Portugal: A. Silva (7') C. Ronaldo
Russia: A. Kokorin (42') A. Dzyuba
Russia: A. Kokorin (90') R. Zobnin
In both team's first match in the "group of death" it was a Kokorin bicycle kick at the death that gifted the defending champs all 3 points to open group play. "We didn't know much about this Portugal team and were stunned in the beginning". In fact, in what seemed like a mixup to start, Andre Silva was subbed in on the 3rd minute and his first touch of the ball was a rocket of a header into the back of the net. "We just lost concentration on where he was at, credit to Cristiano for finding him on that cross". Ronaldo had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 but his shot hit the post, as the Russians were clearly rattled by the early goal. Russia would sub in Dzyuba in the 35th minute and he immediately paid off, playing a smart one two with Kokorin who slid it past the helpless Patricio in goal. 1-1 at half in a very even contest.
The second half saw Russia take control, limiting Portugal's opportunities. After a couple key Patricio stops it looked like this one would end in a draw, however a melee in the box ended with a cushioned header by Zobnin into the path of Kokorin, who bicycled it off Patricio's shoulder and into the back of the net. The "away" fans roared in jubilation, as Russia picked up a crucial 3 points to kick off their World Cup campaign. Next up for the Russians is Peru, who will be looking to right the ship after their 4-0 loss to the Koreans earlier today.
Hwang Hee Chan Koo Ja Cheol
Ki Sung Yueng Kim Jin Su
Koo Ja Cheol Hueng Min Son
Kim Shin Wook Hueng Min Son
Koo Ja Cheol
Cho Hyun Woo
Korea opens their World Cup firing on all cylinders with an impressive 4-0 win over Peru. The Korean attack received contributions from everyone. Koo Ja Cheol impressed in qualifying and continued his good form here, earning man of the match honors. Heung Min Son gets most of the attention, but his opposite winger was constantly a threat earning a goal and assist in the match. Hueng Min Son notched a pair of assists as well.
The real story of the game was the Korean defense. They stifled the Peru attack all game and did not allow a single shot in the match. They will look to continue this play in their next match against the firepower of Christiano and his Portugal side.
Events A. Jahanbakhsh 29'
S. Azmoun 36' S. Ghoddos L. Suarez 43' E. Cavani S. Azmoun 45' S. Ghoddos L. Suarez 89' E. Cavani MoTM L. Suarez
In the opening match for both teams in Group A, Uruguay used a late wonder goal from talisman Luis Suarez to secure a surprising point against World Cup favorites Iran. The Iranians opened the scoring with their lead man Sardar Azmoun getting on the end of a Ghoddos cross and beating Muslera near post in the 36th minute. Uruguay answered back with a Suarez goal to level things in the 43rd minute. Uruguay however was gut punched right before half as Azmoun found the next for the 2nd time in the match to take Iran up 2-1 right before the half time whistle. Uruguay fought hard in the 2nd half in not allowing another Iran goal yet could not come up with a tying goal until the 89th minute. Edison Cavani found Suarez with a looping goal near post which Suarez somehow flicked over the oncoming Beiranvanc to level the match and secure a crucial point for Uruguay.
6 Shots 4
4 SOT 1
19 Tackles 16
54 Poss 46
19 Tackles 16
Yun Young Sun Heung Min Son
Yun Young Sun
Cho Hyun Woo
Portugal will be gutted to have earned zero point through their first two matches at this World Cup. Despite another strong effort as the underdogs, they fall to the South Koreans 1-0. Neither team created much offensively and the deciding goal came via a set piece. Yun Young Sun was able to head home a corner in the 65th minute to earn all 3 points and a likely spot in the knockout stages. The Korean defense was again impressive as they have allowed just 1 shot on target through their first two games.
S. Milinkovic-Savic (83')
A. Mitrovic (85')
Aleksandar Mitrovic saved Serbia's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage with a late game-winning goal. In what can only be described as a cagey affair, both teams struggled to build a rhythm. It wasn't until the 78th minute that a clear chance was had, but Arda Turan's breakaway was pushed wide of the post. Just 7 minutes later, Mitrovic bodied his defender and sent a shot into the near post for the only goal of the match.