HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIFA WORLD CUP OVER THE PAST WEEKENDDate: 2018-06-18
The Fifa World Cup 2018 kicked-off with a bang.
Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 but things seem to be taking a different direction, with minnows beating some of the most high-ranked soccer teams.
Over the weekend, Uruguay beat Eqypt 1-0 in their opening Group A game at the World Cup in Yekaterinburg. Uruguay started slowly as Egypt's defence stayed compact. Mo Salah started on the bench for Egypt following his shoulder injury picked up at the Champions League final.
Jose Gimenez made the goal for Uruguay in the last few minutes of the game, Uruguay's next game will be on Wednesday in Volgograd.
Iran, however, won their first match at a World Cup since 1998 as Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz scored an own goal in injury time. Morocco became the second African side to concede a late winning goal in the World Cup. Bouhaddouz put the ball into his own net with a diving header at the near post in the 95th minute as Morocco defended a left-wing free-kick.
Spain vs Portugal was probably one of the most intense games of the weekend. Spain lost their manager Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament and was seemingly heading towards victory after coming from behind twice to lead 3-2 with just minutes to spare.
Christiano Ronaldo, who became the first player to score in eight consecutive major tournaments, denied them the right at the death on Friday night. Ronaldo scored a dramatic late free-kick to complete his first World Cup hat-trick and rescue a point for Portugal after a thrilling 3-3 draw.
On Saturday, the first match that took place was France vs Australia. Antoine Griezmann made World Cup history by winning and subsequently scoring the first-ever penalty to be awarded by VAR (video assistant referee) before Mile Jedinak equalised from the spot. A scoreless first half saw both the teams with chances, but things got going early in the second half.
Moments after Griezmann's goal, Australia was awarded a penalty of its own thanks to a bonehead handball by Samuel Umtiti. And, though the match looked headed for a draw, there was still a goal left in it as Paul Pogba kissed the ball off the crossbar and just over the line in the 81st minute.
Argentina was held to a draw by World Cup debutants Iceland, with Lionel Messi blowing a gilt-edged opportunity for victory when he missed a penalty. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring after just 19 minutes with a brilliant finish, the Manchester City striker's first goal at the World Cup in his third tournament.
Iceland was soon level though through Alfred Finnbogason's close-range finish, his country's first-ever goal in the World Cup finals.
Denmark took advantage of some sloppy Peru finishing – including a missed penalty – to win their opening World Cup Group C clash 1-0.
Peru's Christian Cueva missed the penalty in the first half as he skied the ball from the spot as both sides remained goalless at half time but Yussuf Poulsen got the decisive goal in the 59th-minute.
Croatia sits top of the World Cup Group D after a comfortable 2-0 win over Nigeria. Zlatko Dalic's side took the lead in fortunate circumstances when Mario Mandzukic's 32nd-minute header from a Luka Modric corner was deflected into his own net by the unfortunate Oghenekaro Etebo.
Modric secured the win from the penalty spot 19 minutes from time after William Troost-Ekong needlessly fouled Mandzukic at a corner. It is a great start to the tournament for Croatia, now Nigeria is in a tough spot, needing to score some goals against Iceland in their next game.
In a tight and evenly-matched first half, it was Costa Rica who created the best opening before the break, only for unmarked centre-back Giancarlo Gonzalez to head wastefully over the bar after a nicely worked short corner.
Alexander Kolarov produced a moment of captain's inspiration, curling home a superb free-kick as Serbia got their Group E victory. Serbia had dominated the match, and in the 56th minute of the game, Kolarov scored the goal, allowing Serbia to win 1-0 against Costa Rica.
Defending champions Germany made a disastrous start to their bid to win back-to-back World Cups with a shocking defeat to Mexico.
Hirving Lozano's first-half goal was the difference between the two sides in an enthralling encounter in Moscow, but the surprising result was not the only concern for German coach Joachim Low. A massive, world-shaking goal that Lozano said after the match was the most important of his young, sparkling career. After the match, Lozano put all the praise on his coach Juan Carlos Osorio.
Brazil failed to win their opening game of a World Cup for the first time since 1978 as Switzerland earned a valuable draw in Rostov-on-Don. The five-time champions, so often lauded for their flair, failed to sparkle after Philippe Coutinho's superbly curled opener on 20 minutes.
Switzerland played physical, fouled plenty to try and slow down Brazil's rhythm, and it earned a surprising result that puts them in a great spot moving forward. The match was pretty much all Brazil from the beginning, but outside of its lone goal, the ball just didn't want to go in.
It's a fantastic, golden point for Switzerland.
Some of the games to look forward to today.