Day 12 of the 2018 World Cup gave us the first set of qualifiers to the round of 16. Uruguay beat Russia to finish on top of Group A, which means Spain, drawing with Morocco to finish first in group B, will play against the hosts in their round of 16 match while Portugal, who failed to beat Iran, have to play a very difficult Uruguay side in the knockout stage.
Uruguay 3 Russia 0 (Match Highlights)
A bad day for the hosts, conceding their first goals of the tournament, but going into the match with something of a B lineup, showing their intentions regarding the game. Uruguay don’t believe in all these calculations and simply played to win and finish first. They did. Luis Suarez with a clever free kick, an own goal by Cheryshev and Edinson Cavani pouncing first on the rebound in the 90th minute secured Uruguay a perfect group stage without conceding a single goal.
Saudi Arabia 2 Egypt 1 (Match Highlights)
In a match made for consolation points and goals, Saudi Arabia came out on top as Egypt’s tendency to concede goals at the wrong time struck again, this time deep in injury time, losing a match they had a lead in through who else by Mohamed Salah. The Liverpool star ends his first World Cup with 2 goals, but 0 points to show for, which is slightly surprising considering early expectations. For the Saudis, finishing third in the group, it’s their first World Cup victory since 1994.
Group A Table
Iran 1 Portugal 1 (Match Highlights)
A poor performance by Portugal, but it was enough to see them through thanks to Ricardo Quaresma’s terrific first half goal. Iran scored an injury time penalty kick, but there wasn’t enough left on the clock to pull off a massive upset, going home with 4 points and a very respectable World Cup performance. Cristiano Ronaldo also missed a penalty kick, brilliantly saved by Alireza Beiranvand.
Spain 2 Morocco 2 (Match Highlights)
A match that above all else showed how fragile Spain is in the back, twice falling behind against a Morocco team that impressed in all 3 matches this tournament, yet once again failed to finish the job. Spain equalized in injury time through a Iago Aspas goal that was initially disallowed due to offside, but the VAR showed he was barely onside.
Group B Table
After all of the late drama, Spain and Portugal advance. Spain from first thanks to that late Iago Aspas goal. Portugal fell to second due to the late Iran penalty.
Goal of the Day: Ricardo Quaresma, Portugal
5 goals: Harry Kane (England)
4 goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
3 goals: Denis Cheryshev (Russia), Diego Costa (Spain)
2 goals: Artem Dzyuba (Russia), Mile Jedinak (Australia), Luka Modric (Croatia), Philippe Coutinho (Brazil), Ahmed Musa (Nigeria), Eden Hazard (Belgium), John Stones (England), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
1 goal: Yuri Gazinsky, Aleksandr Golovin (Russia), Jose Maria Gimenez, Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Nacho, Isco, Iago Aspas (Spain), Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe (France), Sergio Agüero (Argentina), Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland), Christian Eriksen,Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark), Aleksandar Kolarov, Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia), Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela, Chicharito (Mexico), Neymar (Brazil), Steven Zuber, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland), Andreas Granqvist, Ola Toivonen (Sweden), Dries Mertens, Michy Batshuayi (Belgium), Ferjani Sassi, Dylan Bronn, Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia), Shinji Kagawa, Yuya Osaka, Takashi Inui, Keisuke Honda (Japan), Juan Quintero, Yerry Mina, Radamel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado (Colombia), M’Baye Niang, Sadio Mane, Moussa Wague (Senegal), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Poland), Ante Rebic, Ivan Rakitic (Croatia), Son Heung-Min (South Korea), Marco Reus (Germany), Jesse Lingard (England), Felipe Baloy (Panama), Salman Al Faraj, Salem Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia), Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal), Khalid Boutaib, Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco), Karim Ansarifard (Iran)
Goals in the tournament: 97 goals in 36 matches, 2.69 per match.
Day 13 Matches:
Denmark vs France (Group C)
Australia vs Peru (Group C)
Nigeria vs Argentina (Group D)
Iceland vs Croatia (Group D)