janecek.com: 2018 World Cup Soccer fan page

janecek.com
[ Home | Music | News | Sports | World Cup 2018 | teamLINK]
previous World Cup pages: World Cup 2014 World Cup 2010 | World Cup 2006 | World Cup 2002 | World Cup 1998

Janecek.com World Cup 2018 Soccer Fan/Blog/Results Page

France is World Cup 2018 Champion!


janecek.com France win FIFA World Cup Russia 2018

World Cup 2018 Knockout Phase - Round of 16 to Finals - Win or go home...



 Round of 16  Quarterfinals  Semifinals  Grand Final  2018 Champion
         
 Uruguay URUGUAY 2        
  49 - June 30, Sochi        
    Uruguay URUGUAY 0      
  PORTUGAL 1        
    57 - July 6, Nizhny Novgorod      
      France FRANCE 1    
 France FRANCE 4        
  50 - June 30, Kazan  France FRANCE 2      
          
 Argentina ARGENTINA 3        
      61 - July 10, St. Petersburg    
        France FRANCE 4  
 Brazil BRAZIL 2        
  53 - July 2, Samara        
    Brazil BRAZIL 1      
 Mexico MEXICO 0        
    58 - July 6, Kazan  Belgium BELGIUM 0    
          
 Belgium BELGIUM 3        
 54 - July 2, Rostov  Belgium BELGIUM 2      
          
 Japan JAPAN 2        France FRANCE!!!
        64 - July 15, Moscow
2018 чемпион
          
 Spain SPAIN 1      
  51 - July 1, Moscow        
 Russia win on penalties, 3-4  Russia RUSSIA 2      
 Russia RUSSIA 1        
    59 - July 7, Sochi      
   Croatia win on penalties, 3-4  Croatia CROATIA 2    
 Croatia CROATIA 1        
  52 - July 1, Nizhny Novgorod  Croatia CROATIA 2      
  Croatia win on Penalties, 3-2        
 Denmark DENMARK 1        
      62 - July 11, Moscow  Croatia CROATIA 2  
      (added extra time)    
 Sweden SWEDEN 1         
  55 - July 3, St. Petersburg        
    Sweden SWEDEN 0      
 Switzerland SWITZERLAND 0        Belgium BELGIUM 2
    60 - July 7, Samara  England ENGLAND 1     63 - July 14, St. Petersburg
        
BEL (third place)
 Colombia COLOMBIA 1         
  56 - July 3, Moscow Spartak  England ENGLAND 2      England ENGLAND 0
 England win on penalties, 3-4        
 England ENGLAND 1        

SECOND STAGE - Round of 16 to Finals

The knockout phase of the World Cup

  ROUND OF 16
  50. 30 June - France France 4:3 Argentina Argentina at Kazan

 France chose the right time to begin playing football, and Argentina are sent packing in the first Round of 16 knockout match.

In the eleventh minute, France's Kylian Mbappe, the 19 year old wunderkind, was on a breakaway when he and Argentina's Carlos Roja collided in the penalty area. A penalty was awarded and Antoinne Griezmann converted the kick. This was 19th conversion on 25 awarded penalties, both records for a World Cup.

Angel Di Maria's 41st minute goal leveled the match for La Abliceleste. The PSG midfielder received a pass in the middle all alone, lifted his head for a look and shot from 30 yards out. Wonderful strike.

Mascherano would miss Argentina's next World Cup match after getting booked for a yellow at 45', if it advances. Just three minutes into second half Lionel Messi's shot was deflected into the net by his teammate, Gabriel Mercadeo, and Argentina led.

About ten minutes later, Les Bleus would equalize. France's Lucas Hernandez sent a cross through the area, an Argentine defender whiffed on blocking it, thus allowing his pass to conveniently find the foot of Benjamin Pavard, who drove the ball 18 yards to the far back corner.

France retook the lead 3-2 at 64' with a great move in the area by Mbappe to his left to create separation, then hit the ball under the keeper. France exploded for a fourth at 68' with Mbappe's beautiful second was taken in stride receiving the ball after a great series of upfield passes.

Argentina made it 4-3 with a stoppage time header by Sergio Kun Aguero. Argentina didn't give up, but this may have been the last international match for Messi, while it is indeed over for Javier Mascherano, who retired from international football after the game. A day after, Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli was expected to step down. FYI - Mbappe is the first teenager to score 2 in a WC game since Pele in 1958.
 -match detail -match video
  49. 30 June - Uruguay Uruguay 2:1 Portugal Portugal at Sochi

 Uruguay's Edinson Cavani put La Celeste into the scoring column in the seventh minute with a wonderful goal following some cross field passing with Luis Suarez. This stretched out the Portuguese defense left Cavani unmarked as he flew in and connected with Suarez's pass to the six yard line and directed the ball with his head/cheek/shoulder toward the near post.

Portugal tied in the second half at the 55th minute as a short corner was crossed over the box, where it was too high for Cristiano Ronaldo but fell to the head of a trailing Pepe, who found net. The tie lasted just seven minutes, as Uruguay’s Cavani shot from the left corner of the area and found the far post to notch his double. Cavani would get subbed out with a hamstring injury ten minutes later.

Portugal didn't seem to be able to mount many attempts the last thirty minutes of the match, until the dying moments with a flurry of attempts, including a non-call in the area. The match ends 2-1 and Ronaldo is done. Cavani and Co. have a date with France in the quarterfinals of World Cup 2018 on Friday, July 6. Portugal is the first team to score on Uruguay in 2018 (7 games).
 -match detail -match video
  51.   1 July - Spain Spain 1:1 Russia Russia (RUS 3-4, on Penalties) at Moscow (Luzhniki)

 Oh Spain. Russia's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev blocked two of Spain's penalty kick shootout attempts and the host nation advanced to the quarterfinals at World Cup 2018.

The Spaniards took the lead as the twelfth minute began. Sergio Ramos was pulled down by Sergei Ignashevich at the far post as the ball bounced off the defender's ankle and into the net, tagging the Russian with an own goal.

In the fortieth minute, Gerard Pique was yellow carded and Russia awarded a penalty kick for Mr. Shakira's handball in the box. Artem Dzyuba converted for Mother Russia. Spain didn't play up to their quality of football despite a huge possession advantage, while Russia, to its credit, pressured when possible.

Tied 1-1 after full time and extra time, kicks from the mark decided Spain v Russia in their Round of 16 match. The PK shootout was level on 2s, Spain's Koke was blocked by Akinfeev. At 3-4 Russia in the shootout, Iago Aspas's shot was blocked by Akinfeev's beautiful kick save and Spain were eliminated.

The lowest rated team at World Cup advances with the third biggest upset in history according to World Cup history, and the biggest in the knockout round. As commentator Ian Darke noted on twitter, "Can’t remember a team having so much of the ball and doing so little with it as Spain today." Andres Iniesta announced his retirement from international football after the game. He will continue his professional career in Japan. 
 -match detail -match video
  52.   1 July - Croatia Croatia 1:1 Denmark Denmark (CRO 3-2, on Penalties) at Nizhny Novgorod

 The second match of the day to go to a penalty kick shootout would see Croatia defeat Denmark to become Russia's quarterfinal opponent.

The teams traded goals early, and the score stood at one apiece after four minutes. Denmark's first minute goal saw Jonas Knudsen's long throw in land in the far half of the area, laid about for a bit where Thomas Delaney then moved the ball ever more left and found Mathias Jorgensen. The Huddersfield Town defender's shot was a seeing-eye number that saw the ball bounce off Croatia keeper Danijel Subasic's hand back toward the far post where it dribbled over the line.

Croatia answered less than three minutes later. Following a bad Denmark clearance, the ball ricocheted around the box where Mario Mandzukic collected it from seven yards, turned and scored.

The match was tense, but otherwise uneventful, until 84' when Ante Rebic was taken down in the penalty area. Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel, dived, guessed correctly, and easily smothered the ensuing penalty attempt by Modric.

In the shootout, the keepers of Croatia and Denmark traded saves. At 2-2, Lasse Schone's kick was blocked, only to have Schmeichel return the favor of Josip Pivaric. Nicolai Jorgensen's stutter step walk-up to his kick totally failed, and his attempt was easily saved by Subasic and his feet, his third save of the shootout. To send Croatia through, Ivan Rakitic drilled the ball to his left, while Schmeichel rolled the opposite way. Croatia advance!  
 -match detail -match video
  53.   2 July - Brazil Brazil 2:0 Mexico Mexico at Samara

 A spirited, stubborn game showcased Brazil's excellent defense but also a resilient Mexico side, for a half, anyway.

Six minutes into the second half, Brazil's Neymar back-heeled a pass to Willian out by the arc, then Willian drove down the left. There, the Chelsea midfielder sent a ground cross through the box, where Neymar, sliding behind teammate Gabriel Jesus, put his right foot on the ball and both man and ball wound up in goal.

Going into the game, Brazil was 57W-6D-3L when scoring first at World Cup.

