As the World Cup moves on we get days filled with soccer matches! Matchday three had four matches in a quadruple-header for World soccer fans! Those four matches featured the countries playing in Group C and D! Our World Cup review looks back at the drama, passion, and results from match 1 of Group C and Group D!
Group C has one clear favorite and three teams to duke it out for second place in the group. France has a lot of people thinking of their historic 1998 winners. Their quality in the attacking buildup makes them a title contender. Denmark look to be the favorite for the second place finish in the group. However, Australia are a scrappy team that could take it from them. Peru rounds out the group, they will be playing with passion and pride qualifying for their first World Cup tournament in 36 years! All four will duke it out to make it to the knockout stage.
France: 2 Australia: 1
Game one of the quadruple-header that was matchday three featured a title favorite and a gritty underdog. France vs Australia was a fascinating fixture. The first half featured a lot of back and forth play. Each side was feeling out their nerves of starting the competition. France looked the better side, but the Socceroos would not let them get the opener in the first half!
As the second half started France won a penalty, awarded to them by VAR (Video Assistant Referee). Anoine Grizman stepped up and lasered the spot kick into the net, giving France the second half lead. Three minutes later Australia won a penalty. Australia’s captain Mile Jedinak stepped up and coolly slotted the chance home! As the game continued Paul Pogba became an annoyance for Australia. Late on he was in on goal, shielding off defender Aziz Behich Pogba and Behich both swung their feet at the ball. It deflected high in the air. The ball hit the bar, bounce over the goal-line and then back out. After goal line technology awarded the goal a good goal! The official stat gives the goal as an own goal for Behich. This ended Australia, as the game ended 2-1 in France’s favor.
Peru: 0 Denmark: 1
Peru made their first appearance in a World Cup since 1982 against Denmark. As the game began the pro-Peru crowd helped them get more comfortable. Denmark looked to get their star Christian Eriksen on the ball to dictate the flow of play. the pesky Peruvian’s would not allow it. Peru looked the better side in the first half, and in first half stoppage time earned a penalty! Christian Cueva stepped up to take the Penalty, and with all the pressure and glory on the line, he skied the shot putting it in the stands. Peru would roo that missed opportunity.
In the second half Denmark woke up. They outplayed Peru in the second half, and just 14 minutes into the second half Denmark were on the break with a numbers advantage. Eriksen drew two defenders his way, and slipped Yussuf Poulsen in the box. He took his time and slotted a shot to the near post past the onrushing Peruvian keeper! Denmark went on to win 1-0.
Here’s where everything stands in Group C. France and Denmark sit atop the group both getting a win! France will look to add to their points by playing better defense! Denmark will look to take down France when they play each other head-to-head. Australia and Peru sit at the bottom of the group. Australia will need to play at a higher level to get the points needed to get back into contention. Peru will need to be more disciplined and lethal in their attack if they want to compete for the knockout round!
After the first round of fixtures, #FRA and #DEN are currently sitting pretty in Group C. #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/q1Ivhn6gGg
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018
Argentina: 1 Iceland: 1
In what was the game of the day, Argentina and Superstar Messi went up against the smallest nation to ever play in the World Cup, Iceland. The game was a very open one. Argentina tried to dictate possession and play though Messi, but the giants of Iceland smothered the much shorter Messi.
Early in the first half Argentina found a great opportunity. Sergio Agüero found space inside the box to rocket a shot into the top left of Iceland’s net! 19 minutes in, Argentina looked to have a hold on the game. But their lead was short-lived. Iceland found an opportunity to counter Argentina just four minutes later the ball fell to Alfred Finnbogason in the box and he hammered home the chance. Iceland scored their first ever World Cup goal against Argentina. As the first half went on Iceland looked the better team. That would change in the second half.
In the second half Messi came alive. He was making dangerous runs in behind the Iceland defense. in the 64th minute Argentina won a penalty. Messi stepped up to take the penalty, and then something very un-Messi-like happened. He went forward and put a lethargic shot to the left, where Iceland’s keeper Hannes Halldorsson could easily palm it away. As the rest of the game went on Argentina looked to get the winner as Iceland sat back. No matter how hard Messi and his countryman tried to get the W, they were stopped by World Cup debutant Iceland. This one ended 1-1!
Croatia: 2 Nigeria: 0
The final match from a hectic day of matches was a showdown between Croatia and Nigeria. The game fit the mold of the day, a back and forth contest to start! As the game went on it was clear that Croatia was just barely a step above Nigeria. This was shown in the 32nd minute. A Croatian corner was sent into Nigeria’s box. A Croatian header was going wide, when it hit the foot of Nigerian Oghenekaro Etebo, and wound up in his own net. The second half only became worse for Nigeria.
Croatia showed they were a class above in the second half with multiple attacking sequences. Nigeria tried to break their pressure, but lacked the quality to keep the ball long enough to create counter attacking chances. To make matters worse for Nigeria, they gave up a penalty in the 71st minute. Defender William Troost-Ekong wrapped both his arms around Croatian attacker Mario Mandzukic drawing the penalty. Croatia’s Luka Modric stepped up, and put the penalty home dooming Nigeria to a loss. Croatia took this one 2-0.
Here’s where everything stands for Group D. The surprising Argentina-Iceland draw, paved the way for Croatia to get to the top of the group. Croatia will look to keep things going against the stronger teams in the group. Iceland are going to look for their first World Cup win as they move forward in the tournament. Argentina will have to shake off a draw that felt like a loss to superstar Messi to get better results to get out of the group. Nigeria will need to find their flair, and create more chances to get any kind of result that can keep them in this tournament!
And so, after the first round of games in Group D…
4) #NGA #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/GvulvQKvzB
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018
More action to come!
As the tournament roles on, we will continue our reviews! Come back tomorrow for a review of Groups E and F! Catch all the games on Fox or Telemundo! Replays of matches are also available on the FoxSportsGO App!
Check out these matches or replays today:
Costa Rica vs Serbia (Group E) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App
Germany vs Mexico (Group F) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App
Brazil vs Switzerland (Group E) -REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App.
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Mandatory Credit: Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports