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Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Arenado's slick barehanded stop
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Arenado's slick barehanded stop
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
Arenado's slick barehanded stop
Michael Conforto hits a slow grounder to third, where Nolan Arenado charges for a terrific barehanded play to nab Conforto at first
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
Recap: TEX 6, KC 3
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
Recap: TEX 6, KC 3
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
Recap: TEX 6, KC 3
6/18/18: Choo, Beltre power Rangers to a 6-3 win
Seattle Mariners' Nelson Cruz hits a solo home run on a pitch from Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
LEADING OFF: Verlander backs rolling Astros, mending Dodgers
Seattle Mariners' Nelson Cruz hits a solo home run on a pitch from Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
As part of a Father's Day celebration, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) and relief pitcher Tom Koehler walk onto the field with their children before a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
LEADING OFF: Verlander backs rolling Astros, mending Dodgers
As part of a Father's Day celebration, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) and relief pitcher Tom Koehler walk onto the field with their children before a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander works against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 14, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
LEADING OFF: Verlander backs rolling Astros, mending Dodgers
Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander works against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 14, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto (22) celebrates his two-run home run with Anthony Rendon (6) during the sixth inning of the continuation of a suspended baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Washington. This game is a continuation of a suspended game from May 15. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
LEADING OFF: Verlander backs rolling Astros, mending Dodgers
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto (22) celebrates his two-run home run with Anthony Rendon (6) during the sixth inning of the continuation of a suspended baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Washington. This game is a continuation of a suspended game from May 15. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
The free screenings are welcome as watching in a local cafe proved too expensive for many camp residents (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
The free screenings are welcome as watching in a local cafe proved too expensive for many camp residents
The free screenings are welcome as watching in a local cafe proved too expensive for many camp residents (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
World Cup matches are screened inside tents during the day and outside in the evening (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
World Cup matches are screened inside tents during the day and outside in the evening
World Cup matches are screened inside tents during the day and outside in the evening (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
A local charity is screening all World Cup matches for free at the Ain Issa camp (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
A local charity is screening all World Cup matches for free at the Ain Issa camp
A local charity is screening all World Cup matches for free at the Ain Issa camp (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN)
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to a Philadelphia Phillies batter during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Dodgers LHP Kershaw eyes return after throwing sim game
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to a Philadelphia Phillies batter during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez, front, doubles over as he is checked on by manager Joe Maddon after being hit by a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, June 17, 2018, in St. Louis. Baez left the game. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Cubs INF Baez feeling better after hit by pitch
Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez, front, doubles over as he is checked on by manager Joe Maddon after being hit by a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, June 17, 2018, in St. Louis. Baez left the game. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez (9) is checked on by manager Joe Maddon after being hit by a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, June 17, 2018, in St. Louis. Baez left the game. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Cubs INF Baez feeling better after hit by pitch
Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez (9) is checked on by manager Joe Maddon after being hit by a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, June 17, 2018, in St. Louis. Baez left the game. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, tags out Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada after Moncada tried to steal second base in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, tags out Chicago White Sox's Yoan Moncada after Moncada tried to steal second base in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor fields a ball hit by Chicago White Sox Jose Abreu in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Abreu was out on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor fields a ball hit by Chicago White Sox Jose Abreu in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Abreu was out on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, celebrates with Rajai Davis after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-2 in a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, celebrates with Rajai Davis after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-2 in a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Rajai Davis steals to second base as Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson waits for the ball in the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Second base umpire Will Little watches. Davis was safe on the steal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Rajai Davis steals to second base as Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson waits for the ball in the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Second base umpire Will Little watches. Davis was safe on the steal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis watches his ball after hitting a solo home run off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis watches his ball after hitting a solo home run off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Chicago White Sox's Yolmer Sanchez hits an RBI-single off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Evan Marshall in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Adam Engel scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Chicago White Sox's Yolmer Sanchez hits an RBI-single off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Evan Marshall in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Adam Engel scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson strikes out swinging in the second inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson strikes out swinging in the second inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis hits an RBI-single off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Rajai Davis scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis hits an RBI-single off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Rajai Davis scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Roberto Perez hits a ground rule double off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Lonnie Chisenhall and Rajai Davis scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Cleveland Indians' Roberto Perez hits a ground rule double off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey in the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. Lonnie Chisenhall and Rajai Davis scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey, right, waits for Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis, left, to run the bases after Kipnis hit a solo home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Bauer, Indians beat skidding White Sox 6-2
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Covey, right, waits for Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis, left, to run the bases after Kipnis hit a solo home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (14) hugs Alex Bregman (2) after Bregman hit a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (14) hugs Alex Bregman (2) after Bregman hit a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Tampa Bay Rays' Wilson Ramos celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Tampa Bay Rays' Wilson Ramos celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Tony Kemp, left, beats Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jonny Venters to first base for a hit during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Tony Kemp, left, beats Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jonny Venters to first base for a hit during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Tampa Bay Rays' Wilson Ramos, left, celebrates with Jake Bauers after both scored on Ramos' home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Tampa Bay Rays' Wilson Ramos, left, celebrates with Jake Bauers after both scored on Ramos' home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman points to dugout after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman points to dugout after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman hits a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman hits a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman's game-ending 2B lifts Astros to 12th straight win
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
CS Sabeeth: Best Indian striker in 2nd Division I-League sets sights on the ISL
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
CS Sabeeth: Best Indian striker in 2nd Division I-League sets sights on the ISL
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
CS Sabeeth: Best Indian striker in 2nd Division I-League sets sights on the ISL
Despite scoring nine goals this season, his team Ozone FC missed out on qualification to the I-League and the striker discusses why...
New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo watches the flight of a home run ball hit off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Harrison Musgrave during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Nimmo, Mets finally support deGrom in 12-2 win over Rockies
New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo watches the flight of a home run ball hit off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Harrison Musgrave during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Ranking every World Cup 2018 team, after one game each