Brazil picked up an insurance goal at 88' on a breakaway. Neymar pushed up the left side, poked a ball across the box and a crashing Roberto Firmino found open net. With Brazil winning 2-nil, Canarinha advance and El Tri head home. This is Mexico's seventh straight Round of 16 defeat. 
 -match detail -match video
  54.   2 July - Belgium Belgium 3:2 Japan Japan at Rostov-On-Don

 A stoppage time counterattack winner versus Japan sees Belgium advance to a quarterfinal matchup against Brazil.

Following a scoreless first half where Japan held its own, Samurai Blue opened the scoring at 48'. Genki Haraguchi. Gaku Shibasaki's long pass was missed by Belgium's Jan Vertonghen allowing Haraguchi to get to the ball and finish to the far post. Minutes later, Eden Hazard clanked a ball off the post for Belgium. So close.

At 52', Takashi Inui of Japan made it a shock two goal lead for with a twenty-five yard strike. Inui played the ball in where it rebounded off a defender's head and out to Shinji Kagawa, who took a few touches then laid it off to Inui, who fired a no-spin shot to the far corner. Diving to his left, Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois could not reach the knuckleball.

Belgium pulled one back at 69' on an almost-lark of a header by Vertonghen. The seemingly innocuous header more-or-less arced in slow motion up and over the Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima and under the crossbar. Belgium leveled the match five minutes later when Hazard's left-footed cross to the tall Marouane Fellaini was headed into the net from six yards. The Red Devils kept pouring it on, but Kawashima was excellent in goal.

Belgium's 94th minute winner was built on a breakaway following a Belgian save on a corner. Courtois rolled the ball to Kevin De Bruyne, who dribbled the ball upfield 25 yards before passin to Thomas Meunier. He pushed the ball left across the area where Romelu Lukaku stepped over the ball in a dummy move, and midfielder substitute Nacer Chadli slotted it home with his left foot and becomes Belgium's newest hero. Brazil awaits! 
 -match detail -match video
  55.   3 July - Sweden Sweden 1:0 Switzerland Switzerland at St. Petersburg

 Sweden advance to the last eight with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland. A stiff, largely defensive affair would finally awaken in the second half.

in the sixty-sixth minute, Sweden's Emil Forsberg, moving left to right, shot from behind the arc where his on-target strike deflected off Switzerland's Manuel Akanji and past the keeper.

In stoppage time it appeared if Sweden might add to its lead. In a breakaway during the dying moments Sweden's Martin Olsson was tripped just outside the box by Switzerland's Michael Lang. Lang was issued a straight red card for fouling as the last man in denying a goal-scoring opportunity. Ola Toivonen's free kick was saved, and the final whistle was sounded.

Sweden is off to the quarters for the first time since 1994. Lustig will miss the quarterfinal match due to yellow card accumulation. Switzerland last won a knockout match in 1938. 
 -match detail -match video
  56.   3 July - Colombia Colombia 1:1 England England (ENG 3-4, on Penalties) at Moscow (Spartak)

 England would have the benefit of a James-less Colombia side in the final Round of 16 matchup. Perhaps his absence was the spark the Three Lions needed to extinguish its penalty kick shootout pain of previous knockout competitions and advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup 2018.

The first half featured plenty of fine football, but no goals. Wilmer Barrios did pick up a yellow which would result in suspension for his next match.

Colombia's Carlos Sanchez picked up a yellow at 54' as he took Harry Kane to ground. The penalty awarded by the American referee Mark Geiger was easily converted for Captain Kane's sixth goal of World Cup 2018.

Barcelona's Yerry Mina kept Colombia alive three minutes into stoppage time. Mina went up and put his head to ball aimed it to the ground where it bounced up and under the crossbar, where the English defender could only muster a feeble attempt to head it away. That goal would send the match to additional time.

After a scoreless extra thirty minutes, to the shootout they went: Falcao ^; Kane ^; Cuadrado ^; Rashford ^; Muriel ^; Henderson X: keeper David Ospina dove to his left and saved; Uribe X: hit the crossbar; Trippier ^; Bacca X: blocked by Jordan Pickford's big left paw; Eric Dier ^: makes his kick and England advance 4-3 on the 'kicks from the spot' shootout! Colombia are done. James did not have a good World Cup. 
 -match detail -match video
  QUARTERFINALS
  57.   6 July - Uruguay Uruguay 0:2 France France at Nizhny Novgorod

 Uruguay would play without star Edinson Cavani, held out due to a calf injury, and perhaps that was it’s undoing, losing at the hands of France, 0-2.

Raphael Varane put France on the board five minutes before half time. Antoinne Griezmann swung in a left-footed free kick from 27 yards out where Varene leapt, met the ball near the penalty spot and headed it home. It was Uruguay's first time behind at World Cup 2018. Uruguay almost leveled on similar play a few minutes later...

Griezmann extended the lead with beautiful shot at 61’. The 24-yard blistering goal saw the player with space and with time, and he fired right at Uruguay's keeper. Fernando Muslera could not handle the knuckling ball and it bounced off his open palms and into the net, an apt metaphor for Uruguay's overall play. What a howler.

France advances to it’s sixth World Cup Semifinal. Belgium awaits. France has the second youngest team at World Cup. Once this team found it’s game legs, wow. 
 -match detail -match video
  58.   6 July - Brazil Brazil 1:2 Belgium Belgium at Kazan

  Belgium hand the World Cup favorites Brazil a solid 1-2 defeat to advance to the semifinals where it will meet France.

The first Belgium goal would come inside the first quarter hour. A corner by Nacer Chadli went over the head of goal-crashing Vincent Kompany but conveniently found the back shoulder and arm of Brazilian Fernandinho, tagging the Brazilian with an own goal. For the first time at World Cup 2018, Brazil found itself behind.

The Red Devils lead doubled via a 31' counterattack started by Romelu Lukaku. The 6’3”, 207lb forward drove up field fifty yards before pushing the ball to his right where Kevin de Bruyne’s right-footed shot was sent toward the back post from 18 yards.

Brazil pulled a goal back at 76’ by pouring it on, with a heavy offensive attack in the later minutes. Philippe Coutinho lifted the ball where recent sub Renato Augusto headed the ball into goal from 10 yards out.

Belgium were outshot 9-26, but that matters little as Thibault Courtois was excellent in goal. Next up will be Belgium’s second ever World Cup semifinal, this one versus France.

As Grant Wahl noted on twitter about Belgium, “Brazil is out. Belgium's front three—De Bruyne, Lukaku and Hazard—were absolutely incredible. What a game.” Also, Kazan has proved to end some big names at World Cup 2018. Argentina, Germany, and now Brazil, all ended their 2018 campaigns at Kazan Arena.  Brazi's defeat ensures that the World Cup 2018 will be won by a UEFA memeber nation.
 -match detail -match video
  60.   7 July - Sweden Sweden 0:2 England England at Samara

 IT'S COMING HOME, LADS... well, maybe. Just maybe... England's solid 2-nil victory over Sweden via a pair of headers puts the Three Lions in the semifinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Off an Ashley Young corner at 30', Harry Maguire jumped higher than all to connect and head the ball into the goal. That's his first-ever international goal.

England doubled the lead at 59' as Dele Alli made hay with a header on a cross from Jesse Lingard.

Raheem Sterling didn't score, but otherwise had a great game, requiring attention throughout his time on the pitch.

This is Jordan Pickford's first clean sheet for England at World Cup 2018. 
 -match detail -match video
  59.   7 July - Russia Russia 2:2 Croatia Croatia (CRO 3-4, on Penalties) at Sochi

  Croatia were taken to the penalty kick shootout by World Cup host nation Russia in the last quarterfinal, advance 4-3 and will meet England in a semifinal.

After a tentative half hour Russia stuck first via Denis Cheryshev's left-footed 24-yard shot to the upper 90 at the near post. It was a very pretty strike.

Approaching halftime, Croatia leveled as a series of passes got the ball upfield. Mario Mandzukic then took it a further 30 yards to near the six yard line where he sent a low cross back across the box. There Andrej Kramaric bent to meet the ball with his head and past the diving keeper.

Regulation time would end without further scoring, so the teams went to an extra thirty. At minute 101: Croatia's Domagoj Vida hit a seeing-eye header that somehow went untouched and into the net. One of those slow-motion goals, if you will...

At 115, Russia would equalize on Brazilian-born Mario Fernandes's glancing header. The Russian defender scored his first international goal off a perfect set piece delivery Alan Dzagoev, who was set up just outside the box.

Tied 2-2 after two hours, kicks from the spot would decide this quarterfinal. Russia shot first: Fyodor Smolov X: clever chip was easily saved by Danijel Subasic; Marcelo Brozovic ^; Dzagoev ^; late sun Mateo Kovacic X keeper tipped to his left; (1-1 after 4)... Late goal-scorer Fernandes X - awkward run up and just plain missed to his left; Luka Modric ^; Sergei Ignashevich ^; 21 Vida ^; (3-2 Croatia going to the last round) Daler Kuzyayev ^; down to Croatia's Ivan Rakitic's right foot to the lower left corner and Croatia knocked out the host nation. This makes Croatia's second penalty shootout win in a row. Good stuff!

Props to Russia, who made it this deep into the tournament, despite being ranked worst in the entire field. With players like Cheryshev they have a lot to be proud of. 
 -match detail -match video
  SEMIFINALS
  61. 10 July - France France 1:0 Belgium Belgium at St. Petersburg

 France v Belgium. Les Bleus v Red Devils. Wine v Beer. France needed just one 51st minute goal to advance to the World Cup Final.

