#WorldCupRussia2018: VIEWS FROM RUSSIA. By: Tope Oriowo.


I bring to you all greetings from the great Russian Federation; yes, I am there and if you happen to see me in Umuahia, Abia State capital, do not argue with me, you are also in Russia. So far it has been a wonderful World cup tournament and it’s my pleasure to of bring you weekly round-ups from each of the matches starting from the group stages down to the finals in Moscow and that means I would be travelling from city to city just to bring you guys the very best of the Russian experience.


Indeed the World cup began with a match between the host nation Russian and Saudi Arabia; we all expected Russia to win but not by 5-0, no one saw that coming at all. All thanks to these players who scored goals for their country: Denis Cheryshev, Aleksandr Golovin, Yury Gazinsky and Artem Dzyuba they all deserve accolades you know! President Vladmir Putin was a constant comic relief as he greeted every goal with funny hand gestures towards the Saudi Prince and FIFA President Infantino.

The second match in Group A was between Egypt and Uruguay. It was a relatively dull experience thanks to Luis Suarez for forgetting his shooting boots at home before Uruguay squeezed a goal in, at the death; that was a kick in the balls of the pharaohs.


Group B kicked off with a match between Morrocco and Iran, despite the match dominated from A-Z by the Hakim Ziyech a Morrocan; the 94th minute own-goal condemned them to a harsh defeat.

The game of the tournament so far has definitely been Portugal VS Spain which ended in a 3-3 thrilling draw with Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego costa leading the highlight reels.


The first round of games in this group began with a bit of a lucky win for France against Australia thanks to a Paul Pogba forced own goal in the dying moments of the game

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Denmark also defeated Peru by 1-0 thanks to a Yussuf Pousen’s penalty after Peru gave away one of the world’s most stupid penalties.


Finally, here comes our runway super models, our shaku-shaku kings, the lssa-Goal family, the winners of the FIFA Fashion Cup, our super Eagles of Nigeria lost 2-0 to the Luka Modric led Croatian team with a performance which was not in any way as bright as the hyped jerseys.

The performance of Cristiano Ronaldo set a bar for his Counterpart, Lionel Messi to compete against the most loved Nation in the world, Iceland, the team of the Vikings, he failed to live up to that expectations as he even lost a penalty as they drew 1-1. This was a pretty ugly score for the Barcelona talisman.


Yet another stunning free kick decided the game between Serbia and Costa-Rica. This time scored by former man city player, now on the books of Roma FC, Aleksandra Kolarov.

The samba boys of Brazil who are still remembering the embarrassing 2-1 loss on their home soil 4 years ago ended up drawing 1-1 with the rugged Swiss.


Brazil’s draw with the Swiss was seen as a shock, yes the first real shock of the tournament was Germany losing to Mexico in what was a true expression of the Jurgen Klopp style Ghen-Ghen football by the Mexicans.

The second game ended 1-0 in favour of Sweden against Korea, truth be told, this sentence is in every way more interesting than the match was, 90 minutes of our lives went down the drain.


The outsider’s favourites or the dark horses of the tournament, Belgium after being initially held for the first 45 minutes of the game roared into life in the second half and won by a commanding 3-0 score-line with goals from Dries Mertens and a brace by Manchester United hit man, Romelu Lukaku.

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England Captain Harry “Hurricane” Kane led by example after his brace led his team to a 2-1 victory over a very dogged Tunisian outfit.


The last group of the world cup kicked off with Japan and Colombia squaring off, a red card for Carlos Sanchez in the early stages of the game meant a difficult task for the Colombians and they succumbed to a 2-1 loss.

The first African win was delivered by Senegal who let their feet do the talking instead of their jerseys (Note: – This is not a jibe at the Shaku-Shaku Eagles), the African Nation defeated Poland with 2 goals to 1 with M. Niang as the star of the show.

This game was brought to an end at the first round of the world cup group stages, enjoy your weekend as I go and play these Russian folks… (I am not in Nigeria, remember?) See y’all next week!!!

Sports Columnist: Tope Oriowo

Photos: Google Chrome Images

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