What a World Cup it's been! Penalties, VAR, own goals, counter-attacks and just lots of lovely goals all over the place - it's been great fun. But who has impressed so far? Who looks good to make it all the way to the final? Are there any surprises? Having watched every single game so far, here's a run-down of all 32 teams. 32. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabia team full of hope before their hapless 5-0 thrashing against the hosts Credit: Getty Images After a promising opening five minutes full of Barcelona-esque tip-tap football and fluid movement, Saudi Arabia put in one of the worst international performances I've ever seen. The centre-backs couldn't string a pass together, the wide players showed some fantastic first-touches and then gave the ball away immediately, offered no threat going forward and let an extremely ordinary Russia score five past them. If they'd been playing Mexico the referee would probably have stopped the game 60 minutes in to prevent it becoming a humanitarian crisis. 31. Panama Roman Torres turns away from Belgium's goal celebrations Credit: AFP Tried really hard, were fortunate with some refereeing decisions but ultimately offered little resistance to Belgium, who made Panama look better than they are by hitting aimless long balls and being sloppy in midfield. Had a few promising moments but won't get out of the group. 30. South Korea Son Heung-min (right) after South Korea's defeat to Sweden Credit: AP Undone by a (correct) VAR decision, South Korea can't really complain about their opening game defeat. They hardly got going, Son Heung-min was barely in the game and the defensive 4-4-2 shape meant they were barely able to construct passing moves that might concern the equally dull Sweden they were up against. 29. Nigeria Victor Moses argues with the referee over the penalty awarded to Croatia Credit: Getty Images Ahorrible performance from a group of players who didn't seem to grasp quite how important their opening game at the World Cup was. Whether the manager's fault or those in green shirts, there was no urgency, no great surge to try and rescue a point, an isolated striker and full-backs who weren't allowed to get forward. Nigeria should be so much better than this. 28. Costa Rica Costa Rica's Keylor Navas's performance was the strongest in his team, but still couldn't stop this Serbian free kick Credit: Getty Images Didn't have the quality to lay a glove on Serbia but worked hard, were organised and showed some real glimpses of skill. Bet their entire betting account that targeting Branislav Ivanovic would yield goals, it didn't happen, Serbia scored two. Unfortunate but that their goalkeeper was the standout once more tells a story. 27. Iran Iran were the undeserving winners of their first tie against Morocco Credit: Getty Images Boring to watch. Scrappy, broke up play with constant fouling and sat in a low block to frustrate Morocco... then stole the three points at the end without having a shot on goal (an own goal decided it). Possession: Morocco vs Iran Organised and difficult to break down but don't really have anything in attack that will concern opposition. 26. Egypt Mo Salah was unable to contribute to his side's opening loss against Uruguay Credit: AP Frustrated Uruguay throughout, remained compact and kept two strikers up to try and counter-attack if they could get hold of possession. Did well to contain Uruguay's attacking talent but clearly missed their talisman Mo Salah to take advantage of turnovers. He returned for the defeat to Russia but looked some way short of his best and Egypt, unfortunately, look likely to be heading home soon. 25. Morocco A last minute Iran winner left Morocco heartbroken at the end of their first match of the tournament Credit: AFP Devastated by that defeat to Iran, Morocco were bright going forward, carved out chances but were undone at the last by that own goal. They press high, keep possession well and are forward-thinking on the ball. Need that to pay dividends against Portugal. 24. Poland Credit: AFP Nothing if not disappointing. Were thoroughly undone by Senegal and offered little imagination, passing sideways, leaving it until the final five minutes to actually show some attacking passion. Robert Lewandowski could hardly get on the ball but it was a poor team performance rather than his. Much work to do. 23. Sweden A penalty decided Sweden's first tie against South Korea Credit: Getty Images A 4-4-2, attack down the channels, hit the ball in the box for the strikers... and they beat South Korea with a penalty. Nothing particularly exciting going on here but it's a solid team lacking any real stars. Seb Larsson's set piece delivery will be key going forward. 22. Peru Peru were strong in their opener but without reward as they lost to Denmark Credit: Getty Images A lovely team to watch. Fizzed around the pitch, sent runners into space constantly and were unfortunate to be caught on the counter-attack just the once to allow Denmark's winning goal. 21. Tunisia Tunisia were beaten by England on set pieces Credit: Getty Images Really good with the ball, adapted to England's threats quickly (tactically adept) and broke up play when necessary. Unlucky to concede at the end but were second best to every set piece. 20. Japan Japan caused an upset, beating Colombia's 10-man team Credit: Getty Images Catapulted into a huge advantage with an early red card for Colombia's Carlos Sanchez and took it. Some excellent forward play and Shinji Kagawa was particularly impressive along with Takashi Inui. Can definitely get more out of this group. 19. Colombia Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red of the tournament Credit: AP Going down to 10 men wasn't a great start and it's hard to accurately evaluate Colombia. James Rodriguez not being fully fit was always going to make a difference but any team made to play 87 minutes without one of their key players is going to struggle. As it was, Colombia did pretty well and were close to getting a draw. 18. Denmark Denmark did well to get past a creative Peru side Credit: AFP Nothing special but put in a disciplined display and got the job done. Had to run a lot to deal with an effervescent Peru and Christian Eriksen was by far their main threat. If he can be marked out the game there's not much creativity in the side. 17. Australia Australia were unlucky to not at least get a point from their tie against France Credit: Getty Images Deserved a point against France. Kept the ball, played out from the back and created chances to score from open play but particularly at set-pieces, which is where their real threat comes from. Entirely capable of getting results against Peru and Denmark. 16. Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic (left) was strong upfront for Serbia Credit: Getty Images Strong defensively and, in Aleksandar Mitrovic, up front too. The striker got himself into several goalscoring positions thanks to balance and power but his finishing let the side down. Had he found the target, Serbia would have won by more than the one goal that beat Costa Rica. Can create chances from a variety of places and defended well, despite the ageing Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivanovic being targeted at full-back. 15. Senegal Credit: REUTERS Organised, calm in possession and rapid on the counter-attack, Senegal were great against Poland and deserved their win. On paper they have everything to go far and on the pitch they look a dangerous outfit, creating heaps of chances, easily burning past defenders on the wing and shutting down Poland attacks early. 14. Uruguay Luis Suarez under-performed against Egypt Credit: Reuters Lacked width against Egypt and Luis Suarez was dreadful buuuuuuut got the job done and looked strong defensively. If Suarez can sort his form out and the manager can figure a way to better create chances, the excellent defence will provide the basis of a team who can go far in this tournament. 13. Iceland Iceland contained Lionel Messi well enough to take a point in their first tie of the tournament Credit: Reuters Really well drilled, entirely happy sitting in a low block and frustrating their opponents but knew when to move into attacking positions themselves, transitioning well on turnovers in possession. Made Lionel Messi look pretty ordinary. 12. Argentina Messi's Argentina looked far from where they need to be to be real contenders in Russia Credit: Getty Images Don't seem to know quite what sort of team they should be, or even what the best lineup is. The only certainty is that they are entirely reliant on Messi. Everything went through him or to him, to the point it was probably detrimental to the team. Nobody else seemed able to scare Iceland and they ran out of ideas quickly. Still though. Messi. You know. 11. Germany The world champions got a shock to the system as Mexico beat them 1-0 in their first match of the group stage Credit: AFP Took a suicidal tactical approach, looked disjointed and got the very worst out of Mesut Ozil. This performance was like Arsenal in their usual mid-season slip-up and there is absolutely no way that Joachim Low can allow another one like it if Germany want to stay in the World Cup, let alone win it. That said, some of the attacking play was excellent and in theory the tactical plan made sense. Mexico were just too good. 10. Croatia Luka Modric was unsurprisingly a big influence in the midfield for Croatia Credit: AP Hard to evaluate after being afforded something close to a training game against Nigeria but the defence works well as a unit, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic completely ran the midfield and when able to attack in their 4-2-4 shape, created heaps of chances. 9. Russia Russia opened the tournament with a bang in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia Credit: Getty Images Perhaps the biggest surprise at all so far in this tournament, Sat coiled like a spring against Saudi Arabia but even a slinky would have caused damage. Quick counter-attacks and a a wave of momentum was enough to mark Russia's arrival at their own World Cup. Rode that wave into an impressive win against Egypt, powering away from their opponents after being gifted the lead through an own goal. Tougher tests await, but who knows how far their own support can carry them? 8. France France got the result they wanted, but will need to do better against stronger teams in the draw Credit: Getty Images A talented bunch of players rather than a team at the moment and Didier Deschamps seems to approach things far too cautiously. Didn't get it right against Australia, who deserved more than the zero points they won. A change of approach going forward should/could make France much more entertaining - and better. 7. Belgium Belgium's 'Golden Generation' were lacklustre in their tournament opener Credit: Getty Images Disjointed, struggled to build play and far too static off the ball for much of the first half but looked a menace after switching to a more conventional 4-2-3-1 shape in the second half. They scored their third almost immediately after that change. The quality of player they have to select from means they'll cause anyone problems but the performance against Panama was stupidly reminiscent of old Golden Generation England teams. So much promise, so little delivery. 6. Switzerland Switzerland caused more problems for Brazil than most anticipated they would Credit: Getty Images Came into the tournament underrated but don't look like they'll leave that way. Handled Brazil's attacking threat with dogged, disciplined defending and some great organisation then focused their attacks down the left. Xherdan Shaqiri continues to frustrate but there's a good average skill level of player in the team. 5. England Gareth Southgate's (left) plans are still on track thanks to Harry Kane's 91st minute winner Credit: AP Refreshingly calm and composed, a system that suits the players and a team which entertained while grinding out a 2-1 win. Harry Kane is an exceptional talent and while there are clear flaws in Gareth Southgate's team, they were genuinely impressive and fun to watch. It doesn't even feel right to type that. Also, if you feel like this might be classic 'getting ahead of themselves' media patriotism, please bare in mind that this writer is Scottish. 4. Brazil Neymar's Brazil will be looking to improve on their draw in the next round of the group stage Credit: Barcroft Images A little more subdued than we might have expected but some of the passing moves were wonderful to watch. Dropped deep immediately after scoring rather than going for the kill and may have suffered for it 3. Mexico Celebrations in Mexico over their national team's victory against Germany set off earthquake sensors Credit: AFP Absolutely fantastic to watch. Mexico got their gameplan spot on and were electric from kick-off, opting for a brave tactic that pushed three forwards high up the pitch to prey on Germany's vulnerability to counter-attacks. The speed of attack, skill on the ball and the impressive way Mexico dealt with Germany's own attacks will leave the rest of Group E fearful. Will that harm their chances of counter-attacking? Very probably. It will be interesting to see how they can adapt their game to more cautious opponents. 2. Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick snatched Portugal a point against Spain Credit: Getty Images Team Ronaldo were expected to defend in numbers, frustrate and rely on counter-attacks and set pieces for goals. Then they went and put three past Spain. They showed a different side to their game, an ability to mix things up and in Ronaldo, that they have the best player in the entire tournament. 1. Spain Spain's less than ideal start to the tournament, with the sacking of their manager, was matched by their draw against Portugal - where Diego Costa netted two of their three goals Credit: Getty Images It felt like a defeat in the end but it's important to remember what really happened. A penalty, a goalkeeper error and an incredible free-kick were what forced Spain into a draw but for the most part, they produced some stunning football and will improve now the opening match jitters are done with. Diego Costa finally looks like he suits the team while Isco, David Silva and Iniesta controlled the midfield. Maybe the manager isn't that important after all. World Cup whatsapp promo