Samuel Umtiti notched just his third international goal with a glancing header to the near post early in the second half of the first World Cup 2018 semifinal. The Cameroon-born player leapt high, connecting with the ball serviced in by Antoine Griezmann from a corner kick. Two mistakes helped France: Belgium had neglected to place a defender at the near post on the set piece and Marouane Fellaini was late to mark his man in the air.

That was it. Yeah, there were a few cool shots and saves, but ninety minutes of gripping football this was not. Most disappointing was that Romelu Lukaku's name was almost never called. Why he was so invisible in this match was disappointing. This French match reminded of the early group stage matches, serviceable, unexciting football. But whatever gets the result, right? Remember kids, defense wins championships

The loss marks Belgium's first defeat in 25 matches. (19W, 5D, 1L). 
 -match detail -match video
  62. 11 July - Croatia Croatia 2:1 England England (added extra time) at Moscow (Luzhniki)

 It was coming home. Then it wasn't. Croatia's added time goal sinks England's hopes at World Cup. Croatia will be smallest popluated country to go for trophy since Uruguay played in the 1950 final. Croatia is ranked 20th in FIFA rankings and just completed a third extra time game in a row.

England's fifth minute goal was not enough as Mario Mandzukic's added extra time winner paired with Ivan Perisic's 68th minute goal propel the Vatreni to play France for the coupe du monde on Sunday.

The Three Lions set the stage scoring early. Dele Alli was taken down near the arc, setting up a free kick. Kieran Trippier's first international goal was picture perfect. Despite the Croatian line jumping, his ball perfectly went up and over while Croatia keeper Danijel Subasic was not centered. and all alone on his line with no defenders near the posts. This was England's NINTH set-piece goal of the tournament.

Perisic would answer for Croatia after halftime. Turning the pressure up on England, Croatia found its moment when Sime Vrsaljko curled in a long ball. Perisic lifted his left foot to meet it, England's Kyle Walker dived to head it away, but Perisic got the better as his boot met the ball, missing the diving head of Walker, and got the goal.

The game would turn for good a few minutes into the second fifteen minute extra time period. The ball delivered in, Walker's odd touch sent it high in the air. By the corner of the box, Perisic out leapt Trippier and sent the ball toward goal. Mandzukic was first to pounce on it, letting the ball bounce to settle, then left-footed it to the far post.

A very good match, but we will see if Croatia has anything left in the gas tank for the Final versus France. Extra time is stressful enough. Imagine it was World Cup!  
 -match detail -match video
  THIRD PLACE MATCH
  63. 14 July - Belgium Belgium 2:0 England England  Third Place Match at St. Petersburg

 Belgium defeated England for a second time at World Cup 2018 and both times the match would be effectively meaningless. Their first match was the last game in Group G, with Belgium winning, 0-1 on June 28.

A third place game at the World Cup is a match neither team truly wants to play. Both teams in this situation are gutted losers from their respective quarterfinal matches, and the loser in this game means a quality squad ends its tournament with two losses. Not ideal. After a month of World Cup, players are tired and emotionally spent. On the other hand, the winner earns a bit of redemption ending its tourney with the positive of a victory.

Belgium seemed more up to the task on Saturday as the Red Devils scored before four minutes had elapsed. Around midfield, Romelu Lukaku pushed the ball left into space where it was collected by Nacer Chadli. He sent a low cross to Thomas Meunier, who came in via the far post and connected from six yards out.

Late in the second half, England’s Phil Jones was defending on deep on left side, when he offered an awkward backheel stab at the ball and ended up playing it forward to Eden Hazard who took a few touches then slotted the ball past Pickford and the near post.

The 2-0 win earns Belgium Third Place and its best-ever finish at the World Cup, and a clean sheet for keeper Thibault Courtois. The Three Lions are now 0-2 in third place matches at World Cup, but should still hold their head high with a decent tournament.  
 -match detail -match video
  FINALS
  64. 15 July - France France 4:2 Croatia Croatia WORLD CUP FINAL at Moscow (Luzhniki)

 France won the FIFA World Cup for the second time with a solid 4-2 victory over a spirited Croatia side. The Vatreni had to habe been worn out, having played three extra time matches in the knockout round, effectively playing an extra 90 minutes ahead of the final.

France took the lead on 18 minutes as Antoinne Griezmann left footed a direct kick from 27 yards was on target toward the far post, with the players leaping to defend or deflect and the ball skimmed just enough off Mario Mandzukic’s noggin to catch his teammate Danijel Subasic wrong footed to defend. At World Cup 2018 that makes set piece goal number 73(!), and own goal number 12. Mandzukic is the first player to ever register an own goal in a World Cup final, and the goal means Croatia trailed in all four of its knockout stage games.

Croatia did level the match before a half hour. Sime Vrsaljko sent a header high in the air back toward goal off a set piece, the ball bouncing around a bit before Domagoj Vida poked it up top to Ivan Perisic, who then made himself a little space. His left-footed shot was deflected slightly off the thigh of the defending Rahpael Varane, perhaps just enough to upset Hugo Lloris’ diving attempt.

On thirty four minutes, VAR was used; a corner from Griezmann’s corner kick was handled by Perisic, who was behind Blaise Matuidi. Perisic probably didn't see the ball, but the penalty was awarded anyway. Griezmann took the penalty amid rain, thunder and lightning at 38' and gave France the 2-1 lead going into halftime.

At 52' at two minute delay occured as four individuals staged a pitch invasion dressed as policemen, and high fived some players before they were carted off the pitch by security. Claiming responsibility was the Russian protest collective known as Pussy Riot who quickly released a statement entitled "Policeman enters the Game," highlighting political oppression and human rights abuses that happen in Russia and elsewhere. This was the highest profile political protest at this year's World Cup.

Approaching the hour mark and against the run of play, the eventual game winner would come. France’s Kylian Mbappe took the ball to the byline, passed back to Griezmann who took some touches, passed to Paul Pogba, whose right-footed shot was blocked, but Pogba then immediately left-footed the long rebound to the near post. As Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl noted on twitter, "Great technical skill with both feet." Serious two-footed skills from the twenty-five year old Manchester United midfielder.

Just six minutes later, Mbappe would give France an insurmountable lead with his right footed 25 yard low shot to the left post. The pass from Lucas Hernández came in from the left, Mbappe took a touch to set the shot up while Croatia's defender Vida gave a feeble challenge. Mbappe is just the second teenager to score in a World Cup final. You know the other one, Pele.

At 69’, World Cup Final 2018 had a #WhataHowler moment. Croatia pulled a goal back as Samuel Umtiti passed the ball back to France keeper Lloris, whose lazy clearance was instantly stolen by Mandzukic for a close range stunner. France would not allow another goal in the last 20 minutes of the game, won 4-2, and became Champions du Monde!

This French squad was the second youngest at World Cup 2018, (25 years, 10 months) behind only Nigeria. Vive la France! France manager Didier Deschamps won in 1998 as a player, and now as coach. Deschamps is the third person to accomplish this feat, alongside Brazil's Mario Zagallo and Frank Beckenbauer of Germany. France trailed only nine minutes in World Cup 2018! With trophy in hand and very young squad, France surely have to be the odds-on favorite for the next edition of FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is scheduled to take place November 21 to December 18, 2022. Yes. Brazil will be favored as well. Duh. p.s. England's Harry Kane takes home the 'Golden Boot' award with his six goals at World Cup 2018. Also, Luka Modric of Croatia, though pretty quiet in the final, was awarded the 'Golden Ball' award as Best Player at World Cup 2018.  
 -match detail -match video

First Stage: World Cup 2018 Group Tables

*-indicates group seed; a-advanced as first; b-advanced as second; x-did not advance
 
GROUP A

Nation
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PT
 1A  a-Uruguay
3
0
0
5
0
+5
9
 2A  b-Russia*
2
0
1
8
4
+4
6
 3A  x-Saudi Arabia
1
0
2
2
7
-5
3
 4A  x-Egypt
0
0
3
2
6
-4
0
 
1. June 14 @ Moscow
Russia
5:0
Saudi Arabia
 
2. June 15 @ Ekaterinburg
Egypt
0:1
Uruguay
 
17. June 19 @ St. Petersburg
Russia
3:1
Egypt
 
18. June 20 @ Rostov-On-Don
Uruguay
1:0
Saudi Arabia
 
33. June 25 @ Samara
Uruguay
3:0
Russia
 
34. June 25 Volgograd
Saudi Arabia
2:1
Egypt
 
 
GROUP E

Nation
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PT
 1E  a-Brazil*
2
1
0
5
1
+4
7
 2E  b-Switzerland
1
2
0
5
4
+1
5
 3E  x-Serbia
1
0
2
2
4
-2
3
 4E  x-Costa Rica
0
1
2
2
5
-3
1
 
