Ronaldo Shines At First World Cup Game
The World Cup came to live this weekend as some of the biggest teams and players got their campaigns underway. From VAR debate, to big game shocks, football fans everywhere were able to bask in a remarkable weekend of action.
Tonight, England get their campaign underway against Tunisia as Harry Kane and co hope to banish their demons from Euro 2016 and have a successful tournament. Here at Champions Football Speakers, we have provided a comprehensive rundown of all of the weekend’s games.
Friday’s matches were all about one man – Cristiano Ronaldo. In what was perhaps the most mouth-watering tie of the entire group stages, heavyweights Spain and Portugal faced off in Sochi. This game had a fascinating subplot as Spain boss Julen Lopetegui was sacked just two days prior to the tournament getting underway, meaning Fernando Hierro took charge of the side.
The game did not disappoint and ended up being a 3-3 thriller. Despite the remarkable score line, the match was all about the brilliance of Ronaldo. The Real Madrid sensation bagged a hatrick including a stunning freekick to equalise with just minutes remaining.
Ronaldo had put Portugal ahead with a penalty before former Chelsea striker made it 1-1. He then scored again to give Portugal the lead going into halftime when Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea let his shot ricochet off him and into the net. The Spanish quickly struck back in the second half with Costa equalising again before defender Nacho put them ahead with a stunning strike. Ronaldo then stole the show with his stupendous freekick which saw the game finish level, debates about whether he or Messi is the world’s best will continue to rumble on…
Friday also saw a win for Uruguay over a Mo Salahless Egypt, and Iran won their first World Cup match for more than 20 years with a 1-0 win over Morocco.
History was made on Saturday with the first VAR goal ever awarded at a World Cup, with France beating Australia 2-1. However, as always with VAR, it didn’t come without its controversy. The Socceroos’ Josh Risdon was judged to have brought down Antoine Griezmann upon reflection, but many pundits couldn’t agree whether the decision was correct, calling into question VAR use.
The French lead didn’t last long though, defender Samuel Umtiti handled in the box, and Australia levelled through Mile Jedinak. France’s pressure soon proved dividends though, with Aziz Behich putting through his own net.
This match was followed by one of the shocks of the round so far. With Ronaldo having scored a hatrick the day before, the spotlight was firmly on Lionel Messi to step up. The Barcelona hero was certainly at the centre of attention, but not for the reasons he’d have liked.
Up against Iceland in their first ever World Cup, Sergio Aguero put the South-Americans ahead but the nation, whose population is just 350,000, struck back with their first ever World Cup goal from Alfred Finnbogason. In the second half Argentina were relentless with their attacks, and soon had another chance to score when they won a penalty. Much to everyone’s disbelief, Messi saw his spot-kick saved by Hannes Halldorsson. The game ended 1-1 in what has been one of just a few shocks so far. Saturday also saw wins for Denmark and Croatia before the drama continued on Sunday…
Undoubtedly the biggest shock of the World Cup so far came on Sunday. Following a drab 1-0 win for Serbia over Costa Rica, the tournament’s two strongest teams took to the field in their opening matches.
First up was the holders Germany against Mexico. In a match which everyone expected to be a comfortable German win, Mexico’s ruthless counter attacking was too much for the world’s best ranked team. Hirving Lozano caused the German defence all kinds of problems and scored a fantastic goal to put send the Mexicans into dreamland.
Despite their best efforts in the second half, Mexico held on as the team won 1-0. Cue huge celebrations in the stadium, and back home and a mini-earthquake was even recorded in Mexico due to the size of their jubilations.
Next, Brazil came up against Switzerland, and following Phillipe Coutinho’s incredible long-range effort, it looked like they would romp home with ease. Even the talents of Neymar, Jesus, Willian etc couldn’t add to Coutinho’s goal and the Swiss equalised early in the second half through a Steven Zuber header. The game finished 1-1 leaving the Selecao frustrated.
Today’s action sees Sweden vs South Korea, Belgium vs Panama and of course England vs Tunisia. Be sure to keep an eye on Champions Football Speakers for all the reaction whatever tonight’s result.
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