Wednesday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup action features three games: Portugal vs. Morocco, Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia and Iran vs. Spain. Check below for game reports, highlights and other key facts from World Cup 2018 Day 7.
5 p.m. ET, Iran 0, Spain 1 (Final): ‘La Roja’ finally can enjoy the fruits of its 2018 FIFA World Cup labor.
Iran lost 1-0 to Spain on Wednesday in their second game of World Cup Group B play. The result lifts Spain onto level terms with Portugal for first place in Group B, while Iran falls to third place in the pool.
Diego Costa scored the only goal in the game, in which Spain had almost total control of possession, spent much of it in Iran’s half but failed to create a notable scoring chance in the first half.
The score remained tied until the 54th minute when Costa scored on a fortunate deflection.
Costa is proving himself to be a sharpshooter in Russia, having scored on each of his first three shots in the tournament, per Opta.
Iran appeared to tie the game nine minutes later, but the video assistant referee ruled Saeid Ezatolahi offside on the play.
Iran had another great chance in the 82nd minute when Iran’s Vahid Amiri nutmegged Spain’s Gerard Pique and crossed to teammate Mehdi Taremi, who failed to direct his header on target.
Spain held on for the win and extended its impressive unbeaten streak.
Man of the match: Costa’s third goal in two World Cup 2018 games helped him claim the MOTM honors in Iran vs. Spain.
Next up: Spain will play Morocco, and Portugal will take on Iran on Sunday in the Group B finales.
1:30 p.m. ET, Uruguay 1, Saudi Arabia 0 (Final): Uruguay handled its business against Saudi Arabia, albeit in unconvincing style.
La Celeste topped the Green Falcons 1-0 on Wednesday in their second World Cup 2018 Group B game on Luis Suarez’s decisive first-half goal. The result confirms Uruguay’s place in the Round of 16 and Saudi Arabia’s group-stage exit.
Uruguay toiled to break down Saudi Arabia’s defense during the early stage of the game and failed to create a clear-cut scoring chance for the first 23 minutes. That’s when Suarez pounced on Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al Owais’ goalkeeping error and put Uruguay in front.
Suarez’s strike was historic, not only because it came on his 100th appearance for his country. He’s the first Uruguayan to score in three World Cups, per Opta, having previously done so in 2010 and 2014.
Saudi Arabia did little to trouble Uruguay’s well-drilled defense or goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, and the South American side cruised to the win, which marked the first time since 1954 it won its first two World Cup games, according to Opta.
Man of the match: Suarez’s goal, his first of World Cup 2018, won the game for Uruguay, and excitement over his growing family might propel him to a higher level in Russia.
Next up: Uruguay play Russia with first place on the line, and Saudi Arabia will face Egypt for third at 10 a.m. ET on Monday in the Group A finales.
10:45 a.m. ET, Portugal 1, Iran 0 (Final): Cristiano Ronaldo is at it again.
The soccer superstar scored the winning goal Wednesday in Portugal’s 1-0 win over Morocco in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B game. Having increased its point tally to four with the win, Portugal is on course to advance to the round of 16. Morocco officially is eliminated from World Cup 2018 contention with its second loss in as many games.
As the internet was arguing over whether Ronaldo’s facial hair is some kind of statement, the reigning Ballon d’Or winner quickly put Portugal in front in just the fourth minute of the contest.
The goal was Ronaldo’s 85th career strike for Portugal, setting the record as the highest-scoring European player in men’s international soccer history. Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskas’ previously held the record for 66 years. Let that sink in for a minute.
Morocco made fools of those expecting an easy victory for Portugal. The North Africans out-possessed, out-passed and out-shot the European champions over the course of the course of the game.
But luck simply wasn’t on Morocco’s side, and Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio was on his game, making incredible saves like this.
Man of the match: Who else could it be but Ronaldo? He now has four goals at World Cup 2018 in just two games.
Next up: Morocco will play Spain, and Portugal will face Iran at 2 p.m. ET on Monday.
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