Welcome to WTR’s discussion hub for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The full schedule and highlights are below. Myself and Jeffrey will be curating the comment section to start discussion threads for the games we’re watching. Click here to skip straight to the comments!
NB: We’ll be hiding comments more than three days old so you don’t have to scroll for ten years to find the recent ones.
Day 14 was absolutely nuts, just like most days in this World Cup it seems. Group F finished up first, and boy was it a hell of a set of matches. Sweden trounced Mexico 3-0, with three second half goals. It was all for naught for the Swedes, though, since South Korea saved Mexico by beating defending champions Germany 2-0. Kim Young-gwon broke the 0-0 deadlock in the 92nd minute, as a few deflections off a corner landed the ball right at his feet and he smashed it into the goal.
Then, four minutes later, with German keeper Manuel Neuer up the other end desperately trying to help his team score, a long ball found Son Heung-min, who finished to eliminate the Germans. It’s the first time since 1954 that Germany have finished outside the top eight.
The day ended with Group E’s finale. Switzerland drew 2-2 with Costa Rica, with late goals from both sides. Interestingly, this match also featured markers from two players with Canadian connections: former Montreal Impact midfielder Blerim Dzemaili scored Switzerland’s first goal, and Kendall Watson of the Vancouver Whitecaps scored Costa Rica’s equalizer.
Brazil also secured first place in Group E with a 2-0 win over Serbia, with goals from Paulinho and Thiago Silva.
The round of 16 is almost set, now, with just one matchday left in the group stage. Today we learned that Brazil will be playing Mexico, and Sweden against Switzerland.
Day 13 featured plenty of drama and a few close calls. We began with Group C’s final round of games, as France drew Denmark in a boring, safe 0-0 draw that served both team’s needs. Peru beat Australia 2-0, as the Australians — hoping for a win in their game and a Danish loss — fell short.
The more entertaining set of matches was later in the day. In Group D, Croatia topped Iceland 2-1 with a 90th-minute winner from Ivan Perisic that sealed first place for them. Argentina, who entered the day far less safe than the Croatians, pulled out a dramatic 2-1 victory. Lionel Messi finally scored himself a goal, and an excellent one at that:
That’s a hell of a pass from Ever Banega, and a wonderful first touch from Messi himself. Then, late in the match, Marcos Rojo won it for Argentina to win them a spot in the round of 16, and the country went crazy.
Day 12 was a wild one as Group A and Group B both had their final round of matches. This morning, both Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt and Uruguay vs. Russia kicked off at the same time. Neither Saudi Arabia nor Egypt had much to play for, but it was still an entertaining, dramatic game. Salem Al-Dawsari won it 2-1 for the Saudis in the 95th minute, giving his country a reason to be proud from this World Cup. Egypt will be going home disappointed after losing all three games.
Uruguay trounced Russia 3-0 to win Group A. Luis Suarez started things off in just the 10th minute with a powerful free kick that found the bottom corner of the goal, and the Uruguayans added an own goal by Denis Cheryshev and a 90th-minute marker from Edison Cavani.
Group B’s final matches were special. Portugal-Iran and Spain-Morocco were two simultaneous classics, as every team except Morocco held on to hope of advancing to the knockout stage. Both matches ended in draws, but there was no shortage of drama. Portugal secured second spot in the group with a 1-1 score, as Ricardo Quaresma scored a beautiful goal. Iran fought hard, though; they equalized on a penalty in stoppage time, and came oh so close to winning the game (and eliminating Portugal) just after. Their keeper Alireza Beiranvand produced a magical moment when he faced a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty:
The miss may have cost Portugal first place in the group, since Spain also got only one point. In their match, Morocco put up a hell of a fight in a very hard group. The African side led twice, including in the 81st minute when Youssef En-Nesyri scored an absolute cannon of a header. Spain got a reprieve in injury time, though, as Iago Aspas scored a goal that VAR ruled to be onside. With that, Spain won Group B, after all the drama in the late stages of both matches.
Our first round of 16 matchups are set: Uruguay vs. Portugal, and Spain vs. Russia.
