The first round of group stage in the 2018 World Cup ended on Tuesday, bringing a number of surprises to football fans around the globe, the first of which was the host Russia’s huge win 5-0 over Saudi Arabia in the tournament opening match held on last Thursday.
Over the last six days, 32 teams played 16 matches, of which 13 ended in victories, while only three saw draws. The first round witnessed scoring 38 goals, with 67 bookings, and only one red card given to Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez.
The round also witnessed eight penalties, of which only two were missed by the Argentinian Lionel Messi and Christian Cueva of Panama.
Dramatic 90th-minute winners
Unfortunately, all the Arab teams, except Saudi Arabia, lost their World Cup openers with last minutes goals, despite their honourable performance in the first round of the group stage in the World Cup. The beginning was in Egypt versus Uruguay clash, Jose Gimenez’s header in the 89 minute gave Uruguay the game’s whole points despite the Pharaohs’ good performance. It was Uruguay’s first win of World Cup opener since 1970. Meanwhile, Egypt’s goalkeeper Mohamed Al-Shennawy was named Player of the Match to become the first goalkeeper to win this award in his international debut.
The Moroccan team went on the same path of sister Egypt, as they fell in the trap of defeat against Iran, after Moroccan Aziz Bouhaddouz headed the ball into his own goal in the stoppage time, gifting the Asian side the game’s three points.
The Tunisian team faced the same fate in their game against England, after Tottenham Hotspur’s star Harry Kane headed home a late corner in the 91 minute. The Volgograd Arena stadium, which hosted Tunisia versus England clash, witnessed the first round’s only Arab goal scored by Ferjani Sassi from the penalty spot in the 35 minute.
Fall of big teams
The first round of World Cup 2018 group games came to a close and we have already seen some big shocks along the way. One of the most prominent phenomena in the first round of the World Cup Russia as Brazil, Germany, Argentina, and Spain all failed to win their tournament opener.