World Cup 2018 Group Stage Review Phase One Part One

All 32 teams have played one match each as​ the World Cup has begun in​ explosive fashion, but are things going according to​ plan for the favourites or​ are the underdogs having a​ say in​ proceedings? This is​ a​ short round-up of​ Groups a​ to​ D, of​ the results as​ they stand after one match.

Group A
1. Germany 3pts, 2. Ecuador 3pts, 3. Costa Rica 0pts, 4. Poland, 0pts

Germany kicked off the tournament in​ style with an​ entertaining 4-2 win against Costa Rica at​ odds of​ 1/4. Full back Phillip Lahm scored a​ cracking goal after six minutes to​ break the deadlock but veteran Paulo Wanchope levelled on 12. Miroslav Klose netted twice on 17 and 61 before Wanchope hauled his side back into the game 3-2 down. Torsten Frings ensured victory for the host nation three minutes from time.

Poland were the victims of​ a​ shock result as​ Ecuador won at​ odds of​ 10/3. The least rated of​ all the South American sides took the lead through Tenorio after 24 minutes before former Southampton striker Augustin Delgado scored a​ second with 10 minutes remaining.

Group B
1. England 3pts, 2. Sweden 1pt, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 1pt, 4. Paraguay 0pts

England struggled in​ the heat against Paraguay but picked up three vital points as​ they beat their South American opponents 1-0. Carlos Gamarra headed in​ David Beckham’s free kick into his own net after three minutes as​ England clung on to​ a​ win at​ odds of​ 8/13.

Sweden were expected to​ brush aside an​ unfancied Trinidad & Tobago side and the Caribbean side even had a​ man sent off early in​ the second half. But Leo Beenhakker’s side showed tremendous spirit and held firm for a​ goalless draw at​ 7/2.

Group C
1. Argentina 3pts, 2. Holland 3pts, 3. Ivory Coast 0pts, 4. Serbia & Montenegro 0pts

The two favourites had their own way in​ the opening round of​ fixtures as​ both Argentina and Holland beat their opponents at​ odds on. Two Chelsea goalscorers were on target as​ 4/7 Argentina showed genuine class to​ defeat a​ dangerous looking Ivory Coast. Hernan Crespo and Javier Saviola scored the decisive goals before Didier Drogba netted a​ consolation eight minutes from the end.

Holland, marginally better at​ 4/6, were made to​ sweat against Serbia & Montenegro as​ Arjen Robben’s goal after 18 minutes was all that separated the sides.

Group D
1. Mexico 3pts, 2. Portugal 3pts, 3. Angola 0pts, 4. Iran 0pts

Both Mexico and Portugal faced arguably weaker opponents in​ the first round of​ matches and duly obliged at​ odds on. Omar Bravo opened the scoring for Mexico after 28 minutes but Iran levelled through Yahya Golomohammadi on 36. With the match looking to​ finish all square Bravo netted a​ second on 76 and Zinha secured an​ 8/13 win three minutes later.

In one of​ the World Cup’s more political matches, Portugal edged past Angola by a​ single goal. Firm 1/2 favourites before kick-off, Portugal took the lead through talismanic striker Pauleta after four minutes but couldn’t find any more as​ they managed to​ take all three points.

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