Plenty At Stake In Group Stage Round 2 Of The World Cup

A preview of what to expect in the Group stage round 2

In the end, Ghana lost to Portugal. Again. The Black Stars were the last African team to play their first match of the Qatar World Cup. And like in 2014, they made it a proper contest, battling till the final whistle. Inaki Williams came very close to equalising, but he slipped just as he managed to sneak in behind Diogo Costa and try to score.

Ghana came close to snatching a point against Portugal

Cameroon lost narrowly to Switzerland courtesy of a goal by Cameroonian-born Breel Embolo.

And yet, there was Brazil doing only what Brazil does. They never rush in hard on any opponent. They size you up with light jabs repeatedly. But just when it feels like you are dealing just fine, they throw that heavy hook that knocks you out. At the end of the proceedings, you are left broken, exhausted, and unable to mutter a word. 

Richarlison was the star of the show against Serbia. The Tottenham forward will remember his first World Cup match not just for his goals but for the manner of the scoring. The 25-year-old defied physics; he flicked Vinicius’ pass with his left toe, swivelled the opposite way, and smacked the ball mid-air with his right foot into the near corner.

Richarlison scored a contender for the goal of the tournament

In truth, the first round of matches at this World Cup has been exciting. Still, there is plenty to come as the matches come thick and fast.

Some blockbuster encounters are set for the second round of group-stage matches this weekend.

Preview Of The Group Stage Round 2

Groups A and B will kick off the action today. Groups C and D play on Saturday, E and F on Sunday, and G and H wrap up the second group stage matches on Monday.

Senegal will fancy their chances against the hosts, Qatar, who were largely poor against Ecuador. The other Group A match will see the Netherlands do battle with Ecuador.

In Group B, Wales face a tricky test against Iran. England will look to continue from where they left off in the opening match when they face a young and skilful American team.

Saudi Arabia will be brimming with confidence after their opening win as they take on Poland in Group C. The Asian team can secure their place in the next round with a win. Argentina have been given a rude awakening and will now be keen to get their first points on the board when they play Mexico.

Tunisia and Australia will both be positive about getting a result when they meet in Group D. France will be weary of a technically sound Denmark team in the other group match.

Japan can earn a place in the Round of 16 when they play against a Costa Rican team that is low on confidence. And in the biggest match of the weekend, Spain and Germany will clash in a heavyweight battle in Group E.

Spain seem the favourites to defeat Germany

Belgium will hope to improve on their lacklustre opening game against a well-organized Moroccan side. Croatia have a tough outing against Group F’s dark horses, Canada.

Cameroon need a perfect game to defeat Serbia while Group G leaders Brazil take on Switzerland.

South Korea and Ghana go head-to-head, while Portugal and Uruguay will crack at it in the final match in Group H.



Wales vs Iran (over 1.5 goals)

Qatar vs Senegal (2)

Netherlands vs Ecuador (goal/goal)

England vs USA (1)


Tunisia vs Australia (over 1.5 goals)

Poland vs Saudi Arabia (under 3.5 goals)

France vs Denmark (over 1.5 goals)

Argentina vs Mexico (1)


Japan vs Costa Rica (1)

Belgium vs Morocco (over 1.5 goals)

Croatia vs Canada (goal/goal)

Spain vs Germany (over 2.5 goals)


Cameroon vs Serbia (under 3.5 goals)

South Korea vs Ghana (over 2.5 goals)

Brazil vs Switzerland (1)

Portugal vs Uruguay (goal/goal)