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
Cara a cara: Francia vs Perú
La albiceleste se juega su pase a octavos
Argentina vs Croacia
La albiceleste se juega su pase a octavos
La albiceleste se juega su pase a octavos
Argentina vs Croacia
La albiceleste se juega su pase a octavos
La albiceleste se juega su pase a octavos
Argentina vs Croacia
La albiceleste se juega su pase a octavos
Philippe Coutinho believes shooting from distance is a strength of the Brazil squad.
Long range shooting a weapon for Brazil - Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho believes shooting from distance is a strength of the Brazil squad.
Philippe Coutinho believes shooting from distance is a strength of the Brazil squad.
Long range shooting a weapon for Brazil - Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho believes shooting from distance is a strength of the Brazil squad.
Philippe Coutinho believes shooting from distance is a strength of the Brazil squad.
Long range shooting a weapon for Brazil - Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho believes shooting from distance is a strength of the Brazil squad.
What is it? Denmark are looking for a second Group C stage win in the 2018 World Cup, which would almost certainly see them go through to the last 16. Australia narrowly lost to France and will be tough opponents. When is it? Thursday June 21. What time is kick-off? 1pm BST What TV channel is it on? ITV or ITV HD. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? Samara Arena, Samara World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Denmark probable XI: Schmeichel, Larsen, Christensen, Kjaer, Dalsgaard, Schone, Delaney, Sisto Eriksen, Poulsen, Jorgensen. Australia probable XI: Ryan, Risdon, Sainsbury, Milligan, Behich, Leckie, Mooy, Jedinak, Kruse, Rogic, Juric. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more What's the latest news on the two teams? Denmark will be without midfielder William Kvist after he fractured two ribs against Peru. He had to be stretchered off in the game, and looks set to miss the rest of the World Cup. Lasse Schone could take his place. Jonas Knudsen, the Ipswich defender, flew back to Denmark to welcome the birth of his baby daughter after Saturday's game, but returned to Russia on Tuesday and is also in contention to play. Australia could turn to veteran Tim Cahill, the only player without a club at this World Cup, in what is a must-win game for the Socceroos. They need a win to have a realistic chance of making it through the group stages. What are the odds? Denmark 10/11 Australia 5/2 Draw 3/1 What's our prediction? If Denmark can win here, they will have one foot in the last sixteen, which would be a fantastic result in a competitive group. Christian Eriksen will be key in midfield once again, but Kasper Schmeichel has been the real star of the team in their recent games. The keeper has kept a clean sheet for the Danes in each of his last five matches, last conceding a goal 534 minutes ago, against the Republic of Ireland. Australia have lost their last four World Cup games and lost seven of nine World Cup games against European opposition. Denmark 2 Australia 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Denmark vs Australia: What time is kick-off tomorrow, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? Denmark are looking for a second Group C stage win in the 2018 World Cup, which would almost certainly see them go through to the last 16. Australia narrowly lost to France and will be tough opponents. When is it? Thursday June 21. What time is kick-off? 1pm BST What TV channel is it on? ITV or ITV HD. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? Samara Arena, Samara World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Denmark probable XI: Schmeichel, Larsen, Christensen, Kjaer, Dalsgaard, Schone, Delaney, Sisto Eriksen, Poulsen, Jorgensen. Australia probable XI: Ryan, Risdon, Sainsbury, Milligan, Behich, Leckie, Mooy, Jedinak, Kruse, Rogic, Juric. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more What's the latest news on the two teams? Denmark will be without midfielder William Kvist after he fractured two ribs against Peru. He had to be stretchered off in the game, and looks set to miss the rest of the World Cup. Lasse Schone could take his place. Jonas Knudsen, the Ipswich defender, flew back to Denmark to welcome the birth of his baby daughter after Saturday's game, but returned to Russia on Tuesday and is also in contention to play. Australia could turn to veteran Tim Cahill, the only player without a club at this World Cup, in what is a must-win game for the Socceroos. They need a win to have a realistic chance of making it through the group stages. What are the odds? Denmark 10/11 Australia 5/2 Draw 3/1 What's our prediction? If Denmark can win here, they will have one foot in the last sixteen, which would be a fantastic result in a competitive group. Christian Eriksen will be key in midfield once again, but Kasper Schmeichel has been the real star of the team in their recent games. The keeper has kept a clean sheet for the Danes in each of his last five matches, last conceding a goal 534 minutes ago, against the Republic of Ireland. Australia have lost their last four World Cup games and lost seven of nine World Cup games against European opposition. Denmark 2 Australia 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Disgraced Sepp Blatter defies FIFA ban to attend World Cup as guest of Vladimir Putin
Disgraced Sepp Blatter defies FIFA ban to attend World Cup as guest of Vladimir Putin
Disgraced Sepp Blatter defies FIFA ban to attend World Cup as guest of Vladimir Putin
Disgraced Sepp Blatter defies FIFA ban to attend World Cup as guest of Vladimir Putin
Disgraced Sepp Blatter defies FIFA ban to attend World Cup as guest of Vladimir Putin
Disgraced Sepp Blatter defies FIFA ban to attend World Cup as guest of Vladimir Putin
The mid-engined V12 supercar with gullwing doors took the shape of a road-going Group C machine with active aerodynamics.
1991 Mercedes C 112: Concept We Forgot
The mid-engined V12 supercar with gullwing doors took the shape of a road-going Group C machine with active aerodynamics.
The mid-engined V12 supercar with gullwing doors took the shape of a road-going Group C machine with active aerodynamics.
1991 Mercedes C 112: Concept We Forgot
The mid-engined V12 supercar with gullwing doors took the shape of a road-going Group C machine with active aerodynamics.
The mid-engined V12 supercar with gullwing doors took the shape of a road-going Group C machine with active aerodynamics.
1991 Mercedes C 112: Concept We Forgot
The mid-engined V12 supercar with gullwing doors took the shape of a road-going Group C machine with active aerodynamics.
The mid-engined V12 supercar with gullwing doors took the shape of a road-going Group C machine with active aerodynamics.
1991 Mercedes C 112: Concept We Forgot
The mid-engined V12 supercar with gullwing doors took the shape of a road-going Group C machine with active aerodynamics.
En la imagen, el seleccionador de Irán, Carlos Queiroz, durante una conferencia deprensa en el Kazan Arena, en Kazan, Rusia el 19 de junio de 2018. REUTERS/John Sibley
La España de Hierro necesita traspasar el muro del Irán de Queiroz
En la imagen, el seleccionador de Irán, Carlos Queiroz, durante una conferencia deprensa en el Kazan Arena, en Kazan, Rusia el 19 de junio de 2018. REUTERS/John Sibley
Bruce Arena coached Steven Gerrard at LA Galaxy and thinks the former Liverpool midfielder has what it takes to succeed as a senior manager.
Gerrard can become a strong manager - Arena
Bruce Arena coached Steven Gerrard at LA Galaxy and thinks the former Liverpool midfielder has what it takes to succeed as a senior manager.
En la imagen, el jugador egipcio Mohamed Salah tras el partido ante Rusia en San Petersburgo, el 19 de junio de 2018. REUTERS/Lee Smith
Egipto paga un precio alto por los errores y la ausencia del "factor" Salah
En la imagen, el jugador egipcio Mohamed Salah tras el partido ante Rusia en San Petersburgo, el 19 de junio de 2018. REUTERS/Lee Smith
Daniel Norcross and Adam Collins mull over England's latest crushing ODI defeat of their oldest enemies after posting 481 runs off 50 overs
Summer of cricket: England's world record demolition of Australia
Daniel Norcross and Adam Collins mull over England's latest crushing ODI defeat of their oldest enemies after posting 481 runs off 50 overs
Daniel Norcross and Adam Collins mull over England's latest crushing ODI defeat of their oldest enemies after posting 481 runs off 50 overs
Summer of cricket: England's world record demolition of Australia
Daniel Norcross and Adam Collins mull over England's latest crushing ODI defeat of their oldest enemies after posting 481 runs off 50 overs
Daniel Norcross and Adam Collins mull over England's latest crushing ODI defeat of their oldest enemies after posting 481 runs off 50 overs
Summer of cricket: England's world record demolition of Australia
Daniel Norcross and Adam Collins mull over England's latest crushing ODI defeat of their oldest enemies after posting 481 runs off 50 overs
Daniel Norcross and Adam Collins mull over England's latest crushing ODI defeat of their oldest enemies after posting 481 runs off 50 overs
Summer of cricket: England's world record demolition of Australia
Daniel Norcross and Adam Collins mull over England's latest crushing ODI defeat of their oldest enemies after posting 481 runs off 50 overs
Senegal players go to celebrate with Mbaye Niang after he got what proved to be their winner against Poland (AFP Photo/Alexander NEMENOV)
Senegal players go to celebrate with Mbaye Niang after he got what proved to be their winner against Poland
Senegal players go to celebrate with Mbaye Niang after he got what proved to be their winner against Poland (AFP Photo/Alexander NEMENOV)
Mohamed Salah (L) and Egypt endured a difficult night against Russia and are already staring at the World Cup exit door (AFP Photo/Giuseppe CACACE)
Mohamed Salah (L) and Egypt endured a difficult night against Russia and are already staring at the World Cup exit door
Mohamed Salah (L) and Egypt endured a difficult night against Russia and are already staring at the World Cup exit door (AFP Photo/Giuseppe CACACE)
Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen comes off against England, his World Cup already over (AFP Photo/Mark RALSTON)
Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen comes off against England, his World Cup already over
Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen comes off against England, his World Cup already over (AFP Photo/Mark RALSTON)
Nigeria's teenage goalkeeper Francis Uzoho comes to claim the ball during his side's defeat at the hands of Croatia (AFP Photo/Attila KISBENEDEK)
Nigeria's teenage goalkeeper Francis Uzoho comes to claim the ball during his side's defeat at the hands of Croatia
Nigeria's teenage goalkeeper Francis Uzoho comes to claim the ball during his side's defeat at the hands of Croatia (AFP Photo/Attila KISBENEDEK)
Arsenal could be closing in on a €30million deal for Sampdoria's Lucas Torreira, with Massimo Ferrero announcing he "has left".
Arsenal target Torreira has left for €30m, says Sampdoria chief
Arsenal could be closing in on a €30million deal for Sampdoria's Lucas Torreira, with Massimo Ferrero announcing he "has left".
The Spanish striker is one of four modern stars whose journeys are being celebrated by BOSS Parfums...
BOSS Parfums Man Of Today: Alvaro Morata
The Spanish striker is one of four modern stars whose journeys are being celebrated by BOSS Parfums...
The Spanish striker is one of four modern stars whose journeys are being celebrated by BOSS Parfums...
BOSS Parfums Man Of Today: Alvaro Morata
The Spanish striker is one of four modern stars whose journeys are being celebrated by BOSS Parfums...
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, right, plays the ball with teammates during Portugal's official training on the eve of the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup, in Kratovo, outskirts Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Ronaldo and Portugal look to knock Morocco out of World Cup
