FIFA World Cup :Day 5 Roundup
On the fifth day of the 2018 World Cup, we finally saw one of the tournament’s favourites announce itself with a convincing performance in its opening match.
Meanwhile, two of the tournament’s biggest stars got on the scoreboard early, netting braces to lift their sides to wins in their tournament openers. Elsewhere, Sweden and South Korea overcame an alleged spy flap to play a game of soccer.
Sweden vs. South Korea
While much of the pre-match buildup centred around a bizarre soccer version of Spygate, Monday’s early game between Sweden and South Korea ended up being rather short on intrigue. After 65 minutes in which nothing much really happened, South Korean midfielder Kim Min-woo, who’d come on a sub after Joo-Ho Park came off injured, brought down Sweden’s Viktor Claesson in the box.
Following a brief VAR review, the decision was made to award the Swedes a penalty. Sweden defender Andreas Granqvist stepped up to coolly convert from the spot, giving Sweden a 1-0 lead that proved all it needed to take all three points.
Belgium throw the gauntlet down against Panama
After watching most of the pre-tournament favourites sputter in their World Cup openers, we’ve finally seen one of the big sides live up to its top billing as Belgium kicked off its World Cup with a convincing 3-0 win over Panama.
After a frustrating first half in which Panama impressed with its commitment and defensive rigidity, Dries Mertens smashed Belgium into the lead just two minutes into the second half, with a first-time right-footer from the edge of the six-yard box.
Belgium doubled its lead in the 69th minute when Romelu Lukaku shook his marker to head an exquisitely chipped Kevin de Bruyne ball in from close range. Lukaku bagged another just five minutes later, breaking after a Panama turnover and being fed by Eden Hazard to finish with a breezy chipped shot that sailed over Panama keeper Jamie Penedo to settle it at 3-0.
Late Kane heroics see England snatch a win
Harry Kane was the hero for England as it opened its World Cup in dramatic fashion by snatching a last-minute winner from Tunisia. It was Kane who fired England ahead early in the match, picking off a rebound after Tunisia keeper Mouez Hassen repelled a headed effort from John Stones off a corner. Kane, who captained the side on the day, was lurking at the near post to poke in the go-ahead goal.