By Mitch Wilks
And just like that, the group stage of the World Cup has come to an end.
We will forever cherish the beauty of the three games a day format. Waking up to football and then having an excuse not to get off the couch for the rest of the day? Football heritage, right there.
Oh yes, football. That was pretty good too. Especially the goalkeepers. Here are the top 10 best-performing stoppers from the final round of the group stage, according to the eyes of 90 minutes.
10. Unai Simon (Spain, -3)
Simon was, admittedly, pained when Spain suffered a shock defeat to Japan.
When you want your goalkeeper to risk with the ball you should expect mistakes but Simon was so poor. He constantly misses passes and puts pressure on his teammates, and then fails to block a direct shot.
9. Shuichi Gonda (Japan, -)
No calamity from Gonda as his team further established themselves as the killer giants in Qatar, but Spain being Spain meant it was actually pretty quiet.
Just not tested enough.
8. Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico, -)
A moment of silence, please, for Mexico and therefore for Ochoa world Cup Exit.
The man who only showed up to appear at the World Cup once every four years and become the first Lev Yashin probably played in the tournament for the last time. It’s been one hell of a ride, Guillermo.
7. Mohammed Al-Owais (Saudi Arabia, new entry)
They lost that day and eventually finished last, but Al-Owais and his Saudi Arabian teammates exit the World Cup with heads held high.
He produced 11 saves against Mexico to keep the score at just 2-1.
6. Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (Serbia, -)
No movement for Milinkovic-Savic, who has put together an impressive campaign in the sticks for Serbia despite the early exit. There is only so much a man can do.
5. Matt Turner (US, +2)
Arsenal have made themselves the goalkeeper, haven’t they?
It wasn’t his most exciting hour against Iran, but Turner crucially claimed another clean sheet and continues to solidify himself as a very, very useful and key asset to the USMNT’s fortunes.
4. Edouard Mendy (Senegal, new entry)
Mendy made four saves to ensure Senegal eliminated Ecuador in Group A and progressed to the round of 16. He will have to continue his impressive resurgence if he is to overcome England.
3. Andries Noppert (Netherlands, -)
The latest World Cup superhero story continues.
Noppert consistently performs composed for the Netherlands, which is all you can ask for from the man who should never have been on this stage. Awesome.
2. Thibaut Courtois (Belgium, return)
He failed to stop Belgium from exiting the World Cup but Thibaut Courtois is one of the very few in the squad who can walk away with his head held high.
Were it not for Real Madrid’s stop against Croatia, they would have easily been beaten.
1. Wojciech Szczesny (Poland, -)
Not only Szczesny now boasts Two Penalties saved in as many matches, the last one coming against none other than Lionel Messi.
An absolutely monstrous performance to deny the Argentine and help Poland to the round of 16. Showing the class of him.
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as World Cup 2022 goalkeeper power ranking: matchday 3.
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