2018 FIFA World Cup Group A

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2018 postage stamp from Russia depicting Group A of the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage.

Group A of the 2018 FIFA World Cup took place from 14 to 25 June 2018.[1] The group consisted of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Uruguay. The top two teams, Uruguay and Russia, advanced to the round of 16.[2]

Teams

Draw position Team Pot Confederation Method of
qualification
Date of
qualification
Finals
appearance
Last
appearance
Previous best
performance
FIFA Rankings
October 2017[nb 1] June 2018
A1  Russia 1 UEFA Hosts 2 December 2010 11th[nb 2] 2014 (group stage) Fourth place (1966)[nb 3] 65 70
A2  Saudi Arabia 4 AFC AFC Third Round Group B runners-up 5 September 2017 5th 2006 (group stage) Round of 16 (1994) 63 67
A3  Egypt 3 CAF CAF Third Round Group E winners 8 October 2017 3rd 1990 (group stage) First round (1934), Group stage (1990) 30 45
A4  Uruguay 2 CONMEBOL CONMEBOL Round Robin runners-up 10 October 2017 13th 2014 (round of 16) Winners (1930, 1950) 17 14
Notes
  1. ^ The rankings of October 2017 were used for seeding for the final draw.
  2. ^ This is the 4th appearance of Russia at the FIFA World Cup. However, FIFA considers Russia as the successor team of the Soviet Union, who qualified on 7 occasions.
  3. ^ Russia's best result is group stage in 1994, 2002, and 2014. However, FIFA considers Russia as the successor team of the Soviet Union.

Standings

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Uruguay 3 3 0 0 5 0 +5 9 Advance to knockout stage
2  Russia (H) 3 2 0 1 8 4 +4 6
3  Saudi Arabia 3 1 0 2 2 7 −5 3
4  Egypt 3 0 0 3 2 6 −4 0
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
(H) Host.

In the round of 16:

Matches

All times listed are local time.[1]

Russia vs Saudi Arabia

Russia national association football team

The two teams had met only once, a friendly game in 1993 won by Saudi Arabia 4–2.[3]

In the 12th minute, Yury Gazinsky headed the first goal for Russia from a cross from the left before substitute Denis Cheryshev evaded several challenges and smashed home at the near post close to half-time. The tempo slowed and the atmosphere flattened after the restart, giving the whole thing the feel of a friendly match. But substitute Artem Dzyuba illuminated a match of often dubious quality with a precise header from a cross from the right to extend his team's lead just minutes after replacing Fyodor Smolov.[4] As the match moved into injury time, Cheryshev smashed home with a crisp left-foot strike into the top right corner before Aleksandr Golovin curled a free-kick around the wall and into the right of the net.[5]

Alan Dzagoev limped off with a hamstring injury in the 24th minute. "Alan Dzagoev damaged the muscles in the back of the thigh," Russia said in a brief statement.[6]

For the first time in World Cup history, two players – Gazinsky and Cheryshev – scored their first international goals in the opening match.[7] Russia's victory means that the host nation has never lost their opening match in any of the 21 editions of the World Cup (won 16, drew six). Russia (5–0) recorded the second biggest victory by a host nation in their opening match at a World Cup, after Italy v USA in 1934 (7–1); while it is also the second largest victory of any host nation, only behind Italy vs USA at 1934 and Brazil vs Sweden at 1950, both ended 7–1. Russia's Denis Cheryshev became the first substitute to score a goal in the opening match of a World Cup tournament. In this game, Sergei Ignashevich became the oldest player to ever appear in a World Cup match for Russia/USSR (38 years & 335 days old).[5][8]

For Saudi Arabia, this was their second biggest defeat in World Cup, after the 0–8 defeat to Germany in 2002. These losses are also the biggest defeats for any Arab team to have participated in the FIFA World Cup.