10. June 17 @ Samara
Costa Rica
0:1
Serbia
 
9. June 17 @ Rostov-On-Don
Brazil
1:1
Switzerland
 
25. June 22 @ St. Petersburg
Brazil
2:0
Costa Rica
 
26. June 22 @ Kaliningrad
Serbia
1:2
Switzerland
 
41. June 27 @ Moscow
Serbia
0:2
Brazil
 
42. June 27 @ Nizhny Novgorod
Switzerland
2:2
Costa Rica
 
 
GROUP B

Nation
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PT
 1B  a-Spain
1
2
0
6
5
+1
5
 2B  b-Portugal*
1
2
0
5
4
+1
5
 3B  x-IR Iran
1
1
1
2
2
0
4
 4B  x-Morocco
0
1
2
2
4
-2
1
 
4. June 15 @ St. Petersburg
Morocco
0:1
IR Iran
 
3. June 15 @ Sochi
Portugal
3:3
Spain
 
19. June 20 @ Moscow
Portugal
1:0
Morocco
 
20. June 20 @ Kazan
IR Iran
0:1
Spain
 
36. June 25 @ Kaliningrad
Spain
2:2
Morocco
 
35. June 25 @ Saransk
IR Iran
1:1
Portugal
 
 
GROUP F

Nation
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PT
 1F  a-Sweden
2
0
1
5
2
+3
6
 2F  b-Mexico
2
0
1
3
4
-1
6
 3F  x-South Korea
1
0
2
3
3
0
3
 4F  x-Germany*
1
0
2
2
4
-2
3
 
11. June 17 @ Moscow
Germany
0:1
Mexico
 
12. June 18 @ Nizhny Novgorod
Sweden
1:0
South Korea
 
28. June 23 @ Rostov-On-Don
South Korea
1:2
Mexico
 
27. June 23 @ Sochi
Germany
2:1
Sweden
 
43. June 27 @ Kazan
South Korea
2:0
Germany
 
44. June 27 @ Ekaterinburg
Mexico
0:3
Sweden
 
 
GROUP C

Nation
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PT
 1C  a-France*
2
1
0
3
1
+2
7
 2C  b-Denmark
1
2
0
2
1
+1
5
 3C  x-Peru
1
0
2
2
2
0
3
 4C  x-Australia
0
1
2
2
5
-3
1
 
5. June 16 @ Kazan
France
2:1
Australia
 
6. June 16 @ Saransk
Peru
0:1
Denmark
 
22. June 21 @ Samara
Denmark
1:1
Australia
 
21. June 21 @ Ekaterinburg
France
1:0
Peru
 
38. June 26 Sochi
Australia
0:2
Peru
 
37. June 26 @ Moscow
Denmark
0:0
France
 
 
GROUP G

Nation
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PT
 1G  a-Belgium*
3
0
0
9
2
+7
9
 2G  b-England
2
0
1
8
3
+5
6
 3G  x-Tunisia
1
0
2
5
8
-3
3
 4G  x-Panama
0
0
3
2
11
-9
0
 
13. June 18 @ Sochi
Belgium
3:0
Panama
 
14. June 18 @ Volograd
Tunisia
1:2
England
 
29. June 23 Moscow
Belgium
5:2
Tunisia
 
30. June 24 @ Nizhny Novgorod
England
6:1
Panama
 
46. June 28 @ Saransk
Panama
1:2
Tunisia
 
45. June 28 @ Kaliningrad
England
0:1
Belgium
 
 
GROUP D

Nation
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PT
 1D  a-Croatia
3
0
0
7
1
+6
9
 2D  b-Argentina*
1
1
1
3
5
-2
4
 3D  x-Nigeria
1
0
2
3
4
-1
3
 4D  x-Iceland
0
1
2
2
5
-3
1
 
7. June 16 @ Moscow
Argentina
1:1
Iceland
 
8. June 16 @ Kaliningrad
Croatia
2:0
Nigeria
 
23. June 21 @ Nizhny Novgorod
Argentina
0:3
Croatia
 
24. June 22 @ Volograd
Nigeria
2:0
Iceland
 
39. June 26 @ St. Petersburg
Nigeria
1:2
Argentina
 
40. June 26 @ Rostov-On-Don
Iceland
1:2
Croatia
 
 
GROUP H

Nation
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PT
 1H  a-Colombia
2
0
1
5
2
+3
6
 2H  b-Japan
1
1
1
4
4
0
4
 3H  x-Senegal
1
1
1
4
4
0
4
 4H  x-Poland*
1
0
2
2
5
-3
3
 
16. June 19 @ Saransk
Colombia
1:2
Japan
 
15. June 19 @ Moscow
Poland
1:2
Senegal
 
32. June 24 @ Ekaterinburg
Japan
2:2
Senegal
 
31. June 24 @ Kazan
Poland
0:3
Colombia
 
47. June 28 @ Volograd
Japan
0:1
Poland
 
48. June 28 @ Samara
Senegal
0:1
Colombia
 

First Stage: World Cup 2018 Group Matches


  Thursday, June 14
 1. June 14 - a:  Russia 5:0 Saudi Arabia  at Moscow (Luzhniki)

 World Cup 2018 kicked off in Moscow as Russia dismantled Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the largest shutout by a host nation in an opening match. Group A is the weakest group ever according to FIFA rankings, and Russia were considered perhaps the worst team in the tournament, but his victory will appease their fans for a few days at least. One man in particular raised his professional value in this game and that honor goes to Aleksandr Golovin, with a goal, two assists, and one pre-assist. Sub Cheryshev also scored two goals.

 In the 12th minute, a cross from Golovin found the head of Gazinsky, who easily scored as a KSA player slipped. The KSA defense was found themselves stretched badly at 43', and Cheryshev scored his first from the six yard box. (He had replaced the hamstring-injured Alan Dzagoev in the 24th). In the 71st minute, Golovin crossed into recent sub Artem Dzyuba who easily headed in Russia's third goal. In the fist minute of stoppage time, Cheryshev scored a slick goal with the outside of his left foot. A few minutes later, Golovin was taken down and took the free kick from the 22 yard mark. Despite KSA setting up for the near post, he went up and over and the ball was untouched for his first goal of the tournament and Russia's fifth and final goal.
 -match detail -match video -group a table
  Friday, June 15
  2. June 15 - a:  Egypt 0:1 Uruguay  at Ekaterinburg

 Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez headed home a massive goal at 89' for Uruguay to steal three points from a defensive-minded Egypt squad. The Pharaohs would be without Mo Salah on his twenty-sixth birthday, as the striker was held out due to a shoulder injury he suffered early in Liverpool's Champions League Final weeks earlier. Uruguay had the offensive advantage, outshooting Egypt 14 to 6, including a huge miss from Luis Suarez, who somehow found the side-netting from five yards out at 24', and a woodwork hit from Cavani at 88'. La Celeste (FIFA ranking 14) will be happy with the win, but Russia's high scoring opening match will kepp them hungry for more. Uruguay win their first match in a World Cup for the first time since 1970.
 -match detail -match video -group a table
  4. June 15 - b:  Morocco 0:1 IR Iran  at St. Petersburg

 With Spain and Portugal expected to top the group, Morocco and Iran knew a win in this first Group B match would be essential. Into stoppage time, Iran seemed to keep Morocco at bay, until luck went Team Melli's way at 90'+5'; an Iranian cross by Ehsan Hajsafi was headed in for an own goal by Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz, giving Iran the win and leaving Morocco reeling. This was Iran's second World Cup win ever and first since it defeated the United States in 1998. Also, the glorious sound of vuvuzelas could be heard throughout the match. Music to my ears!
-match detail -match video -group b table
  3. June 15 - b:  Portugal 3:3 Spain  at Sochi

 Spain found themselves in the news leading up to this match for all the wrong reasons: new manager Hierro replaced Julen Lopetegui, who found himself quickly sacked by Spain's federation after he announced his hiring to Real Madrid just days before this match. This new definitely hurt Spain's preperation and morale, or would it?

 Well... meet Cristiano Ronaldo. The man was a human highlight machine, bagging his 51st hat trick (and 51st in the history of the World Cup), and upending Spain's would-be victory with a gorgeous bending free kick at 88' to secure the draw. His first goal was a penalty at 4', earned against his Real Madrid teammate Nacho. His second, just before half, was a knuckler, a no-spin 19 yard worm burner that Spanish keeper David de Gea could not handle. A howler for a keeper of De Gea's stature. Spain battled back twice on great goals by Diego Costa. First, at 24', Costa played keep away with two Portuguese defenders, making them look silly. At 55', Costa crashed the goal on a free kick as a striker does. Just a few minutes later, Nacho Fernandez smashed a ball from 21 yards that bounced off both posts before going in. Spain seemed to be in control most of the second half, until they gave Ronaldo that last minute window of opportunity. This was the most exciting draw in some time. By the way, Iran leads the group!
-match detail -match video -group b table
  Saturday, June 16
  5. June 16 - c:  France 2:1 Australia  at Kazan

