World Cup 2018: Best XI from the group stage
The 2018 FIFA World Cup has completed the group stage and it seems like everything was over in a jiffy. In fact, three-fourths of the total matches are over, meaning there are only 16 games left. However, we are entering the business end of the tournament which means the matches could be even better than they were in the group stage.
The group stage of the World Cup in Russia was like no other. Shock results, some superb individual performances, late goals and a plethora of penalties have been the theme of the tournament so far.
By now, we have a firm idea about the strengths and weaknesses of each team, their best players and their chances of progressing further. So before the knockout stage starts, take a look at the best XI from the group stage fixtures.
Goalkeeper - Cho Hyun-Woo (South Korea)
There were some fantastic performances by goalkeepers in Russia. Hannes Þór Halldórsson of Iceland shocked the world by saving a penalty from Leo Messi, Iran’s goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand saved a spot kick from Cristiano Ronaldo, Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico carried his form from the previous World Cup and Keylor Navas almost shut out the Brazil attack.
However, South Korea’s Cho Hyun-Woo has earned his place in this XI and is also the only player from an already eliminated team.
Cho was one of Korea’s standout performers even though they failed to progress from a difficult group.
The 26-year-old started all games for the Korean’s and made 13 saves overall. His tally is the third highest in the tournament behind Guillermo Ochoa (17) and Kasper Schmeichel (14).
The highlight of Cho’s impressive show in Russia was against defending Champions Germany in their final group stage game. Cho made six saves and kept a clean sheet as they knocked out the Champions and leapfrogged them to third in their group. He was also rightfully awarded the man of the match award against Germany.
Cho also averaged an impressive save percentage of 81.2!