Day 11 was awesome if you’re an England supporter like me. The Three Lions battered Panama 6-1, with Harry Kane bagging one of the easiest hat tricks he’ll ever score. Jesse Lingard also scored an absolute banger, as he is wont to do:
Fair play to Panama, though, as they scored their country’s first ever World Cup goal.
Japan and Senegal played to a 2-2 draw as Keisuke Honda’s 78th-minute equalizer made him the highest-scoring Asian player in World Cup history.
Finally, Colombia broke out of their shell against against a disappointing Polish side. Juan Cuadrado scored a very entertaining goal after James Rodriguez made an all-world pass. Just watch it.
Day 10 had some very memorable moments. Belgium started us off with a massive 5-2 win over Tunisia, with braces from Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard. South Korea then fell to Mexico 2-1, as Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez scored to lock up Mexico’s place in the round of 16.
Then, in a thriller of a match, Germany came from behind to beat Sweden 2-1, with Toni Kroos scoring an incredible free kick from the side of the box to win it late in stoppage time.
TONI KROOS! WHAT A FANTASTIC GOAL! pic.twitter.com/04tTKCJxxe— Old Days Football (@OldDaysFootball) June 23, 2018
Day 9 featured some highly emotional contests. Brazil defeated Costa Rica 2-0, although they didn’t score until the 91st minute. Neymar thought he’d won a penalty not long before, but a quick check of the VAR showed that the Brazilian forward had dived pretty embarrassingly.
Later, Nigeria took on Iceland, and the African nation triumphed 2-0 on the back of a brace from Leicester City’s Ahmed Musa. VAR went the other way in this one, as Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson was awarded a penalty, which he missed.
Finally, in quite a politically-charged contest, goals from Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri made the difference for Switzerland in their 2-1 win over Serbia.
Day 8 wrapped up with some more big names in action. Denmark and Australia started things off this morning with a fairly uneventful 1-1 draw, although the point is quite a good result for the Australians as Mile Jedinak drew them level from the spot.
France then took on Peru, locking up their spot in the round of 16 by beating Peru 1-0. Kylian Mbappé scored the winner by tapping in a deflected shot from Olivier Giroud, to cap off a play that began with an excellent interception by Paul Pogba
Then came the match everyone’s talking about. Argentina, after opening their tournament with a 1-1 draw to Iceland, were thoroughly dismantled in a 3-0 decision against Croatia. Although level at halftime, the Croatians came out fast in the second half. Ante Rebic struck first, poaching a flubbed kick by goalkeeper Willy Caballero and finishing with a smashing volley. It was a terrible mistake by the keeper, but an excellent final shot. Luka Modric scored the second goal, with a world class strike from the top of the box that absolutely blew past Caballero.
Ivan Rakitic put it away thoroughly in the 91st minute as Croatia jumped on yet another piece of sloppy goalkeeping from Caballero, who pushed an initial shot right onto the boot of Mateo Kovacic. With that, Croatia are through to the knockout stage, and Argentina will need Nigeria to get a result against Iceland tomorrow to keep their hopes alive.
Day 7 was full of defensive battles, with three 1-0 games. Portugal beat Morocco as Cristiano Ronaldo, who can’t stop scoring, smashed home a header off a corner. Uruguay defeated Saudi Arabia (rather unconvincingly), with Luis Suarez’s goal securing them a spot in the knockout round alongside Russia from Group A. Spain, finally, took home an ugly win as well, beating Iran as Diego Costa’s goal made the difference. Things are wide open in Group B, as any of Portugal, Spain, and Iran could still advance with one match left to play — at the moment, fair play is making the difference.
Day 6 didn’t really see any heavy tournament favourites in action, but we had a couple entertaining matches. First, Colombia and Japan got off to a wild start as Carlos Sanchez was sent off for a goal-blocking handball in the box, and Shinji Kagawa scored from the spot to make it 1-0.
Then. Senegal played Poland and Robert Lewandowski’s side fell to the Lions of Teranga as they picked up the first win at this World Cup by an African team. Finally, hosts Russia pulled off yet another win, this time beating Mo Salah’s Egypt 3-1 to pretty much secure themselves a spot in the knockout stage.