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, right, plays the ball with teammates during Portugal's official training on the eve of the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup, in Kratovo, outskirts Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Poland's and Morocco's soccer fans hug each other as they pose for a photo in Red Square ahead of the group H match between Poland and Senegal during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Ronaldo and Portugal look to knock Morocco out of World Cup
Poland's and Morocco's soccer fans hug each other as they pose for a photo in Red Square ahead of the group H match between Poland and Senegal during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Iran's Sardar Azmoun, bottom, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, middle, and Ramin Rezaeian, top, celebrate their team's victory after the group B match between Morocco and Iran at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Ronaldo and Portugal look to knock Morocco out of World Cup
Iran's Sardar Azmoun, bottom, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, middle, and Ramin Rezaeian, top, celebrate their team's victory after the group B match between Morocco and Iran at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
In this June 14, 2018 photo soccer fans ride in the metro near the Luzhniki stadium before the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Ronaldo and Portugal look to knock Morocco out of World Cup
In this June 14, 2018 photo soccer fans ride in the metro near the Luzhniki stadium before the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Spain's Diego Costa leaps to head the ball during the group B match between Portugal and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Ronaldo and Portugal look to knock Morocco out of World Cup
Spain's Diego Costa leaps to head the ball during the group B match between Portugal and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Uruguay's Luis Suarez, left, challenges for the ball with Egypt's Sam Morsy during the group A match between Egypt and Uruguay at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Ronaldo and Portugal look to knock Morocco out of World Cup
Uruguay's Luis Suarez, left, challenges for the ball with Egypt's Sam Morsy during the group A match between Egypt and Uruguay at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
En la imagen, el seleccionador de Irán Carlos Queiroz junto a Masoud Shojaei en una rueda de prensa, el 19 de junio de 2018. REUTERS/John Sibley
Irán recurrirá al espíritu de lucha para contener a la poderosa España
En la imagen, el seleccionador de Irán Carlos Queiroz junto a Masoud Shojaei en una rueda de prensa, el 19 de junio de 2018. REUTERS/John Sibley
Marat Gurjan, a 15-year-old lifeguard, poses for a picture showing his phone with a note in Russian and English on Google Translate in Samara, Russia, Tuesday June 19, 2018. Google Translate has been key to leap over the language barrier at the World Cup in Russia. Fans have also used the mobile app to order food, change money and meet new people, especially in cities like Samara, where few people speak anything but Russian. (AP photo/ Luis Andres Henao)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
Marat Gurjan, a 15-year-old lifeguard, poses for a picture showing his phone with a note in Russian and English on Google Translate in Samara, Russia, Tuesday June 19, 2018. Google Translate has been key to leap over the language barrier at the World Cup in Russia. Fans have also used the mobile app to order food, change money and meet new people, especially in cities like Samara, where few people speak anything but Russian. (AP photo/ Luis Andres Henao)
T-shirts depicting the former Soviet leader Josef Stalin are seen for sale at a tourist kiosk during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Volgograd, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. Tunisia will play against England on Monday, June 17, in the Volgograd Arena. The T-shirt, left, reads in Russian ''Thank you for the Victory'' and the right bottom ''I am fan of Russia.'' (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
T-shirts depicting the former Soviet leader Josef Stalin are seen for sale at a tourist kiosk during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Volgograd, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. Tunisia will play against England on Monday, June 17, in the Volgograd Arena. The T-shirt, left, reads in Russian ''Thank you for the Victory'' and the right bottom ''I am fan of Russia.'' (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
A soccer fan walks past two Russian police officers as they control an entrance ahead of the group F match between Germany and Mexico at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
A soccer fan walks past two Russian police officers as they control an entrance ahead of the group F match between Germany and Mexico at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In this June 14, 2018 photo a woman screams holding a small dog as fans celebrate after Russia scored the third goal during the opening match of the 2018 soccer World Cup, between Russia and Saudi Arabia, in the fan zone in Yekaterinburg, Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
In this June 14, 2018 photo a woman screams holding a small dog as fans celebrate after Russia scored the third goal during the opening match of the 2018 soccer World Cup, between Russia and Saudi Arabia, in the fan zone in Yekaterinburg, Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Russian soccer fans celebrate the national team victory after the group A match between Russia and Egypt during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, early Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
Russian soccer fans celebrate the national team victory after the group A match between Russia and Egypt during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, early Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In this June 14, 2018 photo a woman in Russian colors stands on an escalator of the Metro after Russia won the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
In this June 14, 2018 photo a woman in Russian colors stands on an escalator of the Metro after Russia won the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Russian soccer fans share a tender moment celebrating the national team victory after the group A match between Russia and Egypt during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, early Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
Russian soccer fans share a tender moment celebrating the national team victory after the group A match between Russia and Egypt during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, early Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Argentine fans pose for a photo next to the stature of Russian player Fedor Cherenkov ahead of the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
Argentine fans pose for a photo next to the stature of Russian player Fedor Cherenkov ahead of the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
In this Sunday, June 17, 2018 photo people watch the sunset over the river Wolga during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
In this Sunday, June 17, 2018 photo people watch the sunset over the river Wolga during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
In this June 15, 2018 photo a man carrying balloons walks on a bridge during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
In this June 15, 2018 photo a man carrying balloons walks on a bridge during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
A fan walks past a sign in Russian saying "Welcome to Russia" ahead of the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
A fan walks past a sign in Russian saying "Welcome to Russia" ahead of the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Soccer fans and tourists stroll around in Red Square with the Historical Museum, left, and the State Shop, GUM, right, in the background during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
Soccer fans and tourists stroll around in Red Square with the Historical Museum, left, and the State Shop, GUM, right, in the background during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In this June 15, 2018 photo a vendor sells balloons decorated with lights as a woman takes a photo, on a bridge in central Moscow, Russia, during the 2018 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
In this June 15, 2018 photo a vendor sells balloons decorated with lights as a woman takes a photo, on a bridge in central Moscow, Russia, during the 2018 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Mexico soccer fans join in with a Russian jazz band ahead of the group F match between Germany and Mexico at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
Mexico soccer fans join in with a Russian jazz band ahead of the group F match between Germany and Mexico at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In this June 16, 2018 photo people sit at a cafe in the Moscow GUM State Department store decorated with giant soccer's balls during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
In this June 16, 2018 photo people sit at a cafe in the Moscow GUM State Department store decorated with giant soccer's balls during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In this June 16, 2018 photo a couple embraces as they ride the escalator up to exit from the subway, during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
In this June 16, 2018 photo a couple embraces as they ride the escalator up to exit from the subway, during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
In this June 15, 2018 photo a boy plays in a ball near the Qolsharif Mosque, a day before the group C match between France and Australia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
In this June 15, 2018 photo a boy plays in a ball near the Qolsharif Mosque, a day before the group C match between France and Australia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
In this June 17, 2018 photo tourists visit the Motherland Calls monument as the portrait of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin is seen on the wall in front during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Volgograd, Russia. The monument commemorates the victims of the Battle of Stalingrad, in which the Red Army turned back Nazi Germany's army in Volgograd. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Smiling Russians? World Cup hosts defy glum, hostile image
In this June 17, 2018 photo tourists visit the Motherland Calls monument as the portrait of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin is seen on the wall in front during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Volgograd, Russia. The monument commemorates the victims of the Battle of Stalingrad, in which the Red Army turned back Nazi Germany's army in Volgograd. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2018. Nicolas Kicker of Argentina hits a shot against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2018. Nicolas Kicker of Argentina hits a shot against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. REUTERS/Edgar Su
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2018. Nicolas Kicker of Argentina hits a shot against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2018. Nicolas Kicker of Argentina hits a shot against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. REUTERS/Edgar Su
The agreement is currently subject to approval from the applicable regulatory authorities.
Audi And Hyundai Team Up To Work On Fuel Cell Tech
The agreement is currently subject to approval from the applicable regulatory authorities.
The agreement is currently subject to approval from the applicable regulatory authorities.
Audi And Hyundai Team Up To Work On Fuel Cell Tech
The agreement is currently subject to approval from the applicable regulatory authorities.
The agreement is currently subject to approval from the applicable regulatory authorities.
Audi And Hyundai Team Up To Work On Fuel Cell Tech
The agreement is currently subject to approval from the applicable regulatory authorities.
Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho has described Neymar as a 'brave' player who faces up to his opponents and is important to his team.
'Brave' Neymar important to Brazil - Coutinho
Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho has described Neymar as a 'brave' player who faces up to his opponents and is important to his team.
Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho has described Neymar as a 'brave' player who faces up to his opponents and is important to his team.