 Technology played a big role in France's 2-1 victory over the plucky Australia Socceroos. For the first time, VAR (Video Assistant Referee) was used in a World Cup match and the referee then awarded France a penalty kick. Antoine Griezmann converted at 58' to put France ahead. Australia would equalize a few minutes later when Samuel Umtiti reached his arm high into the air on a free kick and the Socceroos were awarded a penalty kick. No card for Umtiti, however, who obviously tried and succeeded to touch the ball. Australia's captain Mile Jedniak converted and the match was level at 62'. Les Bleus would take the lead for good when Paul Pogba's chip at 81' was slightly deflected, hit the crossbar and landed just inside the goal line. Goal line technology confirmed the goal, which cleared the line by an inch or so. The goal would later be credited as an own goal against Aziz Behich. France do not look as good as everyone seems to expect, so their next match against Peru should be interesting.
 -match detail -match video -group c table
  7. June 16 - d:  Argentina 1:1 Iceland  at Moscow (Spartak)

 Iceland made their World Cup debut with a surprising result against Argentina. La Albiceleste opened the scoring at 19' as Sergio Kun Aguero pirouetted to his left from inside the box and smashed his first World Cup goal. Iceland equalized at 23' when Finnbogason scored from 7 yards on a rebound for Iceland's first ever World Cup goal. At 63' Magnusson ran over Messi for a penalty kick and the Argentine superstar failed to convert, with a rather uninspiring shot to his left. The denial would lift Iceland who would then play very defensively the rest of the way, but little Iceland very much earned the 1-1 draw with their powerhouse opponent. Skol.
 -match detail -match video -group d table
  6. June 16 - c:  Peru 0:1 Denmark  at Saransk

 Both teams entered this Group C match unbeaten in their last fifteen matches (Peru 10W-5D-0L; Denmark 8W-7D-0L). Peru returns to the World Cup after 36 years and just before half was awarded a penalty kick after video review, but Cueva booted the attempt over the crossbar and into the stratosphere. Despite Peru's numerous chances, Denmark would strike first at 59' when Eriksen fed Yurary Poulsen down the left who left-footed it past Gallese. Sub and Peru superstar Paolo Guerrero barely missed with a sweet 79' backheel inside the box. So close. Denmark earns a huge three points while Peru are left wondering how one of their "3,000" shots couldn't find the net.
 -match detail -match video -group c table
  8. June 16 - d:  Croatia 2:0 Nigeria  at Kaliningrad

 The Saturday quadrupleheader culminated with Croatia and Nigeria, and it would be Vatreni over the Super Eagles, 2-0. Nigeria gave up an own goal at 32' as Luka Modric swung in a corner and after a couple of Croatia touches, it deflected off Nigeria's Etebo and into the net. At 72' after Ekong wrapped himself around Mandzukic during a corner kick, Modric would convert from the spot, burying the ball into the lower left corner. Croatia earn three valuable points in a tough group.
 -match detail -match video -group d table
  Sunday, June 17
  10. June 17 - e:  Costa Rica 0:1 Serbia  at Samara

 Having Brazil in the group means the pressure is on to pick up as many points as possible. Serbia rose to the challenge, defeating Los Ticos of Costa Rica, 1-0. Aleksandar Kolarov would net the winner for the White Eagles at the 56th minute, with a beautiful free kick up and over the wall and just out of the reach of Costa Rica's Keylor Navas, who had the best game for Costa Rica.
 -match detail -match video -group e table
  11. June 17 - f:  Germany 0:1 Mexico  at Moscow (Luzhniki)

 ¡Mexico! El Tri defeated the defending World Cup champions, 1-0, on a fine, fine goal scored by Hirving "Chucky" Lozano, who took a few touches inside the box and shook his German defender and slotted the ball past Die Mannschaft's Manuel Neuer in the 35th minute. Germany certainly had their chances, but Memo Ochoa was up to the taks and earned the clean sheet, along with my for man of the match selection for his 9 saves. As broadcaster Andres Cordero noted on twitter: "You don't have to root for Mexico. But you can root for good football. This is good football." Some will note that Germany's midfield was outmatched, and their own fans were upset with their performance. "That's how you play Germany. That's how you play a World Cup," Juan Carlos Osorio, Mexico Team Manager, said after the game. LAFC's Carlos Vela played the first hour and besides running the counterattack and relentlessly marked Toni Kross on the defensive side. This marquee matchup did not disappoint. Germany is the first European team to lose at this year's World Cup.
 -match detail -match video -group f table
  9. June 17 - e:  Brazil 1:1 Switzerland  at Rostov-On-Don

 Well, no one saw this coming. Switzerland, in drawing with Brazil, basically upset one of the world powers in football. The Swiss defense and GK Yann Sommer absorbed shot after shot in a great defensive effort thwarting Brazil's twenty shot attempts. Only Philippe Coutinho managed to beat the keeper. Coutinho offered up one of his 'everyday specials,' a beautiful right-footed curler at 20' to put Brazil on the scoreboard first. The Swiss would equalize at 50' when Steven Zuber connected on a corner kick from Shaqiri for a short-range header. Zuber pushed off a little on his defender, but not enough to warrant a foul. Brazil fans were unhappy with the ref, and perhaps it was warranted; Neymar was the first player fouled ten times in a game in 20 years. With the draw, Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978. Also, this is the first time Brazil, Argentina and Germany all failed to win their opening matches of the same World Cup (D-D-L)
 -match detail -match video -group f table
  Monday, June 18
  12. June 18 - f:  Sweden 1:0 Korea Republic  at Nizhny Novgorod

 Sweden played in World Cup 2018 without superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who retired from international football in 2016, so questions remained if the squad would be up to the task. After a scoreless, fairly plucky hour by both sides, South Korea's Kim Min-woo took down Viktor Claesson in the box, and after VAR consultation, Sweden were awarded a penalty. Captain Andreas Granqvist converted from the spot for the Blue-Yellow. The game saw 43 fouls and Korea only made 5 shot attempts, and none on goal. Despite some last second challenges from Korea Republic, it is Sweden who take the three points. It has been eight World Cups since Sweden won their opening round match in 1958.
 -match detail -match video -group f table
  13. June 18 - g:  Belgium 3:0 Panama  at Sochi

 The second debutant of World Cup 2018, Panama, weren't expected to be much of a match against a stacked Belgium side, but La Marea Roja managed to keep the game scoreless through the first half. The Red Devils of Belgium took control immediately in the second half. Dries Mertens scored his 15th international goal on a blazing volley at 47' from the corner of the 18-yard box. From 6 yards out, Romelu Lukaku headed in a wonderful ball fed from Kevin De Bruyne at 66', and Lukaku got his brace at 75' on a quick counterattack. Panama kept trying, but were quite outmatched in the end. FYI, Panama have the oldest team at the World Cup, for what that's worth.
 -match detail -match video -group g table
  14. June 18 - g:  Tunisia 1:2 England  at Volgograd

 Swarms of mosquitoes and midges cluttered the air as England met Tunisia in a rematch of World Cup 1998 in France. The Three Lions would open the scoring at 11' when Captain Harry Kane scored in his first World Cup game, putting in a rebound as a good striker should. A few minutes later, Tunisia changed goalkeepers as Farouk Ben Mustapha replaced injured Mouez Hassen. At 33', Kyle Walker committed an inexplicable blocking foul in the box and a penalty was deservedly called. Tunisia's Ferjani Sassi converted from the spot, placing the ball just under the diving English keeper Pickford, and levelling the game at 1. The Eagles of Carthage's defense held up until the first minute of stoppage when, on a corner kick, the ball headed toward the box by Harry Maguire found the head of the unmarked Kane, who pushed the ball just inside the back post. While England now have just their second win in their last nine World Cup matches, their fans will no doubt be relieved to take the points. As The Shadow League noted on twitter: "Harry Kane saves England from millions of jokes on Twitter with this last-minute goal!"
 -match detail -match video -group g table
  Tuesday, June 19
  16. June 19 - h:  Colombia 1:2 Japan  at Saransk

 The first red card of 2018's FIFA World Cup was shown just three minutes into the match when Japanese Shinji Kagawa's shot on goal found the outstretched arm of the leaping Colombian Carlos Sanchez. Sanchez's sending off was the second earliest World Cup red card in history. Kagawa converted the ensuing penalty and Japan were ahead, 1-0. Down to ten men, Colombia's defense adjusted well to the adversity. Los Cafeteros levelled on 33' as Juan Quintero's direct kick was driven low and under Japan's jumping wall, and by keeper Eiji Kawashima. Japan regained the lead on a corner kick at 73' which found the head of a jumping Yuya Osako, who directed the ball past Colombia's keeper David Ospina. Japan earns three points with the 2-1 win, avenging 2014 World Cup 's 1-4 loss to the Colombians. Japan also becomes the first team from Asia to defeat a South American side in World Cup play.
 -match detail -match video -group h table
  15. June 19 - h:  Poland 1:2 Senegal  at Moscow (Spartak)

 Poland and Senegal had the honor of being the final teams to participate at the 2018 FUFA World Cup. On a counterattack at 37', Senegal would claim the shock lead as Idrissa Gana Gueye's stutter-step shot from 22 yards deflected off Thiago Cionek's leg and into the net. The Pole was tagged with an own goal. Senegal doubled its lead on the hour as M'Baye Niang, after injury, was waved back on the pitch during a lazy passback by Grzegorz Krychowiak. The timing would be good for The Lions of Teranga, as Niang only had to beat a defender and the keeper, who was 30 yards off his line. Krychowiak would get Poland in the scoring column at 86' with a crashing header off a free kick, and the matched ended 1-2 to Senegal. Joining Japan as upsetters in Group H, Senegal also become the first African team to win a game at Russia 2018.
 -match detail -match video -group h table
  17. June 19 - a:  Russia 3:1 Egypt  at St. Petersburg

