2018 FIFA World Cup Group A Recap after Match Day 3
Uruguay beat Russia 3-0 to top Group A
Many expected Uruguay to top Group A before the tournament started, and they did just that. Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 10th minute from a well taken free kick just outside the box. Uruguay would increase their lead to 2-0 in the 23rd minute from an own goal by Russian player Denis Cheryshev. This own goal marked the sixth own goal at this year’s World Cup. A great start for the Uruguayans would get even better as Russia was reduced to ten players after a second yellow card was shown to Russian defender Igor Smolnikov. Edinson Cavani would add a third goal in the 90th minute to give Uruguay the 3-0 win. As a result Uruguay finishes first in the group and will face the runner up in Group B in the round of 16, while Russia as the runner up in Group A will face the winner of Group B in the round of 16.
Late winner gives Saudi Arabia a 2-1 victory over disappointing Egypt
Saudi Arabia gets their first goal at a World Cup since 2006 and their first win at a World Cup since 1994 all in the same day. Saudi Arabia was the dominate team throughout the 90 minutes, Egypt once again disappointed. Many predicted, including I, that Egypt would advance out of this group but with their poor play it was not going to happen. Mohamed Salah scored the game’s first goal in the 22nd minute to give Egypt the 1-0. Saudi Arabia would have two penalties in the first half; the first one in 41st minute which Al Muwallad failed to convert, but in the second in the sixth minute of added time, before the end of the first half, Al Faraj would convert and tie the game at 1-1 going into halftime. Saudi Arabia would continue to pile up the pressure on Egypt throughout the second half, creating chances with their possession. As a result Egypt tried to counter attack but failed to create any major threats. In the fifth minute of added time Al Dawsari would score the winner for Saudi Arabia to make it 2-1. Saudi Arabia will go home happy after giving two straight great performances after their horrible first game against Russia. Saudi Arabia came into the tournament the 67th ranked team according to FIFA rankings and one of the weaker teams on paper. Egypt on the other hand will go home disappointed not to even get a win; they themselves had expectations of getting out of this group.
Final Standings in Group A:
- Uruguay 6 points, +5 Goal Difference
- Russia 6 points, +4 Goal Difference
- Saudi Arabia 3 points, -5 Goal Difference
- Egypt 0 points, -4 Goal Difference