By Chineze Ogugua
Saturday was a day of upsets for the big wigs and Ballon D’or contenders as both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo crashed out with their respective teams in the round of 16.
Argentina couldn’t withstand France pace and firepower as they fell 4-3 courtesy of an Mbappe brilliance.
Griezmann opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Rojo pulled down Mbappe but Angel Di Maria’s powerful shot equalized the game before the Argentines went ahead through Macerda.
It all looked like the Messi-led team were going straight to the quarterfinal, however, a Benjamin Pavard equalizer and an Mbappe double gave the French side the edge even though there was a late Aguero goal which couldn’t save them from elimination.
The second match on Saturday was the turn of Cristiano Ronaldo as he couldn’t save Portugal from falling 2-1 to Uruguay.
Edinson Cavani was the man of the match after he scored a brace either side of a Pepe goal for Portugal.
On Sunday, it was the turn of former World Champions Spain as they were stunned by host Russia on penalty shootout having dominated the match up until full time.
Spain opened the scoring from an own goal by Sergei Ignashevich in the 12th minute but Artem Dzyuba equalized from the spot in the 41st minute.
In the ensuing penalty shootout, Igor Akinfeev became the new national hero after he saved two penalties from Spain’s Koke and Aspas to send them packing and also send Russia to their first quarterfinal showing since Mexico 70’.
The second match saw Croatia oust Denmark 3-2 on penalties after both fulltime and extra time ended 1-1.
Today set of matches will see Brazil take on Mexico by 3pm while Belgium will host Japan by 7pm.
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