 His shoulder injury healed, Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah returned to Egypt's starting XI with the Pharaohs needing a good result, while hosts Russia came in confident after its first game victory. After a first half of near misses from both sides, Russia's Roman Zobnin's shot at 47' deflected off the knee of Ahmed Fathi, who gets noted for the own goal. Denis Cheryshev added cushion for Russia at 59' on a classic feed from the goal line. Russia scored again at 62' when Artem Dzyuba controlled a long ball, turned, shot and found net. A nice play, indeed. Mo Salah was taken down at 72' inside the box, and after a quick review a penalty kick was awarded to Egypt. Salah's strong kick put the Pharaohs on the scoreboard, but it would be mere consolation. 3:1 is the final, putting Russia on the brink of heading to the knockout round while all-but-ending Egypt's dream of advancing.
 -match detail -match video -group a table
  Wednesday, June 20
  19. June 20 - b:  Portugal 1:0 Morocco  at Moscow (Luzhniki)

  Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scored on a fourth minute unmarked diving header from a cross and that proved enough for Portugal to defeat Morocco, 1-0. Ronaldo now has four goals in two World Cup 2018 matches. The loss end's the World Cup dreams for the Lions of the Atlas. But give Morocco credit. Tactically the team out-played Portugal. Moving down the right side of the field, pressing the left of Portugal's defense all match, Morocco looked to be the better team. Attacking the goal from the first moments of the match, Portugal was left to spend much of the game responding to Morocco. It was also a physical game, with over forty fouls called by the American referee Mark Geiger.
 -match detail -match video -group b table
  18. June 20 - a:  Uruguay 1:0 Saudi Arabia  at Rostov-On-Don

 A mistake by the Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Al-Owais on a corner kick at 23' was enough to eliminate Saudi Arabia (and Egypt) from World Cup 2018. The benefactor of the Saudi keeper's miss was Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker, participating in his 100th international match, was unmarked behind the keeper and the ball fell to his left foot for an easy tap-in goal; It was Suarez's 52nd goal for Uruguay and he becomes the first Uruguayan to score at three World Cups. Uruguay and Russia will move on to the Round of 16.
 -match detail -match video -group a table
  20. June 20 - b:  IR Iran 0:1 Spain  at Kazan

 Both Spain and Portugal didn't appear to be in top form for their Group B matches on Wednesday, possibly the result of their great 3-3 draw a few days ago. Iran attempted to capitalize on this, aggressive yet with a keen eye towards defense. But Diego Costa finally put Spain ahead at 54' when his shot was blocked at close range, which then deflected and ricocheted off Costa's knee from 13 yards and past the Iranian keeper. Iran's Saeid Ezatolahi had a goal disallowed due to an offside determination after VAR review at 62'. La Roja wins 1-0, and grabs the important three points.
 -match detail -match video -group b table
  Thursday, June 21
  22. June 21 - c:  Denmark 1:1 Australia  at Samara

 A side-flick by Denmark's Mathias Jorgensen at 7' bounced and was met by Christian Erickson's left foot. The Danish striker was at the top of the box where he blasted the ball past the keeper. VAR consultation on a handball at 36' resulted in the awarding a yellow card to Yurary Poulsen and of a Penalty kick for Australia. The Socceroos evened the score at 38' with the pk converted by its capatain Mile Jedinak. This was the fifth penalty as a result of VAR at this World Cup. There have been more penalties at World Cup⁠ ⁠2018 (11 in 21 games) than in the entire 2014 tournament (10). A draw is the way this one ends, and Australia gained a necessary point. Denmark will be without Yurary for its important third Group C match against France.
 -match detail -match video -group c table
  21. June 21 - c:  France 1:0 Peru  at Ekaterinburg

 In the 34th minute, France’s Paul Pogba intercepted the ball then fed Olivier Giroud, whose shot took a lucky bounce and there to pounce at point-blank range was Kylian Mbappe, giving Les Bleus the 1-0 lead and eventual victory. Peru will not advance at World Cup 2018 and that’s a shame, really. France lead Group C and will advance to the Round of 16.
 -match detail -match video -group c table
  23. June 21 - d:  Argentina 0:3 Croatia  at Nizhny Novgorod

 In the 53rd minute, Argentina's keeper committed perhaps the howler of the tournament. An awkward clearance by goalkeeper Willy Caballero travelled around 10 slow, spinning yards (Imagine a tennis lob, or a bad punt in gridiron football) where Croatia's Ante Rebic plucked it out of thin air and towards the net. The hapless keeper could only offer a feeble attempt. Midfielder Luka Modric added insurance for Hrvatska at 80' with a spectacular strike from 25 yards. The quality shot was just inside the post and past the late-breaking keeper. At 90'+1' Croatia added a third goal as Ivan Rakitic finished off a counterattack with the keeper off his line. The winning result for Vatreni means they will advance to the knockout stage. Argentina aren't yet out of contention, so it's third group match, against Nigeria, will be massive, especially with the late goals allowed today hurting goal differential. This was the worst group stage loss for Argentina since 1958. Oh, and Messi. Did we mention his name? We did not. He was invisible. But it wasn't like he had any help, either.
 -match detail -match video -group d table
  Friday, June 22
  25. June 22 - e:  Brazil 2:0 Costa Rica  at St. Petersburg

 Costa Rica survived through ninety minutes versus soccer superpower Brazil on Friday, but stoppage time would prove Los Ticos' undoing. Philippe Coutinho made a crashing close-range toe poke pay off with the winner at 90'+1' as the ball passed through the legs of Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas. Brazil would add insurance six minutes later when Diego Costa unselfishly passed to Neymar inside the six, who buried the ball into the net. Brazil held possession 69% of the time, and 9 of Brazil's 23 shots were on goal, while Costa Rica could only muster 4 shots, and none on goal. Costa Rica find themselves eliminated from advancing to the knockout round.
 -match detail -match video -group e table
  24. June 22 - d:  Nigeria 2:0 Iceland  at Volgograd

 Needing to avoid defeat to remain in contention, Nigeria's Ahmed Musa provided the tonic. The forward (Leicester City, has been on loan to CSKA Moscow) scored first on a counter attack at 49', settled a pass with an amazing touch then finished with a half-volley past the Icelandic keeper. Musa made it a brace with some great moves at 75'. He took a ball up the left side, shook a defender, ran around the keeper, and without looking up buried the ball past two flat-footed Icelandic defenders. At 83', Iceland's Gylfi Sigurdsson pushed a penalty kick just over the bar, which was awarded after VAR consultation. This result is great for the Super Eagles, and helps Argentina, too.
 -match detail -match video -group d table
  26. June 22 - e:  Serbia 1:2 Switzerland  at Kaliningrad

 Five minutes in, Switzerland had trouble clearing the ball in its end, allowing Serb Dusan Tadic to lift a crossing ball toward the head of Aleksandar Mitrovic, who flicked it with precision past the outstretched keeper. Well taken, indeed. At 52', Switzerland would find its equalizer; Xherdan Shaqiri's blocked shot was rebounded into space, midfielder Granit Xhaka arrived and let loose a long-range laser from 24 yards, through traffic, and past the off-kilter keeper, Vladimir Stojkovic. In the last minute of regulation, two passes saw the ball head directly upfield to Shaqiri, alone by midfield, and the Nati Star shook Tosic and slotted the ball into the goal. The 2-1 win is huge for Switzerland, and Serbia are left wondering, "what happened?"
 -match detail -match video -group e table
  Saturday, June 23
  29. June 23 - g:  Belgium 5:2 Tunisia  at Moscow (Spartak)

 Belgium and Tunisia would produce the highest scoring match, 5-2, of World Cup 2018. The Red Devils were up two goals early before Tunisia netted a header off a set piece. Belgium would add one more before half and two more in the second half before Tunisia would add a final goal in stoppage time. Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku both scored twice. Hazard had a nice breakaway goal and Lukaku beat Tunisia played much better than their scoreline would indicate. Nothing was settled today, regarding advancement to the knockout round.
 -match detail -match video -group g table
  28. June 23 - f:  Korea Repbulic 1:2 Mexico  at Rostov-On-Don

 LAFC's Carlos Vela scored Mexico's first goal via penalty kick at 26' Saturday as El Tri earned a 2-1 victory versus South Korea. Javier Hernandez, aka Chicharito, scored his fiftieth goal for the Mexican National Team on a breakaway, moving the ball from his left to his right and fired low, under the charging keeper. For its part, South Korea pressured Mexico all game and eventually scored a goal, at 90'+3' off the foot of Son Heung-min. The Germany-Sweden game will determine concrete group scenarios.
 -match detail -match video -group f table
  27. June 23 - f:  Germany 2:1 Sweden  11am PT at Sochi

