Today marks the last day of the month and the start of the round of 16. Two very important matches occurred earlier today. Early in the morning, Argentina and France faced off, later in the day, Portugal and Uruguay played. Never have I seen such exciting games at this stage of the competition. I will breakdown the first match played at 7:00 A.M. first.
France came in with high hopes for this tournament. Not only do they have an excellent lineup of talented players, but they also have a few familiar faces with more experience and growth. Griezmann, Pogba, and Giroud all performed exceptionally well this world cup. There is one star who has just made it to the limelight however. His performance will probably go on in history, for decades to come.
That man is Kylian Mbappé Lottin. Born in Bondy, just shy of 19 years ago, Mbappé has risen to the ranks of the young Ronaldo. Early in the game, a quick sprint by Mbappé propelled him past the Argentinian defense into the penalty box where he was fouled. This gave the French their first opportunity as they received a penalty kick. Griezmann shot it and delivered! Then, the unthinkable happened; right near the end of the first half, Di Maria hit it right in the net. The game was all tied up 1-1 heading to the break.
Right near the start of the second half. Mercado deflects a shot by Messi and hits it in. Now, the French are on the verge of elimination! 57th minute, the French respond right back tying it up at 2 goals each. The game continues on until the return of Mbappé, who scores another goal for the French side bringing them up 3-2. Just minutes later, Mbappé comes in again and scores for France.
Near the last minutes of the match, a desperate Argentinian side did whatever it took to catch up. The 93rd minutes sees Sergio Agüero hit it in. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough for them. Messi and company will go home tonight. France will move on to face either Uruguay or Portugal.
It is great to be a football player; you get to really live a great life. Not to mention the amount of money you make. Mbappého however, does not seem too motivated by the money. The man, who scored two goals for the French, wants to donate all of his FIFA earnings to charity. What a great guy!
Just a few hours later, Uruguay, led by the 71 year old Óscar Tabárez faced off against Portugal lead by, well, Ronaldo maybe? Uruguay delivered an incredible performance ousting the Portuguese. Early in the first half, Cavani assisted by Suárez shot it in. In the 55th minute, Pepe for Portugal responded tying this game up 1-1. This ended Uruguay's run of 597 minutes of not conceding a goal. Pretty amazing, if you ask me! Then, in the 62nd minute, Cavani scores again for the Uruguayan side. Portugal tried very hard to make something happen, but block after block shut them down. Uruguay took this one by their teeth. It could not have happened without their head coach however.
Tabárez, pictured below, suffers from a rare degenerative disease known as Guillain-Barre syndrome. It mainly affects the limbs and causes numbness and weakness. Through it all, he decided to fight through and help his team move forward. The 71 year old is nicknamed 'El Maestro' (The Teacher) since he used to work at a school.
At the end of today, two teams are through. France and Uruguay will be facing off next week on Friday at 7 A.M PST. This one will be quite the thrill. I think it will be very close, but France will have the edge. Looks like Messi and Ronaldo won't be meeting for a match this world cup. Yet, they will still be meeting at the airport on the way back!
Tomorrow we will see the world cup hosts face off against 2010 World Cup champions. Later in the day, a powerful Croatia will face off against Denmark, who tied against France. I think Croatia and Spain will come out victorious. Stay tuned for more updates!
Take a look at some photos and video highlights below! As always, leave your comments below! I am always looking to improve my content!
The final match of the group stages, England v. Belgium, finalized the bracket for the knockout stages. Belgium claimed the top seed in their group after beating England, but in my eyes, this is somewhat of a loss for the Red Devils.
Belgium will be on the "tougher side" of the bracket. The Red Devils, will be facing France, Portugal, Argentina, or Brazil early on. On the other hand, England will be facing either Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Russia depending on how things play out. To me, it is quite obvious which side has it harder. Although, you can argue that to win the world cup, you have to technically be able to beat every team. Therefore, it really comes down to when they will face the tougher teams. The whole bracket is displayed at the very bottom of this article:
What are my predictions? Saturday, there will be two very important games. Messi and company will face off against France. Unless Messi plays exceptionally well, I think everything points in favor of Les Blues. The French side have only gotten better since their loss to Germany back in Brazil. This French team is more experienced, more cohesive, and an overall stronger team. The Argentina squad on the other hand, are on the decaying part of the curve. They are not the same as they were back in Brazil. I think this one will easily go to France. How about Uruguay and Portugal? This one is a little harder.
