Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his fourth goal of the FIFA World Cup and the game-winner against Morocco on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 (via @UEFAEURO/Twitter)

FIFA World Cup weekly roundup

Host nation Russia remains unbeaten in Group A, tied with Uruguay

The FIFA World Cup is officially one week underway and will be running until July 15, 2018. Each week we will have an update of the tournament in action. This includes the top performances, goals, underdog stories and next week’s can’t miss games.

Matches of the week:

Portugal vs. Spain (3-3): The battle of the Iberian Peninsula came to a draw but included six goals in the match. The match included goalkeeping blunders, glorious strikes and late-game heroics from the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo. Former Brazil international Diego Costa netted a pair of goals for Spain.

England vs. Tunisia (2-1): Harry Kane got England off to an early lead with a goal from inside the box. Shortly after, Kyle Walker conceded a penalty, allowing Tunisia to tie the match. The game was coming to a draw until Kane headed home a deflection from an England corner two minutes into stoppage time.

Russia vs. Saudi Arabia (5-0): The lowest-ranked nations in the tournament kicked off the first game of the World Cup in stunning fashion. The host nation blasted Saudi Arabia five to nil, with an assist and two goals coming from 22-year-old Alexksandr Golovin.

Top goals:

Aleksandar Kolarov (Serbia):

Philippe Coutinho (Brazil):

Nacho Fernandez (Spain):

Underdog stories:

Iceland drew Argentina (1-1): With a population of just more than 300,000, Iceland’s first World Cup match ends in a draw against the fifth-ranked team in the world, Argentina. Iceland solidified the draw after goalkeeper Hannes Þór Halldórsson (who is also a part-time filmmaker) stopped a penalty from Argentina’s Lionel Messi. The match became the most-watched televised Icelandic sporting event in history.

Mexico beat Germany (1-0): Mexico shocked the defending World Cup champions with a lone goal from rising star Hirving Lozano. Immediately after the goal, the Institute of Geological and Atmospheric Investigations registered artificial earthquake tremors at two sites in Mexico City due to celebrations.

Japan beat Colombia (2-1): Following a red card to Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez three minutes into the match, Japan was able to capitalize with a 2-1 victory. This marks the first time in a World Cup that an Asian nation has beat a South American nation.

Players of the week:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal):

Ronaldo single-handedly carried Portugal to a dramatic 3-3 draw against Spain. Ronaldo scored all three goals for Portugal, ending with a free-kick past Spanish netminder David de Gea in the 88th minute, to sneak a single point in the draw. Ronaldo scored his fourth goal of the tournament in a 1-0 win over Morocco.

Denis Cheryshev (Russia):

Cheryshev has begun to make a name for himself on the world stage. He is currently second in goals in the tournament with three. He is one of two Russian players who play club football outside of Russia.

Harry Kane (England):

The English captain, Kane scored both goals in England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia. With his second goal coming in extra time at the 91st minute. Kane happened to be in the right place at the right time for both goals, solidifying three points for England.

Next Week’s Can’t-Miss Games:

Saturday, June 23 – 11 a.m. : Germany vs. Sweden

Essentially a must-win game for Germany, who fell 1-0 to Mexico in their opening match.

Sunday, June 24 – 8:00 a.m. : Japan vs. Senegal

The winner of this match will be guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages.

Tuesday, June 26 – 7 a.m. : Denmark vs. France

The two best nations out of Group C go head-to-head to determine the group winner.


@kieranroconnor
kieran.oconnor@bpdigital.ca

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