 Sweden took the lead at 32' when Ola Toivonen looped a ball over Manuel Neuer and into the goal. For the next fifteen minutes, Germany appeared to be on the ropes. For every German shot, Sweden seemed to have an answer. At 48' Germany finally broke through and leveled the game as Reus' knee connected with a bouncing ball, and the touch was enough to slip by the Swedish keeper Olsen. Jerome Boateng was sent off at 82' for accumulating his second yellow card of the match. Deep into stoppage time, at 90'+5', Toni Kroos from just outside the side of the box curled a teed up ball into the side netting and giving 10-man Germany the late winner, and keeping its World Cup 2018 hopes alive.
 -match detail -match video -group f table
  Sunday, June 24
  30. June 24 - g:  England 6:1 Panama  at Nizhny Novgorod

 Kieran Trippier's 8th minute corner kick was met by the head of a wide open John Stones, who redirected the ball to far post, the first of many English goals on the day. Panama's Fidel Escobar ran over Jesse Lingard and England were awarded a penalty shot at 20'. Harry Kane converted a few minutes later with a right-footed shot to the upper left third and beyond the stretched Jaime Penedo. England makes it three at 36' on a 24 yard blast from Lingard. Four minutes later. At 40', Kane's header bounced to Raheem Sterling at in front of goal', whose own header was blocked by Penedo but Stones was Johnny-on-the-spot and headed the rebound into the net. Harry Kane would put England up 5-0 at half, converting a 46' penalty kick. Kane would get a hat-trick at 62' as a Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot would deflect off Kane's heel and into the goal. Panama would score it's first-ever World Cup goal at 78' when a set piece ball delivered by Ricardo Ávila met the foot of Felipe Baloy in the middle of the box. The 6-1 victory will guarantee the the Three Lions will join Belgium from Group G in the Round of 16. Tunisia and Panama will play just one more game (against one another) at World Cup 2018.
 -match detail -match video -group g table
  32. June 24 - h:  Japan 2:2 Senegal  at Ekaterinburg

 Japan and Senegal shared points to keep both sides atop Group H. Senegal struck first at 11' when a shot blocked by Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima deflected off Sadio Mane's knee and ricocheted into the goal. Japan equalized at 34' as Inui scored to the far post into the side netting. Senegal regained the lead at 71' - Moussa Wague collected a ball expertly moved across the goal face and the misdirection made for an easy score. Japan leveled the match at 78' as a missed punch by Senegal's keeper Khadim N'Diaye leads to Keisuike Honda with an easy 6-yard goal. This was a fun match to watch.
 -match detail -match video -group h table
  31. June 24 - h:  Poland 0:3 Colombia  at Kazan

 The loser (if one) of Poland vs. Colombia would see them eliminated from World Cup knockout contention. A draw and they'd both have a meaningful game in their final group matches coming on Thursday. At 38' the deadlock was broken when Colombia's superstar James Rodriguez passed into the box where Yerry Mina leapt and forcefully headed the ball into goal. The lead was doubled when Radamel Falcao took a beautiful pass from Juan Fernando Quintero at 70' and hit the ball with the outside of his right boot and past the Polonia keeper, further igniting the large Colombian throng in the stadium. Juan Cuadrado scored for Colombia at 75' on a streak after he received a long, cross-field pass in open space from James. Colombia 3, Polska 0. Poland crash out of World Cup 2018. A very underwhelming performance for the top ten ranked team.
 -match detail -match video -group h table
  Monday, June 25
  33. June 25 - a:  Uruguay 3:0 Russia  at Samara

 The match would settle who would earn the A1 position in the knockout round, and Uruguay proved to be up for the challenge. The best team in the group (14 in current FIFA rankings) got things started when Luis Suarez scored on a direct kick in the tenth minute. A Russian player seemed to push two Argentinians out of the way and created space for Suarez's shot, making the rest of the wall moot. About fifteen minutes later, Diego Laxalt's shot deflected off of Denis Cheryshev and into the Russian goal to put La Celeste up 2-0 and tag Cheryshev with an own goal. Igor Smolnikov picked up his second red card of the first half and put Russia down to ten men from 36'. Uruguay would net a third goal when Cavani scored on a close-in rebound off the keeper's hands.
 -match detail -match video -group a table
  34. June 25 - a:  Saudi Arabia 2:1 Egypt  at Volgograd

 Saudi Arabia put an end to the Egypt hype, handing the Pharaohs a third loss in the group stage with a stoppage time winner. Egypt's Mo Salah would open scoring at 22' with a beautiful touch to control a pass, then extended his boot just beating the defender, and poked the ball over the keeper. Saudi Arabia's Salman Al-Faraj would add a penalty kick just before halftime to equalize, coming not long after Egypt's Essam El Hadary stopped a previous pk attempt. By the way, El Hadary, at 45, is the oldest person to play at World Cup. The Saudi winner came at 90'+5' when Salem Al-Dawsari fired low and at a tight angle to have the ball bounce off the inside of the far post.
 -match detail -match video -group a table
  36. June 25 - b:  Spain 2:2 Morocco  at Kaliningrad

 Spain needed a draw or win to confirm advancement to the knockout round, but Morocco would not go gentle into the night... Khalid Boutaib scored at 14' after a Spainish defensive mistake to put Morocco in the lead. Isco tied the match up five minutes later after Iniesta took the ball to the byline and passed back to the midfielder, who found top net. At 81', Morocco took a late lead on a jumping header by Youssef En-Nesyri on a corner and Spain were in a world of hurt. But a stoppage time goal by late sub Iago Aaspas was eventually confirmed by VAR and gave Spain the much needed draw.
 -match detail -match video -group b table
  35. June 25 - b:  IR Iran 1:1 Portugal  PT at Saransk

 A stoppage time penalty kick awarded to Iran following VAR consultation was converted and saw the match end in a draw. Coupled with the point from Spain's draw in its concurrent game against Morocco, Portugal's point is enough to have it join Spain in the knockout round. Iran could have knocked out Portugal with a victory, and they came very close, and are instead on the outside looking in. Ricardo Quaresma scored a beautiful goal to put Portugal on top just before halftime, using the outside of his right boot to find the far right corner. Portugal could have made it a double early in the second half, but Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty kick was easily saved. Karim Ansarifard converted the late penalty for Iran, but there wasn't enough time left for an additional push.
 -match detail -match video -group b table
  Tuesday, June 26
  38. June 26 - c:  Australia 0:2 Peru  7am PT at Sochi

 In a game for bragging rights, as neither team will advance to the Round of 16, André Carrillo scored Peru's first goal of World Cup 2018 at 18' of the third group match. He ignited fans of La Blanquirroja as his right-footed volley skipped into the far side netting. Paolo Guerrero added a second goal for FPF at 50' as he spun and left-footed a bouncing ball in the box. 38 year old Tim Cahill subbed in for Australia in the second half, putting him in his fourth World Cup. Not bad, Timmy! Australia technically still had a chance before this game, if they had won with goal differential. Certainly, that was not to be the case.
 -match detail -match video -group c table
  37. June 26 - c:  Denmark 0:0 France  7am PT at Moscow (Luzhniki)

 As Grant Wahl tweeted after this match: "Can we all agree that France-Denmark game never happened?" Indeed, the first scoreless draw of World Cup 2018 was a turkey. Sorry if you bothered. Denmark were just happy to be advancing to the knockout round for the first time since 2002. France have played boring football, and today did not help. I still can't understand how people have picked Les Bleus to win it all.
 -match detail -match video -group c table
  39. June 26 - d:  Nigeria 1:2 Argentina  at St. Petersburg

 A win or a draw for Nigeria and they would be assured of advancing at World Cup. Argentina needed a win and an Iceland loss to have any chance of seeing the 2018 knockout round. But Messi! Lionel Messi finally arrived at World Cup. Messi settled a pass from midfield first with his thigh then his foot before shooting across the box and into the left side netting for his first goal of World Cup 2018 (and #100 in this year's tournament). For the time being, this 14' goal would place Argentina at second in group play, but would it hold up? A penalty was awarded to Nigeria at 49' for dragging a player down in the area. Victor Moses smoothly connected with his 'slo-mo' PK and Nigeria were level with Argentina. At 86' M Rojo saved Argentina's World Cup hopes when he smashed home the winner from twelve yards off Gabriel Mercado's cross. La Abliceleste survive and advance!
 -match detail -match video -group d table
  40. June 26 - d:  Iceland 1:2 Croatia  at Rostov-On-Don

 Going into the match, Croatia had essentially earned top of the group while Iceland was fighthing to advance. Oddly, only one shot on goal in the first half of this 'must win' for Iceland. Croatia finally broke the ice at 53' when Milan Badelj pounced on a ball bounding in the penalty area and half volleyed it past the keeper. Iceland earned a penalty kick at 75' when Dejan Lovren let the ball hit his arm in the area. Gylfi Sigurdsson sunk the penalty kick to level the match. Perisic gave Croatia the lead for good with a 90' minute goal when he left-footed a strong shot. Croatia win all three group matches. Goodbye Skol. Goodbye Viking Clap.
 -match detail -match video -group d table
  Wednesday, June 27
  43. June 27 - f:  Korea Republic 2:0 Germany  at Kazan

