Day two comes to a close with two great games and one ugly one. Ronaldo managed to shine and carried his team to a tie they did not deserve, and Morocco slowly lost its swagger to fall at the last moment from an own goal they also did not deserve.
But how did FIFA do?
Gimenez gives Uruguay the lead in the 89th minute! pic.twitter.com/SlBmzx9TAX
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 15, 2018
Egypt VS Uruguay
The first match should be an easy win for Uruguay, a team with quality players, specially when it comes to scoring. Egypt, however, is a solid team that works very well together.
Egypt 1- Uruguay 0
Mohamed Salah (20′)
Egypt scored an early goal against a clearly superior opponent, and barely held them at bay as the clock ran out. Uruguay controlled the game, and had more than three times the shots on goal than Egypt did, but thanks to the heroic efforts of Essam El Hadary, Egypt’s goalie, some luck from a couple of shots that hit the post and went out, and a lack of precision and chances from Cavani and Suarez, they managed to pull through. It has to be said that the simulation did cast Uruguay as the far better team, but they just could not find the goals they desperately needed to best Egypt.
Egypt 0- Uruguay 1
Jose Gimenez (98′)
Urugay eked out a win from the corner on the 98th minute against an Egypt that was playing without Mohamed Salah. Make no mistake, Salah’s injury was a major blow for his team, and the Pharaos did feel his absence. While they defended well and at times had control of the game, they just lacked the creativity and clarity to capitalize from their advantage. Perhaps, had he played, the game would have turned out as predicted. As it is, Uruguay got a much deserved win. The margin could have been bigger, but Uruguay did waste a lot of chances.
Heartbreak for Morocco!
Bouhaddouz heads it into his own net in stoppage time to give Iran the lead. pic.twitter.com/7FA7Migvk5
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 15, 2018
Morocco VS Iran
A match between a side that is good at defending and counter attacking and one that likes to take charge and attack is often interesting, and in this case, also indicative of why many teams like to counter. Iran managed to counter attack the rival goal post allowing them to steal away a win from a superior team.
Morocco 0- Iran 1
Morocoo 0- Iran 1
Aziz Bouhaddouz (90+5′)(OG)
Morocco was by far the superior team at the top of the match. However, as the game advanced and it became more evident that they weren’t able to break through Iran’s defense, they became more frustrated, turning the game into an ugly, cynical parade of fouls. Despite this, they were still the superior team as Iran only managed a few counter attack shots during the whole game. It was by the cruelest turn that an own goal gave them a loss, and ironically launched Iran to the top of the table its group.
Portugal VS Spain
Definetly one of the highlights of the first round, this duel of two major rivals features Spain, a well rounded team, and Portugal, a team of lesser quality, but led to one of the best player to ever play the game.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2018
Portugal 2- Spain 1
Cristiano Ronaldo (12′)(44′)
Diego Costa (66′)
Would you be surprised if I told you that the man that graces the cover of the game is really, really good in the game? No? because in the simulation, he turned the Spanish defense inside out and upside down, as he scored two goals. However Spain is still a really good team, and its striker, Diego Costa came close to tying up the score in a few occasions.
Portugal 3- Spain 3
Cristiano Ronaldo (4′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (44′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (88′)
Diego Costa (24′)
Diego Costa (55′)
Fernandez Nacho (58′)
Spain was by far the better team in this match. And while Diego Costa had a great game, it is safe to say that FIFA did not overestimate how pivotal an enlightened Cristiano Ronaldo can be. While Portugal didn’t really have a solid game, or even much of the ball at, Ronaldo dragged them to a valuable tie in the toughest game of the group with a hat trick. But that’s only half of the story. The truth is he was greatly helped by David De Gea, the Spanish goalie. He couldn’t do much about the penalty, but the second goal was his fault, and he could have probably done better in the third.
Only one correct conclusion today, and in the whole tournamet. Let’s see if it does better in the following day!