It’s been almost a week in to the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia and the tournament is proving to be full of surprises.
Year of the Underdog
One of the main turn arounds compared to previous tournaments in the past week is the shocking amount of underdogs that have either won, drew or outperformed the cup favourites.
Mexico & Japan’s victory over Germany & Colombia entertained many but came as frustration to some.
We hoped that the high ranking squad would perform well from kick off but some how they’ve ridiculously been playing below par.
That’s not to say that this will remain the same in the next two match days. It just seems odd.
One of the biggest upsets would probably have to be Argentina drawing to Iceland. The vikings were out performing Leo Messi’s side, giving us a throwback to Euro 2016.
But what was most impressive among the low rank teams is the amount of pressure they put in attack.
Like the viewers the world’s elite did not expect the small sides to attack with such aggression.
I would be lying if I said that all the games were entertaining.
In truth, a large portion of them ended up being very disappointing.
This is because the score lines didn’t reflect the type of games international sides were playing.
There have been TOO many chances for teams to score goals but they just fail to convert them.
The England game against Tunisia for example; though we won 2-1 in the end, should have been a much secure game.
The Three Lions had four solid chances on goal shared by captain Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard.
At time players from different teams look like they’re lacking ambition in the box.
Hopefully this can change in the coming weeks.
Last Minute Goals
Though it may seem own goals have been popular in match day one, stoppage time braces have seen an outcry from everyone.
After a tiresome game intensified by the amount of chances on the ball, it looks like set pieces in extra time are likely to decide a game.
It has not only entertained, but truly shocked and humiliated teams and supporters, and this is what football is all about.
Being the host of the World Cup, many expected Russia to perform mediocre in the group stages.
However, they are the only team in the campaign who have scored eight goals in the opening two games.
22-year-old Alexsandr Golovin has shined in the tournament with his performance in the last two fixtures.
His form has him linked to the likes of Juventus and Arsenal.
Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzuyba have also contributed to Russia’s success in the tournament.
The Reds will be hoping to progress far in the knockout stages.
Ronaldo’s Last Chance
One of the largest speculations going around this year was the fact that Russia would be Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s last every chance to win a world cup.
Both players are arguably the best of all time but have always looked to out-do each other.
As of now Ronaldo seem to be on a high as he has won the Euros with Portugal as well as three consecutive Champions League titles with Real Madrid.
Even in his first game this campaign, Ronaldo saved Portugal from Spain by scoring a hattrick. This included his signature free kick at stoppage time.
If he has a last chance to prove he is the top dog, this tournament is it.
Portugal have a chance of getting to the final with their captain charging the attack.