Some of the best round-of-16 goals in recent World Cups


We are in the business end of the World Cup now — the round of 16. There is simply nowhere to hide from now on, and one bad performance can make the difference as teams start to get eliminated. The Qatar World Cup has certainly been an entertaining prospect thus far, with a few goalless draws overshadowed by some shock upsets, great goals, and plenty of injury time!

With favourites like Brazil and reigning champions France already through, and sites knowing an upset is possible in the England v Senegal odds, the knockout rounds are an open affair. Judging from Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina or Japan’s comeback against Germany, anything is possible. Fine margins may decide the tournament’s outcome and a special strike may be required for a nation to book their place in the last eight.

With that in mind, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the best goals in the round of 16 in previous World Cups. Read on to find out more.

David Beckham vs Ecuador – 2006

Despite England’s class of 2006 being labelled as a Golden Generation by many, their plethora of world-class talent struggled at that year’s World Cup in Germany. Having just about got out of the group after a dismal opening draw with Sweden, the Three Lions faced Ecuador in the round of 16, and struggled to break the South Americans down. Fortunately, a stroke of genius from David Beckham bailed them out. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid man hit a sweet free kick on the hour mark which curled into the bottom corner to open the scoring. England defended valiantly to progress to the quarters before being dumped out by Portugal on penalties.

Carlos Tevez vs Mexico – 2010

The South Africa World Cup is often fondly remembered for tiki-taka football, vuvuzelas and the infamous Jabulani football. A bit of all of that is combined in Carlos Tevez’s strike for Argentina against Mexico in a game that Diego Maradona’s side won 3-1. Having already scored a scrappy goal to give his side the lead, Tevez added a brace with some silky footwork, defying one defender before the ball took a kind deflection for the striker to hit sweetly on the valve, crashing into the back of the net to knock Mexico out of the tournament. It perhaps would have won goal of the tournament had it not been for Diego Forlan’s frightening run of form for Uruguay.

Benjamin Pavard vs Argentina – 2018 From a fond Argentina memory to a disheartening one. France were struggling to keep up with the pace of the game back in Russia 2018 against an inspired Lionel Messi, but it was an unlikely goal scorer which changed everything that day. Right back Benjamin Pavard made one of the sweetest connections of a ball you’re ever likely to see when the defender hit a sumptuous half-volley at devastating pace. It changed the tide and France would go on to progress and eventually win the tournament after beating Croatia in the final.