2018 FIFA World Cup Group A Recap after Match Day 2

Russia continues its fine form against Egypt in a 3-1 victory

The host nation of this World Cup, Russia, is the first team into the Round of 16 after their 3-1 win over Egypt. Russia proved in this game that their first game against Saudi Arabia was not a fluke nor was it just because Saudi Arabia was a weak team. The first half of this game went goalless and not much happened. In the beginning of the first half, in the 47th minute, Russia take the lead through an own goal from Egyptian captain Ahmed Fathy. Own goals have quite been common throughout this World Cup. Russia would soon increase to 3-0 from two quick goals by Denis Cheryshev in the 59th minute and Artem Dzyuba in the 62nd minute. Mohamed Salah would get his first ever World Cup goal and Egypt’s first goal of the tournament from a penalty in the 73rd minute to make it 3-1, which would be the final result of this game. With this win Russia are through to the round of 16 and will face Uruguay in their next game, game which will decide who wins the group, Egypt on the other hand are out of the tournament after two losses out of two games and will play their third and final game of the tournament against Saudi Arabia.

Uruguay struggles in 1-0 win against Saudi Arabia

            Uruguay was able to get the 1-0 win against a very weak Saudi Arabia side and are through to the round of 16 after two games. Uruguay went in front in the 23rd minute from their star striker Luis Suarez. That would be, surprisingly, the only goal of the game. Uruguay, who are one of the dark horse contenders of the tournament, once again did not impress. But nonetheless Uruguay has two wins from two games, six points and have advanced out of the group. Uruguay will battle for first place in this group against Russia in the third and final game of this group. Saudi Arabia are out of the tournament after their second loss in two games, but should have their heads held high. This was a much better performance than the one they had against Russia when they lost 5-0. Saudi Arabia will face Egypt in their third and last game of the tournament.

 

Current Standings in Group A after two games:

  1. Russia 6 points, +7 Goal Difference
  2. Uruguay 6 points, +2 Goal Difference
  3. Egypt 0 points, -3 Goal Difference
  4. Saudi Arabia 0 points, -6 Goal Difference

 

Preview for the third and final games in Group A

Uruguay vs Russia                            June 25th, 2018, Samara, Russia

            Both teams have already advanced to the round of 16 but first place is still up for grabs. Both teams stand with six points each but currently Russia is first as they have a +7 goal difference while Uruguay only has +2. Therefore, Russia could draw this game and they would finish first in their group. While Uruguay does not have that luxury and will have to go for the win if they want to finish first in this group. The Russians have played well so far in this World Cup but they have not gone up against any tough competition as of yet. Uruguay has not yet impressed in the World Cup with registering two one goal victories. This game will be Russia’s first true test as Uruguay is a very good team, one of the three dark horse contenders for this year’s World Cup along with Belgium and Croatia.

Prediction: Uruguay 2-0

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt                      June 25th, 2018, Volgograd, Russia

Even though both teams cannot advance out of the group they still have one more game to play. World Cup qualifying is long and tiring process, so when you and your nation make it to a World Cup you play each game at the World Cup with passion and pride. That is exactly what Egypt and Saudi Arabia have to and will do in their final game. In terms of this year’s World Cup this game will not change anything and all eyes will be on the other match up in this group.

Prediction: Egypt 3-1

 

Dino Pavleka: @dino_ATL

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