Russia  5–0  Saudi Arabia
Report
Attendance: 78,011[9]
Russia[10]
Saudi Arabia[10]
GK 1 Igor Akinfeev (c)
RB 2 Mário Fernandes
CB 3 Ilya Kutepov
CB 4 Sergei Ignashevich
LB 18 Yuri Zhirkov
CM 8 Yury Gazinsky
CM 11 Roman Zobnin
RW 19 Aleksandr Samedov Substituted off 64'
AM 9 Alan Dzagoev Substituted off 24'
LW 17 Aleksandr Golovin Yellow card 88'
CF 10 Fyodor Smolov Substituted off 70'
Substitutions:
MF 6 Denis Cheryshev Substituted in 24'
MF 7 Daler Kuzyayev Substituted in 64'
FW 22 Artem Dzyuba Substituted in 70'
Manager:
Stanislav Cherchesov
RUS-KSA 2018-06-14.svg
GK 1 Abdullah Al-Mayouf
RB 6 Mohammed Al-Breik
CB 3 Osama Hawsawi (c)
CB 5 Omar Hawsawi
LB 13 Yasser Al-Shahrani
DM 7 Salman Al-Faraj
CM 14 Abdullah Otayf Substituted off 64'
CM 17 Taisir Al-Jassim Yellow card 90+3'
RW 18 Salem Al-Dawsari
LW 8 Yahya Al-Shehri Substituted off 72'
CF 10 Mohammad Al-Sahlawi Substituted off 85'
Substitutions:
FW 19 Fahad Al-Muwallad Substituted in 64'
MF 9 Hattan Bahebri Substituted in 72'
FW 20 Muhannad Assiri Substituted in 85'
Manager:
Spain Juan Antonio Pizzi

Man of the Match:
Denis Cheryshev (Russia)[11]

Assistant referees:[10]
Hernán Maidana (Argentina)
Juan Pablo Belatti (Argentina)
Fourth official:
Sandro Ricci (Brazil)
Reserve assistant referee:
Emerson de Carvalho (Brazil)
Video assistant referee:
Massimiliano Irrati (Italy)
Assistant video assistant referees:
Mauro Vigliano (Argentina)
Carlos Astroza (Chile)
Daniele Orsato (Italy)

Egypt vs Uruguay

Carlos Sánchez's corner kick

The two teams had met only once, a friendly game in 2006 won by Uruguay 2–0.[3]

Egypt frustrated Uruguay with a deep defensive line, staying compact, dealing with danger competently and threatening on the counter-attack to maintain the scoreline goalless, nearing the end of the match.[12] Luis Suárez looked increasingly at a loss but remained prominent in the few opportunities that were created. When he had just the goalkeeper to beat, he dithered too long and allowed Mohamed El-Shenawy to muffle the ball at his feet. With three minutes remaining, Edinson Cavani pulled rank over his strike partner over a free kick on the edge of the area.[13] José Giménez headed into the net in the 89th minute as he met Carlos Sánchez's free-kick from the right to give the South Americans a winning start in Russia.[14]

Uruguay won their opening match at the World Cup tournament for the first time since 1970, when they beat Israel 2–0.[14][15]

Egypt  0–1  Uruguay
Report
Egypt[17]
Uruguay[17]
GK 23 Mohamed El-Shenawy
RB 7 Ahmed Fathy (c)
CB 2 Ali Gabr
CB 6 Ahmed Hegazi Yellow card 90+6'
LB 13 Mohamed Abdel-Shafy
CM 8 Tarek Hamed Substituted off 50'
CM 17 Mohamed Elneny
RW 22 Amr Warda Substituted off 82'
AM 19 Abdallah Said
LW 21 Trézéguet
CF 9 Marwan Mohsen Substituted off 63'
Substitutions:
MF 5 Sam Morsy Yellow card 90+4' Substituted in 50'
FW 11 Kahraba Substituted in 63'
FW 14 Ramadan Sobhi Substituted in 82'
Manager:
Argentina Héctor Cúper
EGY-URU 2018-06-15.svg
GK 1 Fernando Muslera
RB 4 Guillermo Varela
CB 2 José Giménez
CB 3 Diego Godín (c)
LB 22 Martín Cáceres
RM 8 Nahitan Nández Substituted off 58'
CM 15 Matías Vecino Substituted off 87'
CM 6 Rodrigo Bentancur
LM 10 Giorgian De Arrascaeta Substituted off 59'
CF 9 Luis Suárez
CF 21 Edinson Cavani
Substitutions:
MF 5 Carlos Sánchez Substituted in 58'
MF 7 Cristian Rodríguez Substituted in 59'
MF 14 Lucas Torreira Substituted in 87'
Manager:
Óscar Tabárez