'Brave' Neymar important to Brazil - Coutinho
Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho has described Neymar as a 'brave' player who faces up to his opponents and is important to his team.
Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho has described Neymar as a 'brave' player who faces up to his opponents and is important to his team.
'Brave' Neymar important to Brazil - Coutinho
Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho has described Neymar as a 'brave' player who faces up to his opponents and is important to his team.
If everything goes as planned, Mohammed will join the growing list of Kenyan players in the Zambian league
Former Gor Mahia captain Musa Mohammed set to join Zambian club Nkana FC
If everything goes as planned, Mohammed will join the growing list of Kenyan players in the Zambian league
Although Perak could only muster a draw against Selangor, head coach Mehmet Durakovic has praised his charges' performance.
"It isn't over until the last game" - Durakovic upbeat despite Perak draw against Selangor
Although Perak could only muster a draw against Selangor, head coach Mehmet Durakovic has praised his charges' performance.
What is it? The second round of matches is underway as Argentina and Croatia - the two heavyweights of Group D - go head to head. Argentina desperately need three points after drawing with Iceland in their opening match. Croatia got up and running with a 2-0 win over Nigeria. When is it? Thursday, June 21. What time is kick-off? 7pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. Where is the game being played? The Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod. World Cup 2018 stadium: Nizhny Nogorod Stadium What is the team news? Stung by his failure to score a penalty and avert a disappointing draw against Iceland, the pressure is on Argentina's captain and talisman, Lionel Messi, to make amends against Croatia. Having led Argentina to an agonising World Cup final defeat to Germany four years ago, Messi turns 31 in a few days and may be playing his last World Cup. He needs to win it to rival fellow great Diego Maradona. Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has unashamedly turned to midfielder Ivan Rakitic - a team mate of Messi's at Barcelona - for tactics to stop him. For reasons hard to fathom, Argentina have looked ponderous and lacking in creative thrust throughout coach Jorge Sampaoli's year in charge despite boasting Messi and other big names like Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria. Sampaoli hasn't used the same line-up twice in the 12 games he's been in charge and he'll probably juggle again, this time starting with 22-year-old Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon up front with Messi. Pavon is quick, can play on the right or left and is likely to replace Di Maria. Croatia themselves are not short on top-quality players. As well as Rakitic, they also have the talented Luka Modric in midfield and towering hitman Mario Madzukic up front. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more The squads in full: Argentina Sergio Romero, Willy Caballero, Franco Armania, Gabriel Mercardo, Cristian Ansaldi, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Acuna, Javier Mascherano, Eduardo Salvio, Lucas Biglia, Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega, Manuel Lanzini, Maximiliano Meza, Angel Di Maria, Cristian Pavon, Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero. ----- Croatia Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb) Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg) Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka) Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt) What's the latest news on the two teams? As mentioned earlier, Messi's 31st birthday this weekend is an ominous reminder Russia may be his last World Cup and final chance to emulate fellow Argentine great Maradona in lifting the ultimate prize. The diminutive Argentine captain, known as "La Pulga" (The Flea), has won every club accolade imaginable with Barcelona, but has agonisingly missed out on international trophies both at the World Cup and Copa America. For many Argentines that means that while he may currently be the world's best player, Messi has not entered the same pantheon as Maradona, "El Pibe" (The Kid), who won the 1986 World Cup. With Argentina looking dysfunctional and under-performing throughout the qualifiers, Messi's dream of matching Maradona in Russia always looked a tall order. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game But it became harder in the 64th minute of Argentina's opener when his tame penalty was saved by Iceland's goalkeeper - watched inevitably by Maradona who had lapped up adoring cries of "Dieeeeego!" beforehand. Though Maradona, 57, consoled Messi that even he too once missed five consecutive penalties and the 1-1 draw with Iceland was a collective failure, the signs are bad. "Look, I love Messi, we all do. But it's just not working out for him internationally," said Guillermo Aguirre, strolling round Nizhny Novgorod as Argentine fans begin to arrive for Thursday's game. "I want to see him lift the cup so the Maradona debate can be ended because it's not fair on him. But if I'm realistic, Brazil was the best opportunity." How the big-name strikers performed in their opening games What are the odds? Argentina win - EVENS Draw - 9/4 Croatia win - 3/1 What's our prediction? This is going to be so tight and could go either way. Both teams have quality, but Croatia are more of a team, Argentina too reliant on one man - Messi. If Argentina are to prevail it will be thanks to a moment of brilliance from Messi or Aguero or Dybala. Croatia, though, are too organised to give them that many openings. Prediction: Argentina 1 Croatia 1. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Croatia: What time is kick-off tomorrow, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? The second round of matches is underway as Argentina and Croatia - the two heavyweights of Group D - go head to head. Argentina desperately need three points after drawing with Iceland in their opening match. Croatia got up and running with a 2-0 win over Nigeria. When is it? Thursday, June 21. What time is kick-off? 7pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. Where is the game being played? The Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod. World Cup 2018 stadium: Nizhny Nogorod Stadium What is the team news? Stung by his failure to score a penalty and avert a disappointing draw against Iceland, the pressure is on Argentina's captain and talisman, Lionel Messi, to make amends against Croatia. Having led Argentina to an agonising World Cup final defeat to Germany four years ago, Messi turns 31 in a few days and may be playing his last World Cup. He needs to win it to rival fellow great Diego Maradona. Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has unashamedly turned to midfielder Ivan Rakitic - a team mate of Messi's at Barcelona - for tactics to stop him. For reasons hard to fathom, Argentina have looked ponderous and lacking in creative thrust throughout coach Jorge Sampaoli's year in charge despite boasting Messi and other big names like Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria. Sampaoli hasn't used the same line-up twice in the 12 games he's been in charge and he'll probably juggle again, this time starting with 22-year-old Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon up front with Messi. Pavon is quick, can play on the right or left and is likely to replace Di Maria. Croatia themselves are not short on top-quality players. As well as Rakitic, they also have the talented Luka Modric in midfield and towering hitman Mario Madzukic up front. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more The squads in full: Argentina Sergio Romero, Willy Caballero, Franco Armania, Gabriel Mercardo, Cristian Ansaldi, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Acuna, Javier Mascherano, Eduardo Salvio, Lucas Biglia, Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega, Manuel Lanzini, Maximiliano Meza, Angel Di Maria, Cristian Pavon, Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero. ----- Croatia Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb) Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg) Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka) Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt) What's the latest news on the two teams? As mentioned earlier, Messi's 31st birthday this weekend is an ominous reminder Russia may be his last World Cup and final chance to emulate fellow Argentine great Maradona in lifting the ultimate prize. The diminutive Argentine captain, known as "La Pulga" (The Flea), has won every club accolade imaginable with Barcelona, but has agonisingly missed out on international trophies both at the World Cup and Copa America. For many Argentines that means that while he may currently be the world's best player, Messi has not entered the same pantheon as Maradona, "El Pibe" (The Kid), who won the 1986 World Cup. With Argentina looking dysfunctional and under-performing throughout the qualifiers, Messi's dream of matching Maradona in Russia always looked a tall order. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game But it became harder in the 64th minute of Argentina's opener when his tame penalty was saved by Iceland's goalkeeper - watched inevitably by Maradona who had lapped up adoring cries of "Dieeeeego!" beforehand. Though Maradona, 57, consoled Messi that even he too once missed five consecutive penalties and the 1-1 draw with Iceland was a collective failure, the signs are bad. "Look, I love Messi, we all do. But it's just not working out for him internationally," said Guillermo Aguirre, strolling round Nizhny Novgorod as Argentine fans begin to arrive for Thursday's game. "I want to see him lift the cup so the Maradona debate can be ended because it's not fair on him. But if I'm realistic, Brazil was the best opportunity." How the big-name strikers performed in their opening games What are the odds? Argentina win - EVENS Draw - 9/4 Croatia win - 3/1 What's our prediction? This is going to be so tight and could go either way. Both teams have quality, but Croatia are more of a team, Argentina too reliant on one man - Messi. If Argentina are to prevail it will be thanks to a moment of brilliance from Messi or Aguero or Dybala. Croatia, though, are too organised to give them that many openings. Prediction: Argentina 1 Croatia 1. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Andy Murray is not ruling anything out when asked if he will play in his home grand slam at Wimbledon.
Murray unsure over Wimbledon participation
Andy Murray is not ruling anything out when asked if he will play in his home grand slam at Wimbledon.
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
Cómo ver Portugal vs. Marruecos en vivo y online: streaming y TV
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
Cómo ver Portugal vs. Marruecos en vivo y online: streaming y TV
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
Cómo ver Portugal vs. Marruecos en vivo y online: streaming y TV
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
Cómo ver Portugal vs. Marruecos en vivo y online: streaming y TV
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
Cómo ver Portugal vs. Marruecos en vivo y online: streaming y TV
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
Cómo ver Portugal vs. Marruecos en vivo y online: streaming y TV
La Selección liderada por Cristiano Ronaldo buscará una victoria para intentar asegurarse el pase a la siguiente ronda del Mundial.
Australia's Mile Jedinak, center, speaks with his teammates after the group C match between France and Australia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
World Cup games to air on free TV amid problems in Australia
Australia's Mile Jedinak, center, speaks with his teammates after the group C match between France and Australia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
What Senegal and Japan fans did after their World Cup wins was just incredible
What Senegal and Japan fans did after their World Cup wins was just incredible
What Senegal and Japan fans did after their World Cup wins was just incredible
What Senegal and Japan fans did after their World Cup wins was just incredible
What Senegal and Japan fans did after their World Cup wins was just incredible
What Senegal and Japan fans did after their World Cup wins was just incredible
<p>俄羅斯球迷揮舞國旗加油。(TSNA/法新社/GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

俄羅斯球迷揮舞國旗加油。(TSNA/法新社/GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP)

<p>俄羅斯後衛Ilja Kutepov(圖左)與埃及前鋒Marwan Mohsen於比賽中爭搶球。(TSNA/法新社/Giuseppe CACACE/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

俄羅斯後衛Ilja Kutepov(圖左)與埃及前鋒Marwan Mohsen於比賽中爭搶球。(TSNA/法新社/Giuseppe CACACE/AFP)

<p>俄羅斯後衛Ilja Kutepov做出倒掛金鉤動作。(TSNA/法新社/GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

俄羅斯後衛Ilja Kutepov做出倒掛金鉤動作。(TSNA/法新社/GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP)

<p>俄羅斯中場Denis Cheryshev踢進球隊第2分。(TSNA/法新社/GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

俄羅斯中場Denis Cheryshev踢進球隊第2分。(TSNA/法新社/GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP)

<p>埃及球迷在場邊歡呼。(TSNA/法新社/Paul ELLIS/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

埃及球迷在場邊歡呼。(TSNA/法新社/Paul ELLIS/AFP)

<p>俄羅斯前鋒Artem Dzyuba與埃及後衛 Ali Gabr(圖上)於比賽中爭搶球。(TSNA/法新社/Giuseppe CACACE/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

俄羅斯前鋒Artem Dzyuba與埃及後衛 Ali Gabr(圖上)於比賽中爭搶球。(TSNA/法新社/Giuseppe CACACE/AFP)