Day 5 was yet another fun one. The day began with a fairly uneventful contest between Sweden and South Korea; Andreas Granqvist gave the Swedes a 1-0 victory from the penalty spot. Then, we got Armando Cooper’s Panama (in their first-ever World Cup match) taking on arguable group favourites Belgium. Although the Panamanians held off their opponents for the first half, quality cannot be contained and the Belgians triumphed 3-0 with a wonderful goal from Dries Mertens, and two excellent finishes from Romelu Lukaku.
England then took the pitch against Tunisia. The Three Lions came out fast, with a slew of chances in the first 10 minutes, capped off by Harry Kane’s first goal. Tunisia leveled from the spot as Kyle Walker caught a Tunisian attacker with his elbow. Then, in the dying minutes of injury time, it was Harry Kane again as England scored off yet another corner.
A major storyline from Monday was VAR’s failure to catch either of these penalty shouts for England; apparently the referee was informed, but he refused to review either play.
Day 4 was full of upsets. First off, Serbia knocked off CONCACAF darlings Costa Rica as Aleksander Kolarov, owner of arguably the best left foot in the world, smashed a free kick past Los Ticos’ wall to score the 1-0 winner. Then, reigning champions Germany took on Mexico in an intense match at the Luzhniki Stadium. The underdog Mexicans survived wave after wave from Die Mannschaft, only needing Hirving Lozano’s goal to win. The score could’ve been slanted even more heavily in El Tri’s favour had they been able to finish some more of their counter-attacks.
Finally, Group E powerhouses Brazil and Switzerland played to a surprising 1-1 draw. Things were going well for Brazil when Philippe Coutinho did this:
But then, unlikely hero Steven Zuber smashed home a header off a corner kick in the 50th minute and Switzerland held on to preserve a massive point.
Day 3 was another one full of drama. If you got up early, you’ll have seen France’s controversial win over Australia. Antoine Griezmann scored a penalty awarded by VAR, and Paul Pogba scored with a pretty finish to win it 2-1. Iceland then drew 1-1 with Argentina, as an incredible defensive effort and some great goalkeeping from Hannes Thor Halldorsson (who stopped a Lionel Messi penalty) gave Iceland a point in their first ever World Cup game.
In Peru vs. Denmark, the Danes came out on top with a goal from Yussuf Poulsen, after Peru’s Christian Cueva skied a penalty in ridiculous fashion. Finally, Croatia topped Nigeria 2-0 as Oghenekaro Etebo scored an own goal and Luka Modric added one from the spot.
Day 2 was incredible. Uruguay broke Egyptian hearts with a late winner, and Morocco lost to Iran with a brutally cruel own goal to break a 0-0 deadlock. The pièce de résistance, though, was the absolute classic between Spain and Portugal. Full of insane goals and capped off by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick, it was one of the best group stage matches we’ve ever seen at the World Cup.
That’s a goal TFC fans can identify with. Tomorrow should be another great day, with four matches on the ticket. France play Australia and Peru play Denmark in Group C, and Argentina take on Iceland before Croatia face Nigeria in Group D.
Day 1 is in the books! We weren’t expecting much from Russia vs. Saudi Arabia, but boy was it entertaining. Saudi Arabia, probably among the worst teams in the tournament, were thoroughly destroyed by the hosts in the World Cup’s opening match. The Russians finished strong, with a couple beauties in stoppage time:
This one will be familiar to TFC fans:
This was simply the cherry on top from Golovin. pic.twitter.com/f8JJZr5apY— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 14, 2018
Perhaps the beauty of this event is that there’s no unifying team. We’re all from different backgrounds, and we’re all cheering for different sides. It can be fun to take a break from following Toronto FC to become foes for a little while!
World Cup 2018 Schedule
All times EST. We’ll update with the knockout round schedule after June 28.
Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Russia 3-1 Egypt
Uruguay 1-0 Saudi Arabia
Uruguay 3-0 Russia
Saudi Arabia 2-1 Egypt
|June 14||11 a.m.||Russia vs. Saudi Arabia||CTV, TSN 4 & 5|
|June 15||8 a.m.||Egypt vs. Uruguay||TSN 1, 4 & 5|
|June 19||2 p.m.||Russia vs. Egypt||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 20||11 a.m.||Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 25||10 a.m.||Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt||TSN 2|
|June 25||10 a.m.||Uruguay vs. Russia||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
Portugal 1-1 Iran
Spain 2-2 Morocco
|June 15||11 a.m.||Morocco vs. Iran||TSN 4 & 5|
|June 15||2 p.m.||Portugal vs. Spain||TSN 4 & 5|
|June 20||8 a.m.||Portugal vs. Morocco||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 20||2 p.m.||Iran vs. Spain||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 25||2 p.m.||Iran vs. Portugal||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 25||2 p.m.||Spain vs. Morocco||TSN 2|
Denmark 1-1 Australia
France 1-0 Peru
Australia 0-2 Peru
Denmark 0-0 France
|June 16||6 a.m.||France vs. Australia||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 16||12 p.m.||Peru vs. Denmark||CTV, TSN 1 & 4|
|June 21||8 a.m.||Denmark vs. Australia||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 21||11 a.m.||France vs. Peru||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 26||10 a.m.||Australia vs. Peru||TSN 2|
|June 26||10 a.m.||Denmark vs. France||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
Argentina 0-3 Croatia
Nigeria 2-0 Iceland
Nigeria 1-2 Argentina
Iceland 1-2 Croatia
|June 16||9 a.m.||Argentina vs. Iceland||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 16||3 p.m.||Croatia vs. Nigeria||CTV, TSN 1 & 4|
|June 21||2 p.m.||Argentina vs. Croatia||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 22||11 a.m.||Nigeria vs. Iceland||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 26||2 p.m.||Iceland vs. Croatia||TSN 2|
|June 26||2 p.m.||Nigeria vs. Argentina||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica
Serbia 1-2 Switzerland
Switzerland 2-2 Costa Rica
Brazil 2-0 Serbia
|June 17||8 a.m.||Costa Rica vs. Serbia||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 17||2 p.m.||Brazil vs. Switzerland||CTV, TSN 4 & 5|
|June 22||8 a.m.||Brazil vs. Costa Rica||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 22||2 p.m.||Serbia vs. Switzerland||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 27||2 p.m.||Serbia vs. Brazil||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 27||2 p.m.||Switzerland vs. Costa Rica||TSN 2|
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
South Korea 1-2 Mexico
Germany 2-1 Sweden
Mexico 0-3 Sweden
South Korea 2-0 Germany
|June 17||11 a.m.||Germany vs. Mexico||CTV, TSN 4 & 5|
|June 18||8 a.m.||Sweden vs. South Korea||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 23||11 a.m.||South Korea vs. Mexico||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 23||2 p.m.||Germany vs. Sweden||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 27||10 a.m.||South Korea vs. Germany||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 27||10 a.m.||Mexico vs. Sweden||TSN 2|
Belgium 5-2 Tunisia
England 6-1 Panama
|June 18||11 a.m.||Belgium vs. Panama||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 18||2 p.m.||Tunisia vs. England||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 23||8 a.m.||Belgium vs. Tunisia||CTV, TSN 1, 3 & 4|
|June 24||8 a.m.||England vs. Panama||CTV, TSN 1, 3 & 4|
|June 28||2 p.m.||England vs. Belgium||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 28||2 p.m.||Panama vs. Tunisia||TSN 2|
Colombia 1-2 Japan
Poland 1-2 Senegal
Japan 2-2 Senegal
Colombia 3-0 Poland
|June 19||8 a.m.||Colombia vs. Japan||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 19||11 a.m.||Poland vs. Senegal||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|
|June 24||11 a.m.||Japan vs. Senegal||TSN 1, 3 & 4|
|June 24||2 p.m.||Poland vs. Colombia||TSN 4 & 5|
|June 28||10 a.m.||Japan vs. Poland||TSN 2|
|June 28||10 a.m.||Senegal vs. Colombia||TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5|