Saturday, June 16, 2018
Yesterday, day two of the 2018 FIFA football World Cup, Uruguay defeated Egypt 1–0 with an 89th minute winner scored by José Giménez; Iran defeated Morocco 1–0 due to Aziz Bouhaddouz’s own goal moments before the final whistle; and in the final match of the night, Portugal vs Spain, both the sides scored three goals, with Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a late equaliser and completing his hat-trick.
Uruguay dominated in ball possession. Uruguayan forward Luis Suárez had multiple attempts on the goal, but was denied by goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy. Both sides built up attacks in the first half, but could not convert any into a goal. Just at the start of the second half, Suárez came close to scoring the opener of the day but was stopped. Egypt made the first substitution of the game in the 50th minute, when Tarek Hamed was substituted off for Sam Morsy due to injury. Uruguay created multiple chances in the second half as well, and Edinson Cavani’s came very close to putting the South Americans in the lead in the 88th minute, but the ball hit the goal post. A minute later, in the 89th minute, José Giménez scored a header from Carlos Sánchez’s free kick. Egypt’s Sam Morsy and Ahmed Hegazi were shown yellow cards in the injury time.
Uruguay had four shots on target in the entire match. Egyptian shot-stopper Mohamed El Shenawy was elected the Budweiser Man of the Match.
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, who scored 44 goals for Liverpool FC in the 2017–18 season, was an unused substitute. After the match, Egypt’s coach Hector Cuper said, “Salah is an important player for us but you need to have a good team, and we have a good team. Salah will have an important role for us in the future matches […] We wanted to avoid risks [to Salah] in this match, but I think he will be fine for the next game.” Three weeks ago, in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid, Salah was substituted off due to a shoulder injury.
This was Uruguay’s first victory in their opening game of the World Cup tournament since they defeated Israel in 1970. Egypt are yet to win their first game in a World Cup tournament.
In the first Group B match of this tournament, Morocco dominated in ball possession. The African side won a free kick in the first minute of the game, however, Amine Harit could not convert it to a goal. Morocco started the game with the attacking style, with two more attempts in the first ten minutes. Masoud Shojaei was the first player to be booked in the match. As the first half progressed, Iran made a few attempts, and goalkeepers at both the ends were put to the test and prevented the ball finding the back of the net. The first half ended with 0–0 on the scoreline.
The first substitution of the match came in the 68th minute when Iran’s Masoud Shojaei was called off for Mehdi Taremi. Morocco made their first change in the 76th minute when Noureddine Amrabat was replaced by his brother Sofyan Amrabat due to injury. With multiple players getting injured in the second half, and multiple fouls committed, Iran’s Karim Ansarifard was booked in the injury time. In the ending minutes of the game, Sofyan Amrabat’s foul led to Iran winning a free kick. Aziz Bouhaddouz scored an own goal heading the ball in the back of his own net, and putting Iranians 1–0 up in the injury time.
After the defeat, Morocco’s coach Herve Renard said, “I’m feeling disappointed and if we had come out with a draw I would’ve also been disappointed considering the way the game played out. A defeat, when you had quite a few opportunities, it is the worst thing that could have happened in injury time.”
Morocco has never won their opening match of a FIFA World Cup tournament.
In the last game of the night, 2016 UEFA Euro champions Portugal took on Spain. Spain dominated in ball possession. In the third minute of the game, Portugal won a penalty kick, as Spanish defender Nacho brought down Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo in the penalty area. Ronaldo scored from the spot kick in the right corner. Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets was shown a yellow card in the 17th minute for a bad foul. Diego Costa scored an equaliser in the 24th minute, netting the ball in the left corner while surrounded by five Portuguese players. Two minutes later, Isco’s chance to put Spain in the lead was stopped. Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes was booked in the 28th minute. The Spaniards had multiple attempts for the goal as the match progressed. In the 44th minute, Ronaldo scored his second goal, giving Portugal a one-goal lead right before the halftime. Gonçalo Guedes provided the assist for Ronaldo, and Spanish shot-stopper David de Gea could not control Ronaldo’s shot. The first half ended with 2–1 on the scoreboard.
Ten minutes in the second half, Costa scored the second equaliser of the night from Busquets’s assist and three minutes later, in the 58th minute, Nacho scored a right-footed shot from outside the box, putting Spain into the lead. Portugal won a free kick in the 86th minute, and Ronaldo converted the free kick into a goal, scoring his 51st hat-trick of his career and equalising for Portugal. The final score was 3–3, with both the sides sharing one point each.
After the match, Spain’s newly appointed coach Fernando Hierro said, “We feel very proud of the players, we have come back and equalised twice so we feel a great commitment and pride.”
Group A standings as of June 15
|?? Saudi Arabia||1||0||0||1||0||5||-5||0|
Group B standings as of June 15
|June 15, 2018 1700 YEKT (UTC+0500)|
|Egypt ??||0–1||?? Uruguay||Ekaterinburg Arena, Ekaterinburg, Russia Attendance: 27,015 Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)|
|Sam Morsy 90+4’Ahmed Hegazy 90+6′||(0–0) HT||José Giménez 89′|
|June 15, 2018 1800 MSK (UTC+0300)|
|Morocco ??||0–1||?? Iran||Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia Attendance: 62,548 Referee: Cüneyt Çak?r (Turkey)|
|Karim El Ahmadi 34′||(0–0) HT||Aziz Bouhaddouz 90+5′ (o.g.)Masoud Shojaei 10’Alireza Jahanbakhsh 47’Karim El Ahmadi 90+2′|
|June 15, 2018 2100 MSK (UTC+0300)|
|Portugal ??||3–3||?? Spain||Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia Attendance: 43,866 Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)|
|Cristiano Ronaldo 4′ (pen)Cristiano Ronaldo 44’Cristiano Ronaldo 88’Bruno Fernandez 28′||(2–1) HT||Diego Costa 24’Diego Costa 55’Nacho 58’Sergio Busquets 17′|