The group stage of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is a wrap. In the group stage, 122 goals were scored and became one of the most prolific editions of the competition at that level. The tournament witnessed a lot of amazing attacking teams who went head-to-head to produce interesting clashes. Along with full of plenty of goals and several magical moments.
The competition began with a goal-filled match as Russia hammered Saudi Arabia 5-0 to open it in style. Followed by, Spain and Portugal played out brilliantly, with their 3-3 draw dominating the headlines during the initial stages of the tournament. Moreover, many incredible sharpshooters have also featured in Russia. Here comes a complete analysis of the group stage.
Best 5 matches at the group stage
Portugal vs Spain
One of the most exciting matches of the group stages was Portugal vs Spain. Not only Portugal have a young and exciting team in Pereira, Ronaldo and Joao Mario, they also have good team chemistry.
Germany vs Mexico
Another exciting match in the FIFA world cup 2018 was Germany vs Mexico. Mexico has beaten the defending champions 1-0 in Moscow.
Argentina vs Croatia
Argentina and Croatia are more similar than you’d expect. They both don’t have good goalkeepers, lack real defensive stability and have able forward options. Okay, maybe Argentina is better up front but lack the midfield power Croatia have in Modric, Rakitic and Kovacic.
Japan vs Columbia
Japan secured their first World Cup victory on European soil as Yuya Osako’s header earned a 2-1 win over 10-man Colombia in Saransk.
Top 5 Players at the Group Stage
While taking the average of the player scores across the games, South Korea’s Ko Yo-han and Yun Young-sun have the highest scores. Ko’s score of 8.37 is the highest average of any player but that may be because you got a little excited by South Korea’s win over Germany. The 11 minutes Ko played as a substitute in that game was his only appearance of the tournament.
England striker Harry Kane comes in third on the list with an average of 7.86 – the highest of any player to have played in more than one game – with Egypt’s 45-year-old, penalty-saving goalkeeper Essam El Hadary fourth.
Croatia’s midfielder Luka Modric is fifth with a score of 7.68.
Ronaldo’s free-kick against Spain was the supreme in terms of quality and the significance of that goal. It helped Portugal secure a point from being 2-3 down with three minutes of normal time to play.
Coutinho’s trademark goal was on view in Brazil’s opening Group E encounter against Switzerland.
Germany Toni Kroos’ spectacular late free-kick had arced around Sweden’s goalkeeper Robin Olsen and into the top-right hand corner, it appeared as though the World Cup would see its holders eliminated at the group stage for the third consecutive tournament.
Nacho Fernandez’s goal against Portugal has to be given top marks for the sheer purity of the strike. He caught the ball easily with the laces, got it to swerve and ricochet in off Rui Patricio’s right post.
Aleksandar Kolarov’s free-kick goal for Serbia against Costa Rica was out of the top drawer in terms of technique and accuracy.
Luka Modric’s goal against Argentina was a type of the Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder. About 30 yards out, to find the right combination of Swerve and power to beat the goalkeeper was simply brilliant.