Man of the Match:
Mohamed El-Shenawy (Egypt)[18]

Assistant referees:[17]
Sander van Roekel (Netherlands)
Erwin Zeinstra (Netherlands)
Fourth official:
Milorad Mažić (Serbia)
Reserve assistant referee:
Milovan Ristić (Serbia)
Video assistant referee:
Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
Assistant video assistant referees:
Paweł Gil (Poland)
Cyril Gringore (France)
Clément Turpin (France)

Russia vs Egypt

Egypt national football team

The two teams had never met before.[19]

Sergei Ignashevich headed at Mohamed El-Shenawy before Aleksandr Golovin fired wide. Trézéguet then curled just wide from the edge of the box. Russia took the lead when El-Shenawy's clearance punch found Roman Zobnin, whose first-time follow up shot spun in off Ahmed Fathy, with VAR confirming that Artem Dzyuba had not fouled his opponent.[20]

Mário Fernandes soon drove into the box before supplying a cut-back form the right for Denis Cheryshev to slot home Russia's second with his left foot.[21] Dzyuba made it 3–0 as he took a lofted ball into the box down on his chest, taking a touch to go past Ali Gabr and finish past El-Shenawy with a low shot. Salah won a penalty after he was fouled by Zobnin - although it was only given after a consultation with the video assistant referee as the referee had initially said the offence took place outside the area. Salah scored from the spot to become only the third Egyptian player to score at a World Cup.[22][23]

This is the first time Russia have won their opening two matches at a World Cup since 1966 (as the Soviet Union).[22] And following with Uruguay's 1–0 victory over Saudi Arabia, Russia, for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, qualified for the next round.

Russia  3–1  Egypt
Report
Russia[25]
Egypt[25]
GK 1 Igor Akinfeev (c)
RB 2 Mário Fernandes
CB 3 Ilya Kutepov
CB 4 Sergei Ignashevich
LB 18 Yuri Zhirkov Substituted off 86'
CM 11 Roman Zobnin
CM 8 Yury Gazinsky
RW 19 Aleksandr Samedov
AM 17 Aleksandr Golovin
LW 6 Denis Cheryshev Substituted off 74'
CF 22 Artem Dzyuba Substituted off 79'
Substitutions:
MF 7 Daler Kuzyayev Substituted in 74'
FW 10 Fyodor Smolov Yellow card 84' Substituted in 79'
DF 13 Fyodor Kudryashov Substituted in 86'
Manager:
Stanislav Cherchesov
RUS-EGY 2018-06-19.svg
GK 23 Mohamed El-Shenawy
RB 7 Ahmed Fathy (c)
CB 2 Ali Gabr
CB 6 Ahmed Hegazi
LB 13 Mohamed Abdel-Shafy
CM 8 Tarek Hamed
CM 17 Mohamed Elneny Substituted off 64'
RW 10 Mohamed Salah
AM 19 Abdallah Said
LW 21 Trézéguet Yellow card 57' Substituted off 68'
CF 9 Marwan Mohsen Substituted off 82'
Substitutions:
FW 22 Amr Warda Substituted in 64'
FW 14 Ramadan Sobhi Substituted in 68'
FW 11 Kahraba Substituted in 82'
Manager:
Argentina Héctor Cúper

Man of the Match:
Denis Cheryshev (Russia)[26]

Assistant referees:[25]
Eduardo Cardozo (Paraguay)
Juan Zorrilla (Paraguay)
Fourth official:
Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
Reserve assistant referee:
Bahattin Duran (Turkey)
Video assistant referee:
Massimiliano Irrati (Italy)
Assistant video assistant referees:
Mauro Vigliano (Argentina)
Carlos Astroza (Chile)
Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia

Uruguay - Saudi Arabia

The two teams had met in two games. Their most recent meeting was a friendly in 2014, ending in a 1–1 draw.[27]

