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World Cup 2018: THREE BIG GAMES TODAY

img: (L-R) Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring for Uruguay in the 23rd minute, Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates against Morocco, Diego Costa of Spain celebrates after scoring against Iran on Wednesday. (PHOTO: Ryan Pierse/ Francois Nel/Getty Images)
img: (L-R) Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring for Uruguay in the 23rd minute, Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates against Morocco, Diego Costa of Spain celebrates after scoring against Iran on Wednesday. (PHOTO: Ryan Pierse/ Francois Nel/Getty Images)
(L-R) Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring for Uruguay in the 23rd minute, Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates against Morocco, Diego Costa of Spain celebrates after scoring against Iran on Wednesday. (PHOTO: Ryan Pierse/ Francois Nel/Getty Images)

IT’S exactly one week into the 2018 FIFA World Cup currently ongoing in Russia and after 20 matches, a total of 45 goals have been scored — with four going to Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo in two matches, including a hat-trick versus Spain.

On Wednesday, Uruguay had already booked their place in the knockout stage.

Host Russia will join the South Americans with 6 points, while Egypt are eliminated along with Saudi Arabia, with a game still to play.

Today, the action heats up a bit as Denmark plays Australia in Group C and the Danes will be looking to secure their place into the knockout stage following their 1-0 win against Peru in their opening encounter, while the Australians will want to put their 2-1 defeat against France behind them as they look to turn-on the heat against the Danes to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

Former champion France (1998) with 3 points already under their belt, is expected to leave no stone unturned when they clash with Peru in the second game for the day in a Group C match-up. Peru went down to Denmark 1-0 in what is considered an upset and will want nothing short of a victory in today’s encounter.

The final game will see another former world champion Argentina (1978, 1986) take on first timers Croatia in Group D. The Argentines drew their first game with Iceland 1-1, while the Croatians had a 2-0 win over Nigeria in their opening encounter.

Tomorrow (Friday), five times World champion Brazil (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002) is expected to come out firing on all cylinders when they meet Costa Rica in a must-win situation. The Brazilians played to a 1-1 draw against Switzerland in their opening encounter. It is everyone’s guess, however, as to which team will win.

In Game two, Nigeria plays Iceland in Group D in a very important match for the African team, as they were beaten 2-0 by Croatia.

In the final game on the day, Serbia (who defeated Costa Rica in their opening encounter 1-0) will want nothing less than a win against Switzerland ( drew 1-1 with Brazil).

In matches played on Wednesday in Moscow, Portugal beat Morocco 1-0 and the Real Madrid star and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo did not disappoint as it took him only four minutes to make his mark in the way Morocco had feared, diving to get on the end of a Joao Moutinho cross and planting an unstoppable header into the net.

Ronaldo’s goal put the European champions at the top of Group B and has also extended his lead as the top-scorer in Russia in the race for the Golden Boot.

In Rostov, Uruguay defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 with the goal scored by Luis Suarez in the 23rd minute – Suarez’s 100th international appearance.

Uruguay, semi-finalists eight years ago in South Africa, have now reached the knockout stage for the third straight time, while Spain held-on to beat Iran 1-0 and join Portugal on four points at the top of Group B — a goal scored by Diego Costa in the 53rd minute.

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy... Read full bio...

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