2018 World Cup in Russia off to a flyer | inside World Soccer

2018 World Cup in Russia off to a flyer

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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With each team now having played their first matches at the 2018 World Cup it’s fair to say that things haven’t quite panned out as many people thought they would.

Most of the fancied teams failed to win their opening game, while some of the lower ranked nations have performed well above what was expected of them before the tournament got underway.

Read on as we take a look at four talking points from the tournament so far.

Ronaldo on fire as Portugal hold Spain

Whether you love him or hate him, it cannot be denied that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen.

His performance against Spain was yet another reminder how talented he is and his hat-trick will be remembered for many years to come.

Ronaldo’s stunning free-kick that secured a 3-3 draw for Portugal was a thing of beauty and he now has more international goals than Pele, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.

That goal saw Portugal’s odds for winning the World Cup cut to 18/1 and punters can use this code from Coral if they believe Ronaldo can lead them to glory in Russia.

Mexico deservedly defeat over-confident Germany

Mexico’s 1-0 victory over Germany was richly deserved and the result was a personal triumph for their coach, Juan Carlos Osorio.

Germany abandoned many of the disciplined principles associated with their team, and Osorio set up his side to take full advantage of their opponent’s over-confidence.

Mexico’s pace on the counter-attack regularly exposed Germany’s defence and it was only their inability to convert their chances that kept the scoreline close.

German boss Joachim Low has plenty to ponder if his side are to progress out of the group and they will have to improve massively if they are to retain the trophy.

England deserve praise for their victory

England got off to a bright start against Tunisia, but the African side dug their heels in and nearly snatched a draw.

However, with Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Spain and Portugal all failing to get off to a winning start, a 2-1 victory is not to be sniffed at.

Harry Kane’s late goal secured the three points, although the winning margin could have been greater but for some questionable decisions by the referee.

A gritty victory of this nature characterises everything England haven't been at the previous two World Cups and that should stand them in good stead as the tournament progresses.

Brazil frustrated by non-use of VAR

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology has generally worked well so far, although Brazil had cause to be frustrated by its non-use in their game against Switzerland.

When Steven Zuber headed home Xherdan Shaqiri's cross to level the match, he pushed Miranda in the back to gain a yard of space.

Despite Brazil's protests the referee was happy with the goal, but replays showed there was a push on the Brazilian defender.

Whether it would have been enough for the VAR to overrule is open for debate, but it seems odd that the technology wasn't used in this instance.

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