World Cup Day 1 Review

A slow start ramped up to an exciting finish.

Group A

Egypt 0 vs. 1 Uruguay

The first game of the day did not disappoint as Egypt and Uruguay both showed why they are favourites to qualify from the group. Uruguay had much of the possession throughout the game but man for man Egypt were more than up for the task. El-Shenawy was standout in goal while players such has Hegazi, Trezeguet, and Warda also impressed. Uruguay started off with a youthful midfield but had to call on the experienced players towards the end of the game. Suarez and Cavani did not seem to link up as well as they would have liked and Suarez missed several chances to put Uruguay ahead. The goal came in the 89th minute when a Sanchez cross was powered in by Giminéz. The defeat seems cruel on Egypt but their performance was more than capable of seeing them reach the knockout stages. Russia and Uruguay both have three points while Russia are ahead on goal difference, Egypt are third and Saudi bottom of the table. 

Group B

Morocco 0 vs. 1 Iran

Morocco and Iran might find it tough to seek encouragement to qualify due to the fact that they belong in a group that includes Spain and Portugal. Morocco started the game of well, dominating the first 20 minutes but they seemed to fade after that. The second half seemed to bring a plague of stoppages and injuries to both teams as play became ragged. The game seemed to be heading for a draw but in the 95th minute Haji crossed the ball into the box only for Bouhaddouz to head it into his own net. Iran sealed the three points and won only their second game in their World Cup history. Morocco will now find it very hard to win their games against Portugal and Spain. 

Portugal 3 vs. 3 Spain

After a turbulent week for Spain and Portugal for entirely different situations the game was finally upon them. Portugal took the lead in the 4th minute after Ronaldo scored a penalty having been brought down in the box by Nacho. There was contact and while it was not the hardest of challenges Ronaldo was in his right to go down. Spain reacted positively and Costa scored a brilliant solo goal in the 24th minute to re-establish the lead. One minute from time a Portugal counter attack led to the ball falling in Ronaldo’s path and a driven left footed shot was fumbled into the net by David de Gea. Not a great moment for the United goalkeeper but he should recover from the moment. Costa equalised for the Spanish in the 55th minute after a poachers finish and three minutes later Nacho scored a brilliant right footed volley to give Spain the lead. Spain continued to dominate possession and seemed to be heading for victory but a free-kick was awarded to Portugal in the 88th minute 20 yards from goal. Ronaldo stepped up and completed his hattrick with a brilliant free-kick. The game ends with a point for both teams and Ronaldo continues to create history as becomes the first player to score in 8 consecutive competitions. If Ronaldo had failed to score in this game but demolished Iran and Morocco then questions would have been raised about his big game mentality but the fact that he scored a hattrick against Spain should put a rest to those questions. Iran lead the group with three points while Spain and Portugal are tied on one. 

 

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