All the Most Spectacular Goals From This Weekend’s World Cup Qualifiers

There’s nothing quite like an outrageous goal to liven up an otherwise boring soccer match, eh? You could be sitting there, numb to the lack of action — a sporting purgatory of sorts — and all it takes is one sublime moment of haughty genius to wake you up, slack your jaw wide open and stupor you into a sense of wonder. And, my word, what a weekend we had for those kind of moments.

The first goal came on Friday as Sweden took on France at home, courtesy of walking men’s grooming product billboard Olivier Giroud. Giroud is often maligned by Arsenal fans for his lack of production, yet seems to have a habit of scoring wonder goals when he does choose to find the net. Remember that scorpion kick? Well, here’s another spank-tacular effort that equalized for France.

Not to be outdone, Sweden’s Ola Toivonen decided to score the winner from the halfway line with 3 seconds left in the game. You know, like you do.

And then, three days later, Michael Bradley had this bit of brilliance in the opening minutes of USA-Mexico at the Estadio Azteca. Just take a look.

It’s as if Bradley saw Toivonen’s effort and decided to somehow better it. Sure, Toivonen’s was from the halfway line, but it was into an empty net. Bradley’s lob was so perfect and sweet, it zipped just mere inches from the Mexican keeper’s hand, and a few inches above his sad, embarrassed eyes. We doff the cap to you Mr. Bradley.