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Reviewing the 2018 World Cup

World Cup 2022

The World Cup is one of the biggest events in football and has a massive following stretching across the world. The tournament is held once every four years, changing host country each time and is open to football teams from nations all around the world. To qualify for the competition, nations have to play in the qualifiers for their respective football federation. In Europe, the teams have to play in the UEFA qualifiers, in South America there are the CONMEBOL qualifiers, in Africa there are the CAF qualifiers, in Asian the AFC qualifiers, in North America and the Caribbean there are the CONCACAF qualifiers, and for the Oceanian nations there are the OFC qualifiers.

The hosting country will have an automatic berth to the competition, and countries can submit bids to the committee that votes on which nations will host the future tournaments. This open structure allows teams from all around the world a chance to qualify and play amongst the best in the world.

2018 World Cup Finalists

32 countries entered the World Cup; they were placed into pots for the draw where the groups were determined. In Group A, Egypt, Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia played. Group B featured Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Iran, In Group C, France, Denmark, Australia and Peru played. Argentina, Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria featured in Group D. Brazil, Costa Rica, Serbia and Switzerland all played in Group E. Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea all played in Group F. In Group G, England, Belgium, Panama and Tunisia played. Group H featured the national teams of Colombia, Poland, Senegal and Japan.

Group Stage

Russia, the hosts, took off to a flying start by thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0, whilst Egypt lost to Uruguay 1-0. In the second round of matches in Group A, Russia beat Egypt 3-1, to secure a place in the knockout stage, whilst Uruguay beat Saudi Arabia 1-0. In the last round of games, Saudi Arabia secured a solitary point by beating Egypt, whilst Uruguay beat Russia to overtake them in the Group standings and go first.

In Group B, Iran drew the first blood as they beat Morocco 1-0. Portugal and Spain played each other, and the thrilling match ended 3-3, with Ronaldo scoring a hat trick for Portugal. In the following round, Portugal beat Morocco 1-0 and Spain also won their match 1-0 against Iran, putting both teams at the top of the table on equal points and goal difference. In the last round, all teams drew, with Portugal and Iran finishing 1-1 and the match between Spain and Morocco finishing 2-2, to give Spain the edge over Portugal in the standings with more goals scored.

France played Australia in the opening match of Group C, and won 2-1 after the Australians scored a late own goal. Peru played Denmark and lost 1-0. In the next round, Denmark and Australia drew, and France beat Peru to go first in the table, with Denmark second. In the final round, Denmark and France both drew, and though Peru beat Australia, it was not enough for the South American team to advance to the knockout stage.

In the first match of Group D, Sergio Aguero scored for Argentina but Iceland equalised, and the match ended in a 1-1 tie. Croatia beat Nigeria 2-0 to go to the top of the table. In the next round, Croatia enjoyed a surprise win against Argentina, thrashing them 3-0, whilst Nigeria beat Iceland 2-0 to go second in the group. In the final round, Argentina beat Nigeria and edged an advantage, putting themselves in the clear. Croatia beat Iceland 2-1, to finish the group stage with a perfect record.

Serbia beat Costa Rica in the first match of Group E. Brazil could only manage to draw against Switzerland, putting both teams in joint second place. In the following match, Brazil played 90 minutes against Costa Rica without scoring, before finding the net twice in injury time. Switzerland beat Serbia 2-1, putting the Serbs in third place and Switzerland in second just behind Brazil. In the final matches, Brazil beat Serbia 2-0 to stay at the top of the table, whilst Switzerland drew with Costa Rica and managed to claim second place in the group.

In Group F, the defending champions, Germany, suffered a defeat to Mexico in the first game of the group. Sweden beat South Korea 1-0 to go joint top with Mexico. In the second game, Mexico beat South Korea and Germany beat Sweden, to put them right back in the competition. In the final round, Sweden beat Mexico 3-0, and South Korea beat Germany in a huge upset that saw the defending champions finish the stage at the bottom of the group. Sweden and Mexico were first and second in the group and advanced to the knockout round.

In Group G, Belgium beat Panama 3-0 whilst England beat Tunisia 2-1, putting Belgium first and England second. In the next game, Belgium scored 5 against Tunisia, in a game that ended 5-2, whilst England beat Panama 6-1. In the final round, Belgium beat England to seal their place at the top and put England in second place. Tunisia beat Panama to seal three points but it was not enough to catch the group leaders.

In Group H, Japan beat Colombia in the first match 2-1, whilst Senegal beat Poland 2-1. The two group leaders drew their second match 2-2, whilst Colombia beat Poland 3-0. In the final round, Japan lost to Poland 2-1 whilst Colombia ended Senegal's hopes of advancing to the group stage by beating them 1-0. Colombia finished the group in first and Japan finished in second place.

Knockout Stages

In the round of 16, Uruguay was drawn with Portugal, France with Argentina, Brazil with Mexico, Belgium with Japan, Spain with Russia, Croatia with Denmark, Sweden with Switzerland, and Colombia with England. Uruguay beat the 2016 European Championship winners Portugal 2-1. The game between France and Argentina ended with the teams scoring a combined 7 goals, but it was not enough for Argentina as the game finished 4-3 to France. The match between Spain and Russia finished 1-1 at the end of regular time, and neither team could score in extra time, so the match was decided in a penalty shootout. Spain lost the match as two of their shots were missed and the Russians scored all their spot kicks. The game between Croatia and Denmark also finished 1-1 and went to penalties. Both teams missed their first penalties, and then at the fifth spot kick both teams missed again, making the shootout go into sudden death. Croatia scored their sixth penalty and Denmark missed, and Croatia won the game.

Brazil comfortably beat Mexico 2-0, with goals from Neymar and Firmino sealing the game. Belgium struggled against Japan, who took a 2-0 lead after the hour mark. Belgium came back and scored three goals, with the last in injury time to win the game and advance to the next round. Sweden beat Switzerland 1-0, and in the final game England beat Colombia after a 1-1 game went to penalties and Colombia missed two of their penalties.

In the quarterfinals, France beat Uruguay 20- and Belgium beat Brazil 2-1 in the first two matches. The next day, England beat Sweden 2-0, and the match between Croatia and Russia finished 3-3 at the end of regular time, with the Croatians going to penalties once again and winning.

France and Belgium played in the first semi final, and France managed to overcome Belgium with a 1-0 win. England took the lead early against Croatia, but they could not keep their lead as the Croatians drew and the game ended 1-1. In extra time, the Croatians scored again and England could not equalise, so Croatia advanced to the finals to play against France.

England and Belgium played for third place, and Belgium beat England 2-0. In the final, France beat Croatia 4-2, to seal a legendary win for the French and an honourable second place for Croatia, who had defied all odds to reach the finals.


The 2018 World Cup was extremely exciting to watch and ended with France winning their second World Cup trophy, 20 years after they won it for the first time. Both fans and punters were given thrilling matches to watch and brilliant individual and team performances throughout the competition. When it comes to betting on the World Cup, punters were spoilt for choice, as there were so many different types of bets available. One important thing to always consider when placing football bets is that whilst you can win, you also run the risk of losing. To keep betting fun it is highly recommended to stick to a budget and not to bet impulsively, if you need any more information on safer gambling, you can find a lot of material at

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