What a great start the opening week of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, so many surprises, so many upsets and so many goals. In total 17 matches have been played and a sum of 38 goals have been scored. Some of the strongest teams entering into the completion have been surprised especially defending champions Germany. As the first week of games drew to a close everyone has been talking about the failure of some of the biggest teams who were unable to score wins.
Only two of the favourites thought to win the World Cup secured wins with Belgium and France both securing 3 points. Argentina, Brazil, Portugal and Spain all managed draws in their opening games securing a single point each. While the reigning champs Germany were stunned to go down 0-1 to Mexico. If Mexico continues to play as they did against Germany then they are the team to watch this World Cup.
The headline game of the week was Portugal VS Spain and it did not disappoint, while maybe the final score was a disappointment for diehard fans. The game ended in a 3-3 draw with Ronaldo booting in his first and the tournament’s first hat-trick.
Who is standing out at the moment?
It is still too early in the tournament to make calls on who is standing out above the rest but there are a few teams that have shown some grit in these early stages.
Every tournament they are labelled the “Dark Horses” and it seems the same will happen again, Belgium proved in their opening game they have what it takes to challenge the top four. Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku proved they were a formidable force in the front where their excellent passes and communication lead to an excellent attack. Add to the mix quality players like Eden Hazard, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Alex Witsel and you have a team that can make a serious impact. But, having a quality team on paper is one thing, we just hope Belgium has the communication skills to work cohesively on the field.
It’s difficult to select any other teams but we will make mention of England. The change of tactics with a fresh new young faced team has made a difference. Although, their win over Tunisia was not as convincing as Belgium’s their performance has potential. The win will boost the young squads’ confidence as they go into their next game against Panama.
Special mention: Mexico
Mexico set an example at the start of this tournament, they sent a message loud and clear to all the smaller teams that it can be done. They were the definite underdogs going into their match against Germany, Germany who is favourite to win the tournament, Germany who are the defending champions. The Mexican team played with skill and confidence, they controlled the game from the start and managed to make the German squad look like a bunch of newbies on the field. The star of the game was 22-year old Hirving Lozana who will be watched closely by opponents going forward.
The best so far
Ronaldo has proven yet again why he is one of the best players in the World. In Spain’s opening game Ronaldo scored all 3 goals for his side and securing the first hat-trick of the tournament. But is one player enough to carry Portugal through the tournament?