A left-wing Carlos Sánchez corner was missed by Mohammed Al-Owais, giving Luis Suárez a close-range finish into an unguarded net with his left foot. Fernando Muslera had to tip over a long-range drive from Hattan Bahebri, who then missed a chance in the box. The flat feel of the game continued after the interval with both sides struggling to build tempo in hot conditions at the Rostov Arena. Martín Cáceres headed over in the 68th minute from a Sanchez delivery. Saudi Arabia had plenty of the ball in the closing stages but were unable to score a goal.[28][29] The result ensured that both Russia and Uruguay would advance to the knockout stage, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia would be eliminated at the group stage.

Uruguay have won all four of their World Cup matches against Asian opposition. Suarez became the sixth player to make 100 appearances for his country. He also became the first Uruguay player to score in three World Cups.[30] Uruguay's victory had also helped Russia to qualify for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, as Russia had won 3–1 over Egypt earlier.

Uruguay  1–0  Saudi Arabia
Report
Attendance: 42,678[31]
Uruguay[32]
Saudi Arabia[32]
GK 1 Fernando Muslera
RB 4 Guillermo Varela
CB 2 José Giménez
CB 3 Diego Godín (c)
LB 22 Martín Cáceres
RM 5 Carlos Sánchez Substituted off 82'
CM 15 Matías Vecino Substituted off 59'
CM 6 Rodrigo Bentancur
LM 7 Cristian Rodríguez Substituted off 59'
CF 9 Luis Suárez
CF 21 Edinson Cavani
Substitutions:
MF 17 Diego Laxalt Substituted in 59'
MF 14 Lucas Torreira Substituted in 59'
MF 8 Nahitan Nández Substituted in 82'
Manager:
Óscar Tabárez
URU-KSA 2018-06-20.svg
GK 22 Mohammed Al-Owais
RB 6 Mohammed Al-Breik
CB 3 Osama Hawsawi (c)
CB 4 Ali Al-Bulaihi
LB 13 Yasser Al-Shahrani
DM 14 Abdullah Otayf
CM 7 Salman Al-Faraj
CM 17 Taisir Al-Jassim Substituted off 44'
RW 9 Hattan Bahebri Substituted off 75'
LW 18 Salem Al-Dawsari
CF 19 Fahad Al-Muwallad Substituted off 78'
Substitutions:
MF 16 Housain Al-Mogahwi Substituted in 44'
MF 12 Mohamed Kanno Substituted in 75'
FW 10 Mohammad Al-Sahlawi Substituted in 78'
Manager:
Spain Juan Antonio Pizzi

Man of the Match:
Luis Suárez (Uruguay)[33]

Assistant referees:[32]
Nicolas Danos (France)
Cyril Gringore (France)
Fourth official:
John Pitti (Panama)
Reserve assistant referee:
Gabriel Victoria (Panama)
Video assistant referee:
Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
Assistant video assistant referees:
Paweł Gil (Poland)
Paweł Sokolnicki (Poland)
Daniele Orsato (Italy)

Uruguay vs Russia

Uruguay team

The two teams had met in one previous game, a friendly in 2012, which ended in a 1–1 draw. With Russia formerly playing as the Soviet Union, the sides had faced each other seven times, including two matches at the World Cup, one in the 1962 FIFA World Cup group stage, won by the Soviet Union 2–1, and the other one at the 1970 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, won by Uruguay 1–0.[27]

Luis Suárez curled a low free-kick into the bottom-right corner after Yury Gazinsky's foul on Rodrigo Bentancur. Denis Cheryshev struck a half-volley straight at Fernando Muslera. He then found the net at the other end on 23 minutes, though, as his touch diverted Diego Laxalt's first-time effort past Igor Akinfeev. In the 36th minute, Igor Smolnikov picked up his second booking after lunging in on Edinson Cavani, just eight minutes after being carded for a foul on Matías Vecino. Muslera's pass enabled Russia to counter, though Artem Dzyuba sent his close-range effort well wide. In the final minute of normal time, Cavani thumped home the rebound after Akinfeev had kept out Diego Godín's header.[34][35]

Russia are the first European side to fail to top their group as the host nation since Spain in 1982, and they are equal with South Africa (2010) in suffering the heaviest defeat as hosts in the group stage – both defeated 3–0 by Uruguay. Uruguay are the first side to win all three of their group games (scoring five goals) without conceding a single goal since Argentina in 1998 (seven goals scored, none conceded). Smolnikov is the first outfield player to be sent off for the host nation of a World Cup since Marcel Desailly for France against Brazil in the 1998 final. Cavani became just the second player to score a goal in three separate World Cup tournaments for Uruguay after Luis Suárez. Muslera became Uruguay's all-time leading appearance maker at the World Cup (14) overtaking Ladislao Mazurkiewicz.[36]

Uruguay  3–0  Russia
Report
Attendance: 41,970[37]
Uruguay[38]
Russia[38]
GK 1 Fernando Muslera
CB 19 Sebastián Coates
CB 3 Diego Godín (c)
CB 22 Martín Cáceres
DM 14 Lucas Torreira
CM 15 Matías Vecino
CM 6 Rodrigo Bentancur Yellow card 59' Substituted off 63'
RW 8 Nahitan Nández Substituted off 73'
LW 17 Diego Laxalt
CF 9 Luis Suárez
CF 21 Edinson Cavani Substituted off 90+3'
Substitutions:
MF 10 Giorgian De Arrascaeta Substituted in 63'
MF 7 Cristian Rodríguez Substituted in 73'
FW 18 Maxi Gómez Substituted in 90+3'
Manager:
Óscar Tabárez
URU-RUS 2018-06-25.svg
GK 1 Igor Akinfeev (c)
RB 23 Igor Smolnikov Yellow cardYellow cardRed card 27', 36'
CB 3 Ilya Kutepov
CB 4 Sergei Ignashevich
LB 13 Fyodor Kudryashov
CM 11 Roman Zobnin
CM 8 Yury Gazinsky Yellow card 9' Substituted off 46'
RW 19 Aleksandr Samedov
AM 15 Aleksei Miranchuk Substituted off 60'
LW 6 Denis Cheryshev Substituted off 38'
CF 22 Artem Dzyuba
Substitutions:
DF 2 Mário Fernandes Substituted in 38'
MF 7 Daler Kuzyayev Substituted in 46'
FW 10 Fyodor Smolov Substituted in 60'
Manager:
Stanislav Cherchesov

Man of the Match:
Luis Suárez (Uruguay)[39]

Assistant referees:[38]
Djibril Camara (Senegal)
El Hadji Samba (Senegal)
Fourth official:
Bamlak Tessema Weyesa (Ethiopia)
Reserve assistant referee:
Hasan Al Mahri (United Arab Emirates)
Video assistant referee:
Clément Turpin (France)
Assistant video assistant referees:
Paweł Gil (Poland)
Cyril Gringore (France)
Daniele Orsato (Italy)

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt

Saudi Arabia

The two teams had met in six previous matches, the most recent one in the 2007 Pan Arab Games, won by Egypt 2–1.[3]

Mohamed Salah took Abdallah Said's long ball in his stride and then sent a deft lob over the onrushing Yasser Al-Mosailem with his second touch in the 22nd minute. Salah broke Saudi Arabia's offside trap and clipped an effort wide of the right-hand post. Five minutes before the interval Ahmed Fathy was adjudged to have deliberately handled Yasser Al-Shahrani's cross inside the area. Essam El-Hadary produced a save to deny Fahad Al-Muwallad, but his celebrations were cut short when a second penalty was awarded for Ali Gabr's tug on Al-Muwallad's shirt. Salman Al-Faraj stepped up this time to fire past the goalkeeper and draw his side level. Egypt substitute Kahraba fired straight at Al-Mosailem late on. Salem Al-Dawsari finished a right-footed volley past El-Hadary in the closing stages.[40][41]

This match was the first time Egypt have ever led in a World Cup match, in what was their seventh match in the competition. Al-Faraj's penalty goal for Saudi Arabia, scored after 50 minutes and 36 seconds, was the latest goal scored in the first half of a World Cup game since 1966.[42] El-Hadary, at the age of 45 years and 161 days, is the oldest player in the history of the World Cup, breaking the record set by Colombia's Faryd Mondragón in 2014 (43y 3d). Salah became the first African player to score in his first two appearances at the World Cup. Abdullah Otayf completed 110 passes in this match, the most by an Asian player in a World Cup match since 1966.[41] Saudi Arabia remains undefeated when it comes against their Arab rivals in the World Cup, having beaten Morocco 2–1 in 1994 and drew 2–2 to Tunisia in 2006. All in all, it was Saudi Arabia's first World Cup win since 1994.

