While there’s plenty of drama happening with some of the top teams in the tournament dropping points early, Groups A and B are playing out more-or-less how we all predicted. Uruguay and the hosting Russians are through in Group A and will face off to determine seeding in the knockout round. In Group B, powerhouses Spain and Portugal top the group after 1-0 wins on Wednesday. Here’s what happened on Matchday 7:
Uruguay 1-0 Saudi Arabia
It hasn’t been pretty for Uruguay, but the traditional South American underdog/powerhouse (somehow, they are both) has plodded its way along to qualification for the knockout rounds. Saudi Arabia didn’t make it easy for them though, reverting back to the form the Saudis displayed in their pre-World Cup friendly matches where they played Germany and Italy to narrow one-goal defeats. Luis Suarez did the trick for Uruguay this time, getting his name on the score sheet in the 23rd minute.
Luis Suarez's goal was the difference as Uruguay defeat Saudi Arabia to advance to the round of 16.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 20, 2018
See how it happened in our 90' in 90" ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/W2d26KsMT0
Group A (6/20)
Portugal 1-0 Morocco
Morocco followed its North African neighbors of Egypt as the first two teams to have been eliminated from contention from the knockout rounds. It’s a bitter blow for the nation that had a very talented collection of players in the squad and had been tabbed as a potential dark horse team that could’ve knocked off one of the Iberian powers in the group. Instead, they flutter out of contention before they could even score a goal.
It’s the opposite story for Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo bagged his fourth goal of the tournament — just two games in — and his Portugal side look like they’re actually up to try to win the darn tournament this year. It’s a younger, more dynamic Portugal side than we’ve seen the last couple of World Cups. Those young players are showing they are well and truly up for the fight.
Spain 1-0 Iran
The Spaniards top Group B to end the 2nd series of matches in the group thanks to the fair play standings tiebraker, but Iran made them sweat it out. Spain dominated possession upwards of 80+% deep into the match, but found it difficult to break through and create many decent chances against the Iranians. The Spaniards finally broke through with a goal off a deflection of Diego Costa’s knee. It was a really bad goal. That was not the highlight of the match. THIS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE MATCH.
Best moment of the World Cup for me. pic.twitter.com/wCagZwr72B— CF (@ClinicalFirmino) June 20, 2018
In the 94th minute, 4 minutes into added time and Iran desperately looking for an equalizer, Milad Mohammadi tried to pull off the most epic throw in of all time. Shooters shoot.
Group B (6/20)