World Cup 2018: Group stage first round - Winners and Losers
So, the first round fixtures of the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stages are done and dusted and believe us when we tell you that Russia 2018 has all the makings of a Hollywood thriller that overwhelms you with its twists and turns.
We've seen some spectacular goals, some unexpected results, a few breakout stars and quite a lot of drama. While there's still a long way to go in this edition of the World Cup, let's take a look at winners and losers at the end of the first 16 matches:
The hosts lit up the World Cup with a spectacular 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the opening game. But how far will they go? Well, it doesn't matter. They have already won hearts of their countrymen.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the GOAT?
GOAT or not, we’ll leave that debate for another day, but just how impactful has Cristiano Ronaldo been for Portugal? The Real Madrid talisman scored three goals to salvage a point against the star-studded Spain side, with a bit of luck for sure, but also with a stunning free-kick. There is a long way to go, but what a start, Cristiano!
Who would have thought that Iceland, playing in their first ever World Cup, would take on Lionel Messi’s Argentina and come out with a 1-1 draw at the end of it? Well, they did. It was a historical performance from the Icelanders; they had a generous Messi to thank though.
Ah, the different guises of the beautiful game.
In what was a major upset in the tournament, the El Tri settled old scores with their Confederations Cup tormentors Germany, as they beat the defending champions 1-0 in their group stage opener. Hirving Lozano, their goal-scorer, was electric that afternoon and has got all the attributes to become the breakout star of the competition.
Now, whether this was a fluke or one of the many to come for the Mexicans, we’ll have to wait and see.
Captain Kane, as we would like to call him from now on, was in the thick of things when The Three Lions pipped Tunisia 2-1 on Monday. The Tottenham Hotspur man was at the right place at the right time as he found the back of the net twice to help England register their first win of the campaign.
Coming into the World Cup, the Japanese were perhaps the most underwhelming of the lots, however, with a 2-1 win over Colombia, they showed why they shouldn’t be taken lightly in the games to come.
They are the Blue Samurais, after all.