World Cup 2018: An Exciting Finale is on the Cardsby Opinion Express June 29, 2018 0 comments
As it is the time to World Cup’s finale and an exciting finale is on the cards, uncertainties are becoming large.
When the World Cup began this June and crawled towards its initial encounters, much was said about how parity had been introduced within the tournament. Iceland’s 1-1 draw against Argentina; Mexico’s confluence with glory in a 1-0 win against Germany; Switzerland’s resistance to disallow Brazil an opening triumph and Japan’s coronation as the first Asian side to defeat a South American nation at the World Cup — all these results, unlikely yet not unwelcome, testified to equality. However, a look at the teams who have made it to the knockouts will bear the impression that the parity was momentary. Regardless of the fact that most of the favourites reserved their slots for the higher stages, it is important to consider how they came close to being ousted by teams lesser fancied. From group A, Uruguay and Russia made it with ease, with the Celeste perched at the top. Interestingly, it was Russia who were expected to lead the group after a 5-0 routing of Saudi Arabia and a 3-1 win over Egypt. Uruguay, in stark contrast, were advancing with the benefit of a solitary goal in each match. But when the two met, with an aim to finish as group leaders, Uruguay showed why they are the bigger boys in world football as they imposed a 3-0 win over the high-flying Russians.
Meanwhile, the favourites in group B were having a hard time. The qualification of Spain and Portugal was foreseen as an easy task over Iran and Morocco. If anything, one of the Iberian neighbours remained on the brink of missing out. In the group finals Portugal held on to a 1-0 lead which came under threat when Iran won and converted a penalty to draw level. Another goal from the Asian side would have seen the Quinas out. Meanwhile, Spain had to react after Morocco opened the scoring in the final group tie and then once again look for answers when their rivals took the lead for the second time. The Spaniards finally equalised in the dying minutes after VAR came to rescue an Iago Aspas goal which was initially disallowed for offside. Group C saw France and Denmark go through after both the teams played a sinfully boring 0-0 draw against each other in the group final. Peru’s heartbreaking exit meant that the tournament would now be missing a team that impressed with sheer creativity and passion. Australia seldom looked capable of advancing, and went back home with a solitary point. Group D worked on miracles — for Argentina at least. Group E was a baffling affair, like group B, but in the end Brazil and Switzerland strolled across. It is Group F, whose contenders might add flavour to the World Cup knockout stage.The last time Sweden made it to the last-16 was at Germany-2006. This time, Germany are back to the place of Sweden’s previous knockout stint — their home that is to say, while Mexico advance along with the Swedes after a gift from Korea. The knockouts now present many mouthwatering fixtures. Parity still prevails, keeping in consideration how the stars have not yet sparkled to their superlative brilliance. The favourites arrive, doused in uncertainty and with cracks exposed. Spreading paper on the crevices won’t be enough to conceal the loopholes. More of everything will now be expected and required of each team. And they will have to deliver, for the underdogs will keep a weather eye on the horizon to keep their vessel steady as she goes.
Courtesy: The Pioneer