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So far I’ve only missed ONE 2018 World Cup match, and that was to go to my therapist yesterday. I am OBSESSED. I have been coping with the unfortunate reality that is weathering the storm as an Argentina fan, but luckily there are some clear back-up options for me to root for should los pibes not make it through.

The tournament itself has been (I think, anyway) pretty bananas in terms of late goals and upsets. I think I speak for everyone when I say Colombia’s loss to Japan was a bit of a shock yesterday – the clear favorites wound up a player short after a red card just three minutes into the game, and they paid for it dearly. I was also tearing my hair out when Messi missed that absolute GIFT of a PK in Argentina’s game against Iceland this past weekend, and while I was fully in support of a Mexico win against Germany (I still feel embittered by last World Cup’s result), I was definitely surprised that it actually panned out.

The current standings (as of 10am on 6.20 // Morocco is v. fucked) have Russia and Uruguay at the top of Group A, Iran and Portugal (aka the Cristiano Ronaldo Show) at the top of Group B, France and Denmark at the top of Group C, CROATIA AND ICELAND AT THE TOP OF GROUP D (hurls self into the sea), Serbia and Brazil at the top of Group E, Sweden and Mexico at the top of Group F, Belgium and England at the top of Group G, and Japan and Senegal at the top of Group H. Some of these leaders are unsurprising, and we do still have some time before anything is set in stone re: advancement, but WOW WOW WOW!

Russia is looking the strongest to me at this point, but only time will tell if that’s a safe bet moving forward. (I’m not the biggest Russia fan, so here’s hoping for a universal shift.)

VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology is undoubtedly having an impact on some of the matches; it’s the first World Cup in which playback has influenced final calls, and while it’s technically a good thing, fans who’ve been negatively affected by clarified penalties are probably longing for the olden days.

Performances aside, I have been very stressed out by the amount of goddamn bugs that have been swarming around Volgograd. Players were allegedly instructed to wear industrial strength insect repellent in advance of the games, and having watched the matches, I can see why – clouds of mosquitoes, you guys. CLOUDS. It makes my skin crawl.

Other headlines:

Coming up we’ve got Uruguay v. Saudi Arabia at 11am and Spain v. Iran at 2pm. Tomorrow, meanwhile, there’s Denmark v. Australia at 8am, France v. Peru at 11am, and Argentina v. Croatia at 2pm. (You better believe I will be screaming at the goddamn TV for that one.)

I’ll be checking back in on Friday morning with updates to standings, upcoming matches and any other bonkers news that might happen between now and then! For now, good luck to you all, unless you’re rooting for someone I am not rooting for!