The World Cup 2018 had kickstarted last 14 Jun 2018 where the host Russia had trounced Saudi Arabia 5-0. The last time Saudi Arabia had been in the World Cup is in in the 2002 and they are some similarity in the way they had started the opening match as they had been trounced in both occasion. In 2002, they were trashed heavily by the German with a score of 8-0 and now Russia with 5-0. For now, this is the biggest win in the group stages of the World Cup 2018.
Speaking of the Asian representative in the World Cup this year they are 5 of them including Saudi Arabia and other teams are Iran, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Australia too had been defeated by France that can be contributed to the help of VAR and goal-line technology where the VAR had been used for the first time in World Cup 2018 when the referee had awarded a penalty using VAR which the French striker Antonie Griezman had converted en route to their 2-1 win over Aussies. Japan and South Korea will start their match against Colombia and Sweden(at the moment Swedeen had defeated South Korea 1-0) respective today and early morning tomorrow. For now, only 1 Asian team had been on winning the start and that is Iran when they had beaten Morocco 1-0.
Going forth African representative they are 5 of them first Eygpt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia. Senegal and Tunisia against Poland and England respectively and for now they had been not in a winning start as 3 of the representative had lost the first games where Egypt had lost to the last-minute goal against Uruguay in a game which the star player Mohammad Salah was put in the substitute bench by the manager Hector Cuper, Morroco had lost to an own goal against Iran and Nigeria had been in losing end against Croatia. The CONCACAF region meanwhile had a better start as their representative Costa Rica had given a hard time to the Serbia Montenegro and Mexico had beaten the defending champion German in the opening game. Another representative Panama will start their group game against England 2 days’ time.
This World Cup had been said as the last World Cup for 2 of the best players of the modern era Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi where Messi may have another shot in the 2022 World Cup as he will be 34 that time but for Ronaldo this will be his last World Cup as his age will be 37 coming 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Messi had endured a miserable evening as his team had been held by Iceland with him missing penalties where by contrast Ronaldo had scored a hattrick including a breathtaking free kick in the 3-3 draw against Spain by far the most entertaining game in the tournaments.
Iceland as the team whom making a debut in the World Cup with Panama had gained their first point when they had held Argentina to 1-1 draw. They had built a great wall defensively to stop Messi and Co and form the evidence they can go further on the first World Cup and making some memorable impact. As for the defending champion, since 2010 they looked like some curse for them as they are unable to make a winning start in the competition. Italy the 2006 champion was held by Paraguay to a 1-1 draw in 2010. Spain was beaten 5-1 by Netherland in 2014 and now in 2018 German had been beaten by Mexico in the opening game. Brazil in 2006 is the last defending champion to have a winning start. Similarly the previous 3 champion unable to escape from the group stage and were knocked out in the first round although the German looks unlikely to have the same fate in the current campaign as they had looked strong and most balanced team in the tournaments, however, World Cup can give many surprises and we need to wait and see on the fate of the German team in these tournaments.
Once in the World Cup the game against football minnow will just be a game where the team will decide on how many goals to score for a damage limitation but in the current World Cup the minnow had given a tough time to the football superpower as evident with Argentine drew 1-1 Iceland, Switzerland drew with Brazil 1-1, Uruguay needed a last minute against a superbly organized Egypt, Mexico had beaten German , Australia had put a brave performance against the more fancied France in the opening game , and with more game the footballing minnow will be expected to give a hard time to the football superpowers or may be progressing further beyond expectation.
This World Cup, the VAR had made its debut like another important technology the goal line technologies in the 2014 World Cup. The team that had received the wrath of both technologies was Australia when the referee had awarded a penalty kick against them with the help of VAR and goal awarded via goal-line technologies. The VAR was not introduced in the footballing world unlike other sports where it is expected to delay the game which is evident in the game between Costa Rica and Serbia where the game had been delayed for nearly 2 minutes when the referee checking on the VAR for the foul committed by Serbia player with Costa Rica in the final minutes. Which the knockout stages that will have higher stakes, expected more intervention with the help of VAR. Already they are some mixed reviews as the pundits like Gary Lineker had said VAR had taken the game decision away from the referee and eliminate the talking points and some had good and positive feedback on this.
On the players performance Nemanja Matics had again put up a superb display in the Serbia defensive line , Messi although miss penalty but still have 11 shots on target , Neymar is just fine with Brazil , Manuel Neuer was beaten and looks like a shadow of himself , Mohammad salah was in the bench , Luis Suarez was not in the Barcelona form , Edison Cavani was better than him , David De Gea shows he is human after all with rare mistake in the game against Portugal, Antonie Griezman and Paul Pogba were in the better form as both had contributed to France winning performance . The only player who had his reputation intact is Christiano Ronaldo where he put a brilliant display and putting up a captain display in the draw against Spain where he is becoming a leader in the Portuguese team and rescued them with a superb free-kick that broke the Spanish heart. He is putting a determined and spirited performance in Portugal as this may be his last World Cup.
On the evident on the performance by far, Spain had the most balanced team with their goalkeeper and striker force looks solid and Spain can go far as the evidence of their performance against Portugal where before the Ronaldo free kick they had to make a mockery with the Portugal player with their tiki-taka passing game making the Portugal player chasing around the pitch for the ball. With England, Colombia, and Belgium will start their game in the next 2 days, the thing already gets interesting in the current World Cup. The team who had lost the first game meanwhile will play their hearts out in the next game as another loss will eliminate them from the group stage and put an end to their campaign.
The team who had drawn in the first game also will try to win the next game as they do not want the make the life hard for their self in this campaign. The team who had won the first game needs to be consistent and playing with great caution as they will in a good and bad position depends on the results as a win again will ensure their passage to their knockout stages and a lost will ensure their final game is life or death game. Argentina in 2002 had made a winning start against Nigeria however still had been eliminated as their had lost their game against England and drew with Sweden. Winning the first game in the World Cup does not a guaranteed passage to the next round and losing the first game does not mean the end is near as displayed by Spain in 2010 when they had been defeated in the first group game and ended by being the champion in that year.