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World Cup 2018: 5 key takeaways from the Mundial so far

Madhan Kalyan
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
1.32K   //    22 Jun 2018, 16:14 IST

FBL-WC-2018-MATCH23-ARG-CRO
Messi has failed to light up the World Cup as expected

The opening week of the World Cup has been exhilarating, to say the least with plenty of shocks and surprises with an equal measure of controversies, especially those surrounding VAR.

Close wins and late goals were the norm but the headline results of the week were Mexico outclassing defending champions Germany and Iceland holding the mighty Argentines to a hard-fought and deserved draw.

Cristiano Ronaldo and own goals have been among the headline performers while there has been a good mix of last-minute goals, bangers, free-kicks and a lot of penalties.

Elsewhere, the debate on the usage of VAR with it proving to be a mixed bag with some good and controversial decisions while some new stars have emerged and some older ones have been disappointing

Here are the key takeaways from what has been an exhilarating opening week of football at Russia 2018:


#5 Upsets, upsets everywhere

Football: Germany vs Mexico at World Cup
Mexico stunned the defending champions

Everyone loves an underdog story and the opening week provided plenty of this with the less heralded teams providing plenty of entertainment and pulling off quite a few upsets with almost all of the favorites for the title starting off on the wrong foot.

Mexico arguably provided the shock of the tournament so far with Germany, not at the races in their opening match. Iceland produced a typical defend-for-your-lives display against Argentina and the Swiss held their own (at times pushing the boundaries of the law) against much heralded Brazil.

Honorable mentions should also go to Australia, who were unlucky to lose against France and also Morocco and Egypt both as both of them were unlucky to lose to last-minute goals against Iran and Uruguay respectively. The week ended with the tenacious Tunisians almost holding England to a deserved draw if not for a Harry Kane goal at the very end.

Expect the David vs Goliath act to continue in the further weeks as the margin for error shrinks.

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