Uruguay has performed exceptionally well. The team was able to beat the Russians 3-0. Portugal on the other hand, struggled in the group stage. The Portuguese side tied with both Spain and Iran. The only win came up against Morocco. Granted, all the teams mentioned were quite tough. Yet, I still believe Uruguay has more potential. I think this one will be a close but decisive victory for Uruguay 2-1. Sorry folks, based on this, Messi will not be facing against Ronaldo, though it is still a possibility.
Now onto the other groups. Brazil, will be facing against Mexico. Mexico came second in their group after a rough loss against Sweden. However, they beat Germany 1-0. But is that really significant at this point? Germany lost to South Korea 2-0 as well. Does that make South Korea a competitive team? Not really. Germany just was not a good team this world cup. To base the quality of Mexico on their performance against Germany is a terrible decision. Mexico did beat South Korea though, so they are not a weak team by any means. I just don't think they pack enough of a punch against the tougher teams like Brazil.
Brazil, faced a rough draw against Switzerland but won two decisive battles against both Serbia and Costa Rica. Furthermore, the Brazilian side has a lot more potential to win as they only faced one goal throughout the group stages. Alternatively, Mexico faced four goals. As much as I am happy for the Mexican side, I think the curse is still alive and well. Brazil will win this one, 2-1.
Onto the next match, Belgium v. Japan. This one is not even a question for me. Belgium will win this one easily, 2-0. Although Japan has played quite well, they do not have the same level of talent as the tougher teams like Belgium.
On the other side of the bracket, Spain will face the Russians. Russia has had a great run this world cup and there was a lot of hope behind them, but they suffered a devastating loss against Uruguay which put them really behind. Can they beat Spain? I highly doubt it. Even with the home-court advantage, Spain is just a much stronger and more versatile force. Spain will win this one 2-1.
Later on, Denmark will face off against Croatia. Croatia has played exceptionally well this world cup. In fact, this is probably one of their best performances. Denmark played well as well but I do not see them beating Croatia. Croatia will win this one easily.
England will be up against Colombia. England has really stepped up their game since the last world cup. Harry Kane and company have proven themselves, but at the end of the day, they won't be strong enough against Colombia. Even though Colombia faced a loss against Japan, they still have the edge. I think this one will go to Colombia.
Finally, Sweden will be up against Switzerland. I am a little undecided about this. I know Sweden played very well against Mexico. And Switzerland has not won a game this world cup yet. I am tempted so say Sweden just based on total goals scored, but I also feel that Switzerland is quite talented and they did tie against Brazil. I feel like it will come down to the wire, but Switzerland will have the slight edge and win it!
So, there we go. Those are my predictions. France over Argentina; Uruguay over Portugal; Brazil over Mexico; Belgium over Japan; Spain over Russia; Croatia over Denmark; Switzerland over Sweden; Colombia over England. Anything could happen however. First match starts on Saturday between Argentina and France. Stay tuned for updates!! Follow me on twitter @OmSol12 for live updates.
Now is your chance to join in on the fun! Who do you think will win? I have created a challenge to give you the chance to win prizes. How do you enter? Follow the instructions below:
1. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter below by Friday night! 12:00 A.M. PST.
2. Follow me on twitter @Omsol12 for live updates.
3. Retweet and like all the match game tweets I post.
4.Everyday there is a match, I will post a tweet saying who will win?
"Who will win today's match: Argentina or France?
All you have to do is reply with the team you think will win.
If you get 6/8 of the matches correct, you will be entered to win a prize!!
What are the Prizes???
Stay Tuned to find out!
