When this fixture was announced, it set pulses racing. A clash between two brilliant footballing countries. One with their finest generation, another a perennial favourite on this stage. A lot of the talk leading up to the game was about Roberto Martinez's inability to manage this group of players for
Ivan Rakitic stepped up, 12 yards away from writing the final lines of this incredible drama. The Croatian fans looked weary, almost expecting another twist in a penalty shootout with more twists and turns than a racing track. Calmly slotting it away, Rakitic redeemed Luka Modric, his country’s finest player.
Rojo: "My goal? Messi told everyone that it was either life or death. It would've gone badly. We could've conceded but Leo was stubborn. He told me to run forward. Even Masche. He told everyone to attack no matter what. He truly read the game & risks. He's a leader.
The winners of this game will be celebrating in a hotel room, far away from Volgograd. For now, Leo Messi and Argentina are alive. And it is all down to one Ahmed Musa and his Nigerian compatriots. Nigeria announced themselves in Russia with two moments of magic. Messi will also
Maybe, just maybe it was written in the stars. One could sense it when the Mexican team belted out their national anthem with a thunderous echo from the stadium in accompaniment. And as the 35-minute minute mark struck, Hirving Lozano skipped inside Mats Hummels to finish with aplomb and spark
For one, a bullet dodged. For another, one taken straight to the heart. Luis Suarez had spent the bulk of the game rueing missed chances and throwing his hands in the air in frustration. As Jose Gimenez rose highest, like a salmon with a minute left to plant a header past
Group A features some of football’s most intriguing storylines. A country increasingly isolated on a political front welcoming the world in its arms in the form of Russia features in it. They have a lot of incentive to do well, as do Uruguay. They play their football in a free-spirited,
By Anirudh Madhavan
Group E is a well-balanced mix of teams, comprising of France, Denmark, Peru and Australia. It features diverse styles of football, from the off the cuff brilliance of France to the solid tactical Australian approach. While France will aim to win the tournament, the likes of Peru and
A first exclusive by Anirudh Madhavan
Germany, a country famed for coldly efficient and effective people, fast cars and faster footballers. Die Mannschaft approach the World Cup as they usually do, a strong favorite. A country whose youth systems develop players of pace, powerful physique, soft touch, and skill, remains in