star.
Mbappe also showed good for his France team in the final against Argentina when he hit a sensational one-touch volley to level the score and send the game into extra time.
Weghorst Dramatic Late EQ
It is the eleventh and last minute of stoppage time. Your team is down 2-1 and you have a free kick in a dangerous position just outside the box, so what do you do? Have a scoring opportunity or send a cross and hope for the best? Or produce the bit of genius that the Netherlands did against Argentina?
Teun Koopmeiners looked for everyone as if he was going to shoot, but fooled the defense by passing the ball to Wout Weghorst, who spun and rolled into the net.
Aboubakar’s great goal against Serbia
Vincent Aboubakar made headlines off the pitch after boldly claiming his qualities are on a par with Mohamed Salah’s, and even the Liverpool man would have raised a toast after watching the Cameroonian striker’s fearless strike against Serbia in Group F.
The Indomitable Lions appeared headed for defeat after finding themselves down 3-1 early in the second half, but Aboubakar needed just eight minutes to reduce the deficit after being brought on as a second-half substitute.
The 30-year-old latched on to a long ball from Bryan Mbeumo over the top, effortlessly dodged the attention of a sliding Nemanja Maksimovic and lifted the ball delicately past Vanja Milinkovic-Savic before the offside flag was raised. .
A quick review, however, showed Aboubakar’s sensational goal was perfectly fine, and the striker’s memorable effort ignited a sweeping comeback for Cameroon to a 3-3 draw before that dramatic winner against Brazil a few days later, albeit inconsequential.
Chávez launches a thunderbolt against Saudi Arabia
Mexican midfielder Luis Chávez would do well to establish a school of free-kick proficiency when he hangs up his boots, with his great effort against Saudi Arabia in the group stage played over and over again on the big screen.
Henry Martin had drawn first blood for Mexico from close range before El Tri received a free kick a good 35 yards from goal, and Chavez’s left-footed wand sent the ball into the top corner past the hapless Guillermo Ochoa.
Chávez came close to replicating his magnificent set-piece shot later in the second half on the opposite side of the goal, but Ochoa was up to the effort before Al-Dawsari’s stoppage-time goal give Saudi Arabia a ray of hope.
Before packing their bags, Mexico would hold on to a 2-1 victory thanks to one of the best free kicks to ever fly into the back of the net in a World Cup final, and Chávez’s effort scored a whopping 75 mph: The fastest goal of the 2022 group stage.
It wasn’t enough to keep Mexico in the World Cup, but Luis Chávez’s ferocious free kick against Saudi Arabia gave his fans a magical moment to celebrate. Clocking in at 75mph, it was the most powerful goal of the group stage and a shot no one saved.
Rashford free kick against Wales
With England struggling to break the tie against Wales, Rashford took aim and fired the Three Lions in front with a superb free kick into the top corner.
Rashford’s free kick against Wales hit a top speed of 115.63 kilometers per hour (72 mph) as the Manchester United man beat Danny Ward from outside the box.
Rashford’s effort was the first direct free kick to be scored at the 2022 World Cup. It was one of two second-half goals for the 25-year-old, and one of three for England, when Gareth’s team Southgate secured the top spot in their group.
Goal by Ramos on the way to Portugal’s hat-trick
When you take over for Cristiano Ronaldo, you want to make sure you make a good impression and Goncalo Ramos certainly did in his side’s 6-1 win against Switzerland.
Not only did he score a hat-trick, but his first was an absolute beauty, hitting the near post from a tight angle.
Receiving the ball in the box from Joao Félix, Ramos turned quickly and fired a sublime shot from a tight angle past Yann Sommer on the roof of the net.
“In the game of his life, he scored the goal of his life,” said talkSPORT’s Jim Proudfoot.
Memphis Depay finishes off Dutch play of 20 passes
The Dutch brand of ‘total football’ came to the fore as all 11 players played their part in an opening goal ranked as one of the best of the World Cup.
Memphis Depay scored the opening goal in the round of 16 clash with the United States, a play that consisted of 20 uninterrupted passes and the most recorded by the Dutch in a World Cup since 1966.
Depay’s magnificent goal in the 10th minute paved the way for a 3-1 victory as Louis van Gaal’s side became the first nation to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup, where they ultimately lost in the penalties against eventual trophy winners Argentina.
Gavi’s brilliant volley against Costa Rica
18-year-old Spanish midfielder Gavi announced himself on the world stage with a brilliant perfect volley from an Álvaro Morata setup. Gavi’s effort marked his World Cup debut in style. He is the youngest Spanish player to play in the tournament at just 18 years and 110 days. He is also the youngest World Cup goalscorer since Pelé in 1958.