By: Aya Aboshady
FIFA World Cup 2018 is, without a doubt, full of shocking events and surprises! According to many, it is the best, and most interesting World Cup in a long time. Apart from the fact that it’s the World Cup with the most penalties and own goals, it’s also being taken over by the underdogs!
Here are our top five underdogs in Russia 2018:
The Croatian team stunned everyone this tournament. Especially after beating Nigeria, Iceland, and destroying Messi’s Argentina with the infamous 3-0 win in the group stage, almost knocking them out too early!
The Croatian rise was unexpected, considering the fact that their best achievement was 3rd place in 1998. They recently beat Denmark as well, and are up against Russia this Saturday! All eyes are on Real Madrid’s Modric and Liverpool’s Lovren now!
Will this World Cup trophy stay in Moscow this time? You tell us! Because although their best achievement was 4th place in