Senegal is probably the least fortunate team in this world cup. They ended up with the same number of points and same number of goals and goal difference as Japan; but they were still eliminated. Japan, had fewer yellow cards which gave them the upper hand and allowed them to advance. Colombia beat Senegal 1-0 with an early goal putting them on top of the group. Poland also beat Japan 1-0 but this was not enough for them to advance as Japan and Senegal had four pts each. Colombia will advance and face either Belgium or England. Japan will face the second place team, either England or Belgium. This is the first time in world cup history that a team has advanced based on fair play points!
Earlier today, the Brazilians faced off against Serbia. Brazil won the game 2-0.
Switzerland and Costa Rica played each other later in the day. The game ended in a draw. At the end of today, this is how the bracket looks:
It pains me to even begin this blog, but I must. Today, Germany lost to South Korea. Yes, I said that correctly. Germany, Brazil world cup champions, lost to South Korea. And this was not a regular loss. They lost by two goals! It was such a shock to the world. Another shocking result was Sweden's win over Mexico. Just when it seemed set in stone that Mexico would place first, Sweden came in and beat Mexico by three goals. This day has just been so shocking overall. Ultimately, Sweden and Mexico will advance to the next round. Germany and South Korea are eliminated. Germany, who were hopeful to win, are officially eliminated from the competition.
In a few minutes, we will see what Brazil can do. Will they place first in their group? Can they beat Serbia? How will Switzerland square off against Costa Rica. The winner of group E will face Mexico. The runner up of group E will face Sweden.
Stay tuned for more!!
What a monumental day!! This world cup is getting better everyday! Iran and Morocco both played amazingly. In fact, Morocco almost beat the Spanish side if it was not for a last minute goal. In the beginning it seemed as if Spain would take this one easily. they had more possession and more passes complete. Morocco was the first to score, when a disorganized Spanish defense left Khalid Boutaïb to run the ball in. The Moroccans could not celebrate for too long however. Spain replied back just minutes later. In the 19th minute, Isco assisted by Iniesta hit it in. The score is all tied up as we go to half-time. The game continues until in the 81st minute, the unthinkable happens, Morocco scores again. They are on the verge of winning this. Then The Spanish counter and this one ends in a draw. David De Gea, the goalkeeper of the Spanish side missed every shot. He has not saved a single shot! This could be dangerous moving on to the more difficult opponents. Although Morocco lost, they still played a very good game.
Iran faced off against Portugal. The Portuguese were the stronger side with more possession and more passes. Right before the end of the first half, Quaresma scored it in, giving the Portuguese a 1-0 lead. It seemed all set in stone, until in the 91st minute, the Iranian side scored the penalty kick. This game ended up tied 1-1. And although, the Iranian side was ultimately eliminated, they still played an excellent game. To challenge a team like Portugal and tie with them is a huge accomplishment.
Who will advance next? Today there were four matches played to determine the next four teams who will join Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, and Russia in the round of 16. Group C, lead by France was still facing uncertainty. The top spot went to France at the end of the day just by drawing with Denmark. Peru, on the other hand put up an exceptional performance against Australia winning 2-0. Unfortunately this was not enough to advance. France and Denmark took this group and will join the previous contenders.
Group D, was a bit more of a mystery. Argentina and Nigeria faced off to determine who would advance. Argentina needed to win the match otherwise they would be out. They did just that; with the help of Messi they scored two goals and secured a victory over a powerful super eagles squad. Croatia, a dominant team from the start, defeated Iceland to claim the top spot in group D.
This is how the bracket looks after today:
Uruguay v. Portugal ---
France v. Argentina --- Winners face each other
Spain v. Russia-----
Croatia v. Denmark----- Winners face each other
Tune in next time to see who else moves on!
Today is the first day of the third round of the competition. Russia will face off against Uruguay to see who claims the top spot in group A. Uruguay started strong and scored one goal with the help of Suárez. The second goal happend just 13 minutes later. This was an own goal. Later in the game Russia, received a red card. This game was going to a close. 72nd minute and Russia puts up a great attempt but is ultimately shut down. Then, in the 90th minute Uruguay scores another one. Russia faced a devastating loss but still advances to the next round, they will face off against the winner of group B which is either Portugal or Spain. Uruguay will have the second place winner of Group B. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are both out. Stay tuned for the next match at 11:00 A.M between Portugal and Iran; Morocco and Spain.