<p>埃及前鋒Mohamed Salah操刀12碼罰球得分。(TSNA/法新社/Paul ELLIS/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

埃及前鋒Mohamed Salah操刀12碼罰球得分。(TSNA/法新社/Paul ELLIS/AFP)

<p>埃及前鋒Mohamed Salah輸球後做出的反應。(TSNA/法新社/CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

埃及前鋒Mohamed Salah輸球後做出的反應。(TSNA/法新社/CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP)

<p>俄羅斯中場Roman Zobnin和羅斯前鋒Artem Dzyuba慶祝球隊取得1比0領先。(TSNA/法新社/GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

俄羅斯中場Roman Zobnin和羅斯前鋒Artem Dzyuba慶祝球隊取得1比0領先。(TSNA/法新社/GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP)

<p>俄羅斯前鋒Artem Dzyuba(圖中)踢進球隊第3分後,與隊友一同慶祝。(TSNA/法新社/Paul ELLIS/AFP) </p>
2018世界盃精彩照片(06/20)-俄羅斯氣勢高昂 擊退埃及豪取2連勝

俄羅斯前鋒Artem Dzyuba(圖中)踢進球隊第3分後,與隊友一同慶祝。(TSNA/法新社/Paul ELLIS/AFP)

Japanese fans celebrate the victory after the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Japanese fans celebrate the victory after the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo
Japanese fans celebrate the victory after the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato
A Japanese soccer fan reacts as she watches a broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event in Tokyo, Japan June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato
A Japanese soccer fan reacts as she watches a broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event in Tokyo
A Japanese soccer fan reacts as she watches a broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event in Tokyo, Japan June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan players and coaching staff celebrate with fans after the match REUTERS/Darren Staples
World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan players and coaching staff celebrate with fans after the match REUTERS/Darren Staples
Japanese soccer fans react as they watch a broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event in Tokyo, Japan June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Japanese soccer fans react as they watch a broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event in Tokyo
Japanese soccer fans react as they watch a broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event in Tokyo, Japan June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan's Shinji Kagawa scores their first goal from the penalty spot REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan's Shinji Kagawa scores their first goal from the penalty spot REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Japanese soccer fan reacts as she watches a broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event in Tokyo, Japan June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato
A Japanese soccer fan reacts as she watches a broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event in Tokyo
A Japanese soccer fan reacts as she watches a broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at a public viewing event in Tokyo, Japan June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan fans celebrate after the match REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff
World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan fans celebrate after the match REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff
Japanese descendants react during the second goal of Japan as they watch the broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match between Japan and Colombia at Liberdade, a Japanese neighborhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
Japanese descendants react during the second goal of Japan as they watch the broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match between Japan and Colombia at Liberdade, a Japanese neighborhood in Sao Paulo
Japanese descendants react during the second goal of Japan as they watch the broadcast of the World Cup Group H soccer match between Japan and Colombia at Liberdade, a Japanese neighborhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
Police officers try to control Japanese soccer fans who gathered at an intersection after they celebrate the victory after the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at Shibuya district in Tokyo, Japan, in this photo take by Kyodo from the glass wall of 'MAGNET by Shibuya 109', June 19, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
Police officers try to control Japanese soccer fans who gathered at an intersection after they celebrate the victory after the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at Shibuya district in Tokyo
Police officers try to control Japanese soccer fans who gathered at an intersection after they celebrate the victory after the World Cup Group H soccer match Colombia vs Japan, at Shibuya district in Tokyo, Japan, in this photo take by Kyodo from the glass wall of 'MAGNET by Shibuya 109', June 19, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2004, file photo Australian golfer Peter Thomson poses for a photo after an exhibition match at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney. Golf Australia says on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, the family of five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson has announced his death. He was 88. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)
Five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson dies aged 88
FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2004, file photo Australian golfer Peter Thomson poses for a photo after an exhibition match at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney. Golf Australia says on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, the family of five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson has announced his death. He was 88. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)
Russia's Denis Cheryshev has scored three goals at the World Cup (AFP Photo/GABRIEL BOUYS )
Russia's Denis Cheryshev has scored three goals at the World Cup
Russia's Denis Cheryshev has scored three goals at the World Cup (AFP Photo/GABRIEL BOUYS )
Russia's 3-1 victory against Egypt means they almost certain to reach the World Cup knockout stages (AFP Photo/Ozan KOSE)
Russia's 3-1 victory against Egypt means they almost certain to reach the World Cup knockout stages
Russia's 3-1 victory against Egypt means they almost certain to reach the World Cup knockout stages (AFP Photo/Ozan KOSE)
El lateral recibe el alta competitiva para debutar con España en un torneo grande después de las decepciones de 2014 y 2016. Un camino de espinas...
Carvajal: sin Cibeles pero, por fin, en un Mundial
El lateral recibe el alta competitiva para debutar con España en un torneo grande después de las decepciones de 2014 y 2016. Un camino de espinas...
El lateral recibe el alta competitiva para debutar con España en un torneo grande después de las decepciones de 2014 y 2016. Un camino de espinas...
Carvajal: sin Cibeles pero, por fin, en un Mundial
El lateral recibe el alta competitiva para debutar con España en un torneo grande después de las decepciones de 2014 y 2016. Un camino de espinas...
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan's Yuya Osako celebrates scoring their second goal with Yuto Nagatomo REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan's Yuya Osako celebrates scoring their second goal with Yuto Nagatomo REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan's Yuya Osako celebrates scoring their second goal with Yuto Nagatomo REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan's Yuya Osako celebrates scoring their second goal with Yuto Nagatomo REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan's Yuya Osako celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff
World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group H - Colombia vs Japan - Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Japan's Yuya Osako celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff
The two, who turned out for Thika United and Mathare United respectively have signed three year deals with Ingwe
Gilbert Selebwa: New signings will help AFC Leopards to challenge for title
The two, who turned out for Thika United and Mathare United respectively have signed three year deals with Ingwe
Condensed Game: ARI@LAA - 6/18/19
CG: ARI@LAA - 6/18/19
Condensed Game: ARI@LAA - 6/18/19
Condensed Game: ARI@LAA - 6/18/19
CG: ARI@LAA - 6/18/19
Condensed Game: ARI@LAA - 6/18/19
Condensed Game: ARI@LAA - 6/18/19
CG: ARI@LAA - 6/18/19
Condensed Game: ARI@LAA - 6/18/19
The Red Devils boss said their win over Panama was 'exactly what we wanted' but called for his side to be even better against Tunisia
Martinez demands improvement from Belgium despite 3-0 win
The Red Devils boss said their win over Panama was 'exactly what we wanted' but called for his side to be even better against Tunisia
The Soweto giants look set to beef up their technical team ahead of the new season
Andrew Sparkes to join Orlando Pirates from Swansea City
The Soweto giants look set to beef up their technical team ahead of the new season
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland - Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 16, 2018 Argentina's Lionel Messi looks dejected REUTERS/Carl Recine
World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland - Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 16, 2018 Argentina's Lionel Messi looks dejected REUTERS/Carl Recine
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland - Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 16, 2018 Argentina's Lionel Messi in action REUTERS/Carl Recine
World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland - Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 16, 2018 Argentina's Lionel Messi in action REUTERS/Carl Recine
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland - Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 16, 2018 Argentina's Lionel Messi in action REUTERS/Carl Recine
World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland - Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 16, 2018 Argentina's Lionel Messi in action REUTERS/Carl Recine
Condensed Game: MIA@SF - 6/19/18
CG: MIA@SF - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: MIA@SF - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: MIA@SF - 6/19/18
CG: MIA@SF - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: MIA@SF - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: MIA@SF - 6/19/18
CG: MIA@SF - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: MIA@SF - 6/19/18
Former Denmark international Michael Jakobsen said stopping Christian Eriksen was key for Australia
Denmark will 'struggle' if Australia stop Christian Eriksen, says Michael Jakobsen
Former Denmark international Michael Jakobsen said stopping Christian Eriksen was key for Australia
En la imagen, el jugador y el seleccionador de la selección española, Andrés Iniesta y Fernando Hierro, durante una rueda de prensa en Kazán, Rusia, el 19 de junio de 2018. REUTERS/John Sibley
Iniesta espera con ganas a Irán y da por zanjado el tema Lopetegui
En la imagen, el jugador y el seleccionador de la selección española, Andrés Iniesta y Fernando Hierro, durante una rueda de prensa en Kazán, Rusia, el 19 de junio de 2018. REUTERS/John Sibley
Rimac focuses on high-voltage battery technology, electric powertrains, and human-machine interfaces.
Porsche Takes 10 Percent Stake In Electric Supercar Company Rimac
Rimac focuses on high-voltage battery technology, electric powertrains, and human-machine interfaces.
Rimac focuses on high-voltage battery technology, electric powertrains, and human-machine interfaces.
Porsche Takes 10 Percent Stake In Electric Supercar Company Rimac
Rimac focuses on high-voltage battery technology, electric powertrains, and human-machine interfaces.
<p><a href="https://www.motor1.com/news/139042/rimac-concept-one-power-upgrade/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:With the Concept One, Rimac proved" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">With the Concept One, Rimac proved</a> it was able to build an electric hypercar with absolutely insane performance. At the Geneva Motor Show, the firm debuted the new <a href="https://www.motor1.com/news/235215/rimac-c2-ev-geneva-debut/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:C_Two with similarly incredible specs" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">C_Two with similarly incredible specs</a>. With a model on the road, we're more likely to believe the astounding claims for the latest vehicle.</p> <p>The C_Two allegedly has 1,888 horsepower and can reach 60 miles per hour in just 1.85 seconds. The impressive performance reportedly comes with a maximum driving range of 404 miles in the NEDC test.</p> <p>While the powertrain numbers are on the razor's edge of being unbelievable, the tech claims are where the C_Two really strain credibility. According to Rimac, the model features Level 4 autonomous driving ability, which means the vehicle can entirely pilot itself if necessary. </p> <p>Creating a fully self-driving vehicle is a project that the auto and technology industries are investing billions of dollars in. It's difficult to believe that a tiny company like Rimac somehow has a solution that much larger competitors don't.</p>
Porsche Takes 10 Percent Stake In Electric Supercar Company Rimac