Saudi Arabia  2–1  Egypt
Report
Attendance: 36,823[43]
Saudi Arabia[44]
Egypt[44]
GK 21 Yasser Al-Mosailem
RB 6 Mohammed Al-Breik
CB 3 Osama Hawsawi (c)
CB 23 Motaz Hawsawi
LB 13 Yasser Al-Shahrani
DM 14 Abdullah Otayf
CM 7 Salman Al-Faraj
CM 16 Housain Al-Mogahwi
RW 9 Hattan Bahebri Substituted off 65'
LW 18 Salem Al-Dawsari
CF 19 Fahad Al-Muwallad Substituted off 79'
Substitutions:
FW 20 Muhannad Assiri Substituted in 65'
MF 8 Yahya Al-Shehri Substituted in 79'
Manager:
Spain Juan Antonio Pizzi
KSA-EGY 2018-06-25.svg
GK 1 Essam El-Hadary (c)
RB 7 Ahmed Fathy Yellow card 86'
CB 2 Ali Gabr Yellow card 45+5'
CB 6 Ahmed Hegazi
LB 13 Mohamed Abdel-Shafy
CM 17 Mohamed Elneny
CM 8 Tarek Hamed
RW 10 Mohamed Salah
AM 19 Abdallah Said Substituted off 45+7'
LW 21 Trézéguet Substituted off 81'
CF 9 Marwan Mohsen Substituted off 64'
Substitutions:
FW 22 Amr Warda Substituted in 45+7'
FW 14 Ramadan Sobhi Substituted in 64'
FW 11 Kahraba Substituted in 81'
Manager:
Argentina Héctor Cúper

Man of the Match:
Mohamed Salah (Egypt)[45]

Assistant referees:[44]
Alexander Guzmán (Colombia)
Cristian de la Cruz (Colombia)
Fourth official:
Ricardo Montero (Costa Rica)
Reserve assistant referee:
Hiroshi Yamauchi (Japan)
Video assistant referee:
Artur Soares Dias (Portugal)
Assistant video assistant referees:
Tiago Martins (Portugal)
Carlos Astroza (Chile)
Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)

Discipline

Fair play points would have been used as tiebreakers if the overall and head-to-head records of teams had been tied. These were calculated based on yellow and red cards received in all group matches as follows:[2]

  • first yellow card: minus 1 point;
  • indirect red card (second yellow card): minus 3 points;
  • direct red card: minus 4 points;
  • yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points;

Only one of the above deductions would be applied to a player in a single match.

Team Match 1 Match 2 Match 3 Points
Yellow card Yellow cardYellow cardRed card Red card Yellow cardRed card Yellow card Yellow cardYellow cardRed card Red card Yellow cardRed card Yellow card Yellow cardYellow cardRed card Red card Yellow cardRed card
 Uruguay 1 −1
 Saudi Arabia 1 −1
 Egypt 2 1 2 −5
 Russia 1 1 1 1 −6

References

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  41. ^ a b Atkinson, Guy (25 June 2018). "Last-gasp Al Dawsari earns consolation win". Goal.com. 
  42. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (25 June 2018). "Saudi Arabia 2 Egypt 1". BBC Sport. 
  43. ^ "Match report – Group A – Saudi Arabia v Egypt" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018. 
  44. ^ a b c "Tactical Line-up – Group A – Saudi Arabia v Egypt" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018. 
  45. ^ "Saudi Arabia v Egypt – Man of the Match". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018. 

External links

  • 2018 FIFA World Cup Group A, FIFA.com
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