We whittle down the highlights of match day 1 to the ones you need to watch. Which means we've left out some matches because, sadly, not every game is a banger even during an occasion like the World Cup.
Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia
Russia versus Saudi is not exactly a glam opening match, but the hosts made up for it by blowing them away 5-0. The 4th and 5th are especially tasty to watch—that goal keeper got finessed.
Morocco 0-1 Iran
Iran scored a heartbreaker at 90+5 minutes played. Refs add on stoppage time after the full ninety minutes to make up for pauses in the action. This is also here because, yes, you can kick the ball into your own net and it hurts so bad.
Portugal 3-3 Spain
Ronaldo did a LeBron and carried his not-stacked-at-all team to a very entertaining draw with superstar-laden Spain. If you can only watch one highlight vid, then watch this one because it has it all.
France 2-1 Australia
VAR or Video Assistant Referee is basically camera review and it's being used for the very first time in this World Cup. Very NBA, and it can lead to some Durant "it's not actually a charging foul" levels of drama when a penalty kick gets given out belatedly. Also Pogba's goal got retconned as an own goal after the match, again very NBA vibes.
Argentina 1-1 Iceland
Everyone's favorite underdogs, Iceland, earned a draw versus Messi and co. In a game that offered up several direct comparison situations with GOAT-rival Ronaldo, it's safe to say Messi choked away this one by having a penalty saved and not putting in a last minute free kick from almost the same position.
Peru 0-1 Denmark
VAR strikes again! It's probably the reason why this has been a penalty happy WC—it takes a lot of heat off the poor referees. Anyway, Peru's Cuevas shows us how not to take one.
Costa Rica 0-1 Serbia
We'll keep this brief: Serbia's Kolarov banged a free kick in a tournament that's been good for bangers so far.
Germany 0-1 Mexico
We'll accept you calling Mexico's counterattacks as "fastbreaks" because damn, those dudes run fast. The defending champs take a first game defeat that could have been a lot heavier if only Mexico could sink the football equivalent of open lay-ups!
Brazil 1-1 Switzerland
What an underwhelming game. Coutinho smacked in a beauty in for the boys in yellow and you also have this lovely ankle-breaker below, but that's about it.
Belgium 3-0 Panama
The Red Devils where perhaps the only favored team to live up to the hype. While Panama did frustrate the Belgians for the first half they totally capitulated after the restart. Kevin De Bruyne's fake-and-assist for the second: dropping dimes.
Tunisia 1-2 England
Yet another penalty, but England prevailed in the end. Expectations have built slightly for the perennial underachievers!