World Cup: Top Media Moments and Memes from the First Round

From the 'Mexican earthquake' to Michy Batshuayi's self-inflicted goal celebration, viral stories from the World Cup so far.

The 2018 World Cup has hit the half-way point, with the first round of matches over and the knock-out rounds to come, starting June 30. This year's tournament has had its share of shocks and surprises, on the field and off. The Hollywood Reporter's international team has picked out five memorable media moments from the World Cup so far: From the Mexican goal heard around the world to another heavily meme'd (and mocked) celebration.

Hirving Lozano's Goal Sets off a “Mexican Earthquake”

Mexico striker Hirving Lozano certainly shook things up when he scored against Germany in the countries' June 17 opening round match. Mexico's 1-0 victory was the upset of the tournament so far and set up the defending world champions for a quick exit, the first time in history Germany hasn't made it past the first round.

Such was the euphoria at Lozano's goal back home in Mexico that seismic sensors in Mexico City detected what was reported to be a mini "artificial" earthquake. In a tweet, Mexico's Institute of Geological and Atmospheric Investigations claimed at least two of its sensors detected seismographic disturbances that could have been caused by "possible mass jumping," after Lozano's goal.

Earthquake or not, the impact of Lozano's goal on German fans was catastrophic and sent shockwaves through the entire tournament.

Argentina TV's Moment of Silence

Soccer fans have been known to take the game too seriously. But few have gone as far as the pundits on an Argentinian TV station who, following their country's 3-0 defeat to Croatia June 21, held a moment of silence, as if to commemorate a tragic death. After the game, the on-air panel of TV network TyC Sports collectively bowed their heads for a moment's reflection. They needn't have worried. Argentine star Lionel Messi came through in the final group match against Nigeria to book the squad's ticket for the second round.

Hubba Hubba Herve Renard

Moroccan coach Herve Renard might not have taken his team past the first round, but the strapping Frenchman scored some points with viewers at home, with many noting his striking resemblance to Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. While his team didn't last long, Renard became one of the memes of World Cup 2018. Crestfallen fans can take solace however: Renard is under contract with Morocco through the next World Cup and the former AS Cannes player shows no sign of losing that Hollywood chin.

Female World Cup Reporters Demand Respect

With a record number of women sports journalists covering this year's World Cup, harassment has sadly been front and center at the tournament. But, post #MeToo, the women in front of the camera in Russia have pushed back, like this Brazilian journalist, who successfully rebuffed a fan's unwanted embrace, garnering widespread praise online.


When Goal Celebrations Go Bad

There wasn't much excitement in England's tepid 0-1 defeat to Belgium on June 28. But the team's final group match did deliver arguably the most meme-able moment of the World Cup to date. Belgium star Michy Batshuayi celebrated his team's winning goal against England by kicking the ball against the post — only to be smashed in the face by the rebound. Mocking memes were quick to pop up online minutes after Batshuayi's misjudged boot.

But Michy himself took the mocking in stride. After the match, the Belgian striker tweeted: "Ahahha I knew I would be f*ked the minute I come to my mentions why am I so stupid bro shit hurts."

He later tweeted a clip of the hilarious incident, joking he “had to create something new” in the genre of goal celebrations.

Rhonda Richford in Paris and Georg Szalai in London contributed to this report.