3 matches, 3 goals, 3 winners. Uruguay, Portugal and Spain each won 1-0 in matches that weren’t entirely entertaining, but proved to be more challenging than some expected initially. With their win, Uruguay clinch one of the top two spots in Group A, while both Spain and Portugal put themselves in a comfortable position to do the same.
Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0
A frustrating day for Uruguay against an opponent that looked a lot more organized and prepared than in their opening match. But once again, a late header proved to be a breath of fresh air for Oscar Tabarez’ players, giving them the narrow win and the ticket to the round of 16 for the third consecutive World Cup. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, despite playing better, still look like a group that doesn’t have much to offer at this level, and will try to at least score a goal in their meaningless final match against Egypt. Uruguay will play Russia for the top spot in the group.
Group A Table
Portugal 1 Morocco 0
Last time Ronaldo saved his best for last, saving Portugal a point against Spain with an 88th minute goal. This time he scored a header in the 4th minute and did little else. Morocco were easy on the eyes and dominated the match with their quick passing and flowing movement, but when it came to putting the ball in the net, the same thing that happened to them against Iran happened here. A side earning plenty of compliments, but no points nor goals so far.
Spain 1 Iran 0
Nothing brilliant from Spain, who found it difficult to translate 80% possession into goals. But in the end, a ball cleared into Diego Costa’s knee became the winner, putting Spain on top of the group alongside Portugal. Iran dared from time to time and almost always put Spain in an uncomfortable position during those moments. One of them was a goal by Ezatolahi, rightfully disallowed by the VAR.
Group B Table
Hero of the Day: Ronaldo, Portugal
While Ronaldo is often mocked for not being on the pitch during most of the Euro 2016 final, Portugal wouldn’t have made it that far without him. And here he is again – scoring all the goals for Portugal, probably on their way towards one of the top two spots.
4 goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
3 goals: Denis Cheryshev (Russia), Diego Costa (Spain)
2 goals: Romelu Lukaku (Belgium), Harry Kane (England), Artem Dzyuba (Russia)
1 goal: Yuri Gazinsky, Aleksandr Golovin (Russia), Jose Maria Gimenez, Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Nacho (Spain), Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann (France), Mile Jedinak (Australia), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland), Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark), Luka Modric (Croatia), Aleksandar Kolarov (Serbia), Hirving Lozano (Mexico), Philippe Coutinho (Brazil), Steven Zuber (Switzerland), Andreas Granqvist (Sweden), Dries Mertens (Belgium), Ferjani Sassi (Tunisia), Shinji Kagawa, Yuya Osaka (Japan), Juan Quintero (Colombia), M’Baye Niang (Senegal), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Poland), Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
Day 8 Matches:
Denmark vs Australia (Group C)
France vs Peru (Group C)
Argentina vs Croatia (Group D)