 With all four teams vying to advance to the knockout round, Germany would find out at minute 50 their possibility of advancing was diminishing as Sweden scored in its match versus Mexico. The simultaneous games provided exciting television. As Sweden added goals in its game, South Korea's chances at advancing evaporated, while Germany needed the certainty of a victory or it would not advance. A Germany win would knock out Mexico. The Red Devils would not give up, attacking and pressing Germany. Into stoppage time, South Korea has goal scorer Kim Young-gwon deemed offside at 92'. After VAR consultation, match referee Mark Geiger (U.S.A.) declared a goal! At 96' Korea Republic's Son H. was played forward a long ball and slotted home the empty netter and Neuer was up playing offense in the dying moments. Korea end its World Cup on a very high note, while defending World Cup champion and currently number one ranked Germany crash out of Word Cup 2018 at the _bottom_ of Group F. Thanks for the good times, Joachim Löw.
 -match detail -match video -group f table
  44. June 27 - f:  Mexico 0:3 Sweden  at Ekaterinburg

 Mexico were on the cusp of advancing, but the strong group was problematic. After a scoreless first half, Sweden scored thrice, and Mexico were on the bubble, as victory by Germany in its simultaneous match would knock out El Tri. At about 80', fans who could were focused on updates on the other match. Sweden's goals: Ludwig Augustinsson put a volley past Ochoa after a ground cross was deflected up and over to him on the left side; Captain Andreas Granqvist at 62' following a penalty call when Héctor Moreno took down Marcus Berg; and Sweden made it 3-nil at 74' as a ball sent through goal was knocked in by Mexico's Edson Alvarez for an own goal. At 92' of the other, South Korea has a goal scorer deemed offside, overturned after VAR review the Mexico fans went nuts! Best 0-3 loss, ever! Sweden wins the group, Mexico are second, and Germany is out!
 -match detail -match video -group f table
  41. June 27 - e:  Serbia 0:2 Brazil  at Moscow (Spartak)

 This simultaneous Group E match featured two of three teams still fighting to advance: Brazil had yet to lock up advancement, and Serbia, who needed a win to remain in Russia; joining Switzerland, who was trying to secure moving on with a result against Costa Rica. Brazil's Philippe Coutinho sent a pass up the middle between two defenders where Paulinho put a toe flick on the ball and sent it over White Eagles keeper Vladimir Stojkovic and through his up-stretched fingertips, having come 12 yards off his line. This goal put Brazil on top of its group. Thiago Silva doubled the lead for the Canarinha at 68' and put to rest any thought of a Serbian victory, by rocketing in a five yard header via a corner kick delivery by none other than Neymar. With the 2-nil win Brazil end up top of group, Switzerland second, and Serbia joins Costa Rica on the outside looking in. n the game.
 -match detail -match video -group e table
  42. June 27 - e:  Switzerland 2:2 Costa Rica  at Nizhny Novgorod

 Though Costa Rica will not advance at thIs edition of the World Cup, a Los Ticos victory could help spoil Switzerland's own plans to move on with a win or a draw. But the Swiss would open its bank account first, at 31', when against the run of play, Stephan Lichtsteiner crossed the ball over left to Breel Embobo, who headed it back toward the center of the area where Blerim Dzemaili powered it into to the net from 8 yards out. This goal put the Nati atop the group for a few minutes until Brazil scored in its simultaneous match against Serbia. At 56', Costa Rica got its first goal as Kendall Watson's header directed away from the keeper and into the net. He appeared to push Manuel Akanji as the corner kick arrived, but there was no call, or review, and the goal stood. Which was fine, because as it stood a Serbian loss in the other game meant Switzerland would advance. At 88', sub Josip Drmić scored from the top of the box via a long, bouncing cross from Denis Zakaria, and doubled Switzerland's lead. A minute later, a penalty call for Costa Rica was overturned, but a stoppage time penalty was awarded to Costa Rica as Zakaria rolled over a Joel Campbell. Bryan Ruiz leveled the game with a luck penalty kick, bouncing the ball off the crossbar and then off the back Yann Sommer for an own goal against the Swiss keeper! This was the eighth own goal of the tournament. Amazing. 2-2 is the final. Switzerland advance, but could have avoided unnecessary drama. Due to red card accumulation, Switzerland have lost two players for its round of 16 match.
 -match detail -match video -group e table
  Thursday, June 28
  47. June 28 - h:  Japan 0:1 Poland  at Volgograd

 Japan needed a win or draw to secure advancement. A loss wouldn't put Samaurai Blue out, but it would require help from the other concurrent group match, and then maybe something else... Japan, along with Colombia and Senegal, were fighting for two spots. Japan's opponent, six-ranked Poland, were already out of contention following two losses. The Poles looked at saving face and did so at the 59th minute when Jan Bednarek, from six yards, volleyed into the goal a perfect set-piece pass from Rafał Kurzawa. For the moment anyway, Japan was out of World Cup. But Colombia's 74' goal in its game put Japan back in the knockout round. Japan owes Colombia some sushi and beer! Poland and Senegal are eliminated, and Colombia takes the group, with Japan second. By the way, the reason Japan advanced over Senegal? FIFA Fair Play Points, a deep tiebreaker.
 -match detail -match video -group h table
  48. June 28 - h:  Senegal 0:1 Colombia  at Samara

 Nothing was certain for Senegal and Colombia in their Group H finale. Both teams had a chance to advance, with Senegal carrying an extra point. Still, a Japan loss in its concurrent group match versus Poland, paired with a draw in this match would send Colombia to the knockout stages. A potential penalty kick was overturned at 17' when Colombia's José Fernando Cuadrado appeared to foul The Lions of Teranga's Sadio Mané. Superstar James Rodriguez was subbed out at 31' with an injury. Colombia finally broke the ice at 74' as on a corner kick set-piece, Juan Fernando Quintero delivered a perfect ball as Yerry Mina shook his defender, leapt, connected, and headed the ball down into goal. This goal would put Senegal on the hot seat, needing a goal to secure a draw. Unfortunately, that goal would not come, and Colombia won the game and the group, Japan is second, while Senegal and Poland head home. Senegal are the victim of a deep tiebreaker: FIFA Fair Play Points. Japan scored two point betters in its three matches. Tiebreakers can be cruel.
 -match detail -match video -group h table
  46. June 28 - g:  Panama 1:2 Tunisia  at Saransk

 These teams had only pride to play for, as both were eliminated after their second group matches. Panama scored at 33' as Jose Luis Rodriguez’s shot deflected off the hip of Yassine Meriah for a Tunisian own goal. Tunisia leveled the match at 51' with some nice play where Naim Sliti passed right to Wahbi Khazri who passed it back and across the box where Fakhreddine Ben Youssef easily scored from the six yard box. Tunisia added a second goal at 66' as the team moved the ball across the field left to right ending when Oussama Haddadi fed Khazri for the easy tap in as the keeper had committed to the other side. Panama's tournament was about as bad as I'd expected. I predicted zero wins, zero goals for, and ten goals against. Panama did score twice but gave up eleven. The U.S.A. Only have themselves to blame for not being at World Cup 2018. For its part, Tunisia has its first World Cup win since 1978.
 -match detail -match video -group g table
  45. June 28 - g:  England 0:1 Belgium  at Kaliningrad

 Belgium and England entered their Group E finale only separated by FIFA Fair Play points (basically deduction for yellow and red cards), the same deep tiebreaker that advanced Japan over Senegal in Group H. The winner would take the group, but would they want it? The prevailing idea is that the winner of the group will have a tougher knockout path. To be sure, that half of the bracket is stuffed with well known superstars. As both teams were advancing, the managers made wholesale starting lineup changes, resting seventeen in all. After an uneventful first half, Januzaj gave Belgium the lead at 51'. The Red Devils forward had the ball at the outer corner of the penalty area, cut back to his left for some separation, then curled his left-footed shot toward the far post and beyond GK Jordan Pickford's fingertips. Belgium take top honors in Group G with three wins and will meet Japan in the Round of 16. England will be happy with its second position in the group and a knockout date with Colombia, and be in the 'weaker' side of the bracket. We'll see about that.
 -match detail -match video -group g table



Futbol News Links

FIFA Official Site and News

FIFAtv at YouTube

FIFAtv Match Highlight video playlist

US Men's National Team - USMNT

ESPNFC FIFA World Cup News

AP Sports World Cup News

Yahoo! News Photos

BBC coverage

Guardian UK

The Independent

Du Nord

Soccer By Ives

SI's Planet Fútbol

Yahoo! Sports

Marca - en Español

AS.com - en Español

US edicion of AS.com

English language edition of AS.com

---


 

FIFA Team Rankings (10/2017)

(rating was used for WC draw)
(Russia qualified as host)
1. Germany - f
2. Brazil - e
3. Portugal - b
4. Argentina - d
5. Belgium - g
6. Poland - h
7. France - c
8. Spain - b
10. Peru - c
11. Switzerland - e
12. England - g
13. Colombia - h
16. Mexico - f
17. Uruguay - a
18. Croatia - d
19. Denmark - c
21. Iceland - d
22. Costa Rica - e
25. Sweden - f
28. Tunisia - g
30. Egypt - a
32. Senegal - h
34. Iran - b
38. Serbia - e
41. Nigeria - d
43. Australia - c
44. Japan - h
48. Morocco - b
49. Panama - g
62. South Korea - f
63. Saudi Arabia - a
65. Russia - a


RSS Feeds