Argentine Captain, Lionel Messi hops on the back of Marcos Rojo, who scored the game winning goal against Nigeria to send Argentina through into the knockout stage (via @ManUtd/Twitter)

Argentine Captain, Lionel Messi hops on the back of Marcos Rojo, who scored the game winning goal against Nigeria to send Argentina through into the knockout stage (via @ManUtd/Twitter)

FIFA World Cup weekly roundup

Defending champions, Germany stunned as they place last in Group F

The FIFA World Cup is officially one week underway and will be running until July 15. Each week we will have an update of the tournament in action. This includes the top performances, goals, underdog stories and next week’s can’t-miss games.

Matches of the week:

Argentina vs. Nigeria (2-1): Facing elimination, Argentina needed a win to advance through the group stage. After a sensational effort from Lionel Messi, Argentina took an early lead. Nigeria capitalized with Victor Moses on a penalty shortly after half to tie. With tensions rising, defender Marcos Rojo sealed the South American nation’s fate to send Argentina through with a goal in the 86th minute.

England vs. Panama (6-1): England showed their might in this match against a weak Panama side. Captain Harry Kane finished with a hat trick to take sole lead of the Golden Boot with five goals. Defender John Stones tallied two goals himself.

Belgium vs. Tunisia (5-2): Belgium is having no trouble scoring in their group stage matches. They bombarded Tunisia with 23 shots and 12 on target. Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku tallied two fantastic goals. Captain Eden Hazard slotted two goals of his own.

Top goals:

Heung-Min Son (South Korea):

Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal):

Andre Carrillo (Peru):

Underdog stories:

South Korea beat Germany (2-0): For the third straight World Cup, the defending champion has been eliminated from the group stage. Germany’s last first-round elimination dates back to 1938. Not only did Germany fail to advance, they placed last in their group. Germany scored two goals in three matches and deservedly is eliminated as their starters failed to perform.

Iran drew Portugal (1-1): Iran performed well in the group stage, failing to advance by one point to Portugal and Spain. Iran was able to squeeze out a draw against the favourites in Portugal. Alireza Beiranvand, Iran’s 25-year-old goalkeeper, helped solidify the draw by saving a penalty taken by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Switzerland beat Serbia (2-1): Switzerland’s victory was the first game of the tournament to see a nation win after trailing in a match. Serbia got out to an early lead only to see Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka tie the match in the 52nd minute. Xherdan Shaqiri slid the game winner underneath Serbian keeper Vladimir Stojkovic to win the match in the 90th minute.

Players of the week:

James Rodriguez (Colombia): Rodriguez was able to find his 2014 World Cup form in Colombia’s 3-0 win over Poland, with two assists. Colombia’s third goal saw Rodriguez play a brilliant curving through ball to Juan Cuadrado, who ended up capitalizing.

Ahmed Musa (Nigeria): Musa scored both of Nigeria’s goals against Iceland, using his tremendous pace to get past Iceland defenders.

John Stones (England): Stones scored England’s first and fourth goals in a 6-1 ousting of Panama. He was able to convert twice from close range on headers.

Next Week’s Can’t Miss Games in the Round of 16:

Saturday, June 30 – 7 a.m. : France vs. Argentina

A brilliant matchup between two of the world’s best football nations. Will a young French side be able to get past Messi?

Monday, July 2 – 11 a.m. : Belgium vs. Japan

Few would have envisoned Japan to be in the knockout stages but they have played well to make it here. Facing a strong Belgium side they likely won’t make it any further, but it sure will be entertaining.

Tuesday, July 3 – 11 a.m. : Colombia vs. England

Both nations had a fantastic group stage and are looking fit to enter the knockout stages. This should be a close match where either team could come out on top.


@kieranroconnor
kieran.oconnor@bpdigital.ca

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