We are officially halfway there. 32 matches have been played, and there are 32 matches left. Today was a monumental day for Harry Kane and the English squad. The English scored 6 goals, in fact, this was their biggest win in a world cup ever. A large part of it was due to the efforts of Harry Kane, who scored three goals. This puts the young 24 year old right ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, and Romelu Lukaku of Belgium. Harry Kane is a strong contender for the Golden boot award for the top goal scorer. The game was 6-1 in favour of England.. This game puts England alongside Belgium as qualifying teams for the knockout stages happening next week. Panama and Tunisia are both eliminated.
In the final group, Poland faced off against Colombia. After a devastating loss to Japan, Colombia was back in action. They won this one 3-0. Poland was eliminated from the competition. Senegal and Japan also faced off leaving the match as a draw 2-2.
At the end of Sunday groups A and B look like this:
1. Russia 6pts
2. Uruguay 6pts
3. Egypt 0pts
4. Saudi Arabia 0pts
1. Spain 4pts
2. Portugal 4pts
3. Iran 3pts
4. Morocco 0pts
Russia and Uruguay will duke it out to see who reigns supreme in group A. Egypt and Saudi Arabia will fight for third place. On the other side, Portugal will face off a hopeful Iran. While Morocco will face of Spain. If Iran wins they move on. If Portugal wins, they move on. It is going to be interesting. I predict Portugal will beat Iran 2-0. And Spain will beat Morocco 3-1. Russia will lose to Uruguay 2-1. And Egypt will beat Saudi Arabia 2-0.
Happy Sunday! And Happy Canada day!
Today was historical; I never thought these FIFA matches would be so close. The day started out with the 2010 FIFA world cup champions facing off against the hosts, Russia. Initially, it seemed as if Spain would come out victorious, but as the game progressed, I realized that Russia had a very good chance at winning it. And they did just that. 12 minutes in, Sergei Ignashevich accidentally deflects the ball in giving Spain the upper hand. Spain was leading this game until the arrival of Artem Dzyuba who scored a penalty shot in. The game continued until neither side was able to make anything substantial happen. And so, it went to extra time. Even then, no progress was made. After the end of extra time, a penalty shoot-out was next on the list.
This was Russia’s first penalty shoot-out. Andrés Iniesta from Spain scored first. Russia however, responded right back. The game was now tied. Spain’s Piqué scored the next one. Russia responded right back. The game went on until Spain missed their third shot. Russia however scored their third and was now on the verge of advancing. Spain takes their fourth shot and hits it in, tying the game up. Then, Russia responded right back with their fourth goal.
Spain had to hit the next one in, otherwise they were out. Iago Aspas came in determined to do just that. In fact, he was very close if it was not for the “big foot” of the Russian goalie. Right when the ball was going towards the net, the foot of the Russian goalie made contact with the ball moving it far from the goal. Russia came out victorious and man were they happy! This was the first time the Russian team advanced to the quarterfinals since the breakup of the Soviet Union!
Hours later, Croatia was up against Denmark. Just when I was about to go and grab a drink, Mathias Jørgensen scored for Denmark at the first minute of the match. Minutes later, Mario Mandžukić of Croatia comes in with the equalizer. Then, there was silence. No goal was scored and even after 90 minutes of play and extra time, the game remained tied at 1-1. This match was also going to penalty kicks. A very close finish and a final goal by Croatia propelled them forward to the quarter finals.
Denmark and Spain were eliminated. Now, we will see Croatia, a former member of Yugoslavia(part of the Eastern bloc) face off against the Russians. This one will be very interesting. We know one thing for sure; one of them will place in the top four.
Tomorrow there will be two interesting matches. Mexico v. Brazil and Belgium v. Japan. I think the Mexico v. Brazil match will be very close, but I have to give this one to Brazil. The match between Belgium and Japan should be a clear victory for Belgium, although Japan has played quite well in the past so you never know. We will see what happens in less than 12 hours. Mexico and Brazil might be a bigger deal than Lebron James' move to LA.