With the Concept One, Rimac proved it was able to build an electric hypercar with absolutely insane performance. At the Geneva Motor Show, the firm debuted the new C_Two with similarly incredible specs. With a model on the road, we're more likely to believe the astounding claims for the latest vehicle.

The C_Two allegedly has 1,888 horsepower and can reach 60 miles per hour in just 1.85 seconds. The impressive performance reportedly comes with a maximum driving range of 404 miles in the NEDC test.

While the powertrain numbers are on the razor's edge of being unbelievable, the tech claims are where the C_Two really strain credibility. According to Rimac, the model features Level 4 autonomous driving ability, which means the vehicle can entirely pilot itself if necessary.

Creating a fully self-driving vehicle is a project that the auto and technology industries are investing billions of dollars in. It's difficult to believe that a tiny company like Rimac somehow has a solution that much larger competitors don't.

Rimac focuses on high-voltage battery technology, electric powertrains, and human-machine interfaces.
Porsche Takes 10 Percent Stake In Electric Supercar Company Rimac
Rimac focuses on high-voltage battery technology, electric powertrains, and human-machine interfaces.
He made a huge mistake against Portugal, but the 'world class' David de Gea must recover quickly against Iran, says Mark Bosnich.
De Gea has to bounce back from Ronaldo shocker - Bosnich
He made a huge mistake against Portugal, but the 'world class' David de Gea must recover quickly against Iran, says Mark Bosnich.
Condensed Game: OAK@SD - 6/19/18
CG: OAK@SD - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: OAK@SD - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: OAK@SD - 6/19/18
CG: OAK@SD - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: OAK@SD - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: OAK@SD - 6/19/18
CG: OAK@SD - 6/19/18
Condensed Game: OAK@SD - 6/19/18
Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt hits a two-run home run during the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Trout stays hot, Angels hold on for 5-4 win over Arizona
Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt hits a two-run home run during the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte, left, catches the throw to force out Los Angeles Angels' Martin Maldonado during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. Maldonado was originally called safe, but, after review, he was ruled out. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Trout stays hot, Angels hold on for 5-4 win over Arizona
Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte, left, catches the throw to force out Los Angeles Angels' Martin Maldonado during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. Maldonado was originally called safe, but, after review, he was ruled out. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout runs to first base after hitting a two-run single during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Trout stays hot, Angels hold on for 5-4 win over Arizona
Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout runs to first base after hitting a two-run single during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Matt Koch, right, looks at the ball after hitting Los Angeles Angels' Ian Kinsler with a pitch during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Trout stays hot, Angels hold on for 5-4 win over Arizona
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Matt Koch, right, looks at the ball after hitting Los Angeles Angels' Ian Kinsler with a pitch during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Matt Koch walks back to the mound as Los Angeles Angels' Kole Calhoun, background left, runs the bases after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Trout stays hot, Angels hold on for 5-4 win over Arizona
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Matt Koch walks back to the mound as Los Angeles Angels' Kole Calhoun, background left, runs the bases after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Roberto Martinez said Belgium's win over Panama was "exactly what we wanted" and called for more of the same against Tunisia.
Martinez not looking for perfection
Roberto Martinez said Belgium's win over Panama was "exactly what we wanted" and called for more of the same against Tunisia.
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow was unavailable Tuesday after hurting his back taking off his pants.
Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow was unavailable Tuesday after hurting his back taking off his pants.
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow was unavailable Tuesday after hurting his back taking off his pants.
Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow was unavailable Tuesday after hurting his back taking off his pants.
The Giants and Marlins got into a beanball war on Tuesday night, stemming from Hunter Strickland's meltdown on Monday.
Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war
The Giants and Marlins got into a beanball war on Tuesday night, stemming from Hunter Strickland's meltdown on Monday.
The Giants and Marlins got into a beanball war on Tuesday night, stemming from Hunter Strickland's meltdown on Monday.
Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war
The Giants and Marlins got into a beanball war on Tuesday night, stemming from Hunter Strickland's meltdown on Monday.
Colorado Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez (5) is congratulated by manager Bud Black after hitting a solo home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Rockies power up, snap home skid by beating Mets 10-8
Colorado Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez (5) is congratulated by manager Bud Black after hitting a solo home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story (27) celebrates a solo home run with Ian Desmond (20) during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Rockies power up, snap home skid by beating Mets 10-8
Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story (27) celebrates a solo home run with Ian Desmond (20) during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
New York Mets relief pitcher Jason Vargas reacts to giving up a two-run home run to Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Rockies power up, snap home skid by beating Mets 10-8
New York Mets relief pitcher Jason Vargas reacts to giving up a two-run home run to Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez throws against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Rockies power up, snap home skid by beating Mets 10-8
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez throws against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
New York Mets' Michael Conforto looks back as he heads to the dugout after striking out during the seventh inning of the team's baseball game, against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Rockies power up, snap home skid by beating Mets 10-8
New York Mets' Michael Conforto looks back as he heads to the dugout after striking out during the seventh inning of the team's baseball game, against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo (9) runs home to score on a Todd Frazier sacrifice fly during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Rockies power up, snap home skid by beating Mets 10-8
New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo (9) runs home to score on a Todd Frazier sacrifice fly during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
New York Mets relief pitcher Jason Vargas throws against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Rockies power up, snap home skid by beating Mets 10-8
New York Mets relief pitcher Jason Vargas throws against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
A few fans sit under umbrellas in the rain during a delayed baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the New York Mets, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Rockies power up, snap home skid by beating Mets 10-8
A few fans sit under umbrellas in the rain during a delayed baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the New York Mets, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to do everything in their power to retain LeBron James.
Rumor: Cavaliers could have trade interest in Kemba Walker
The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to do everything in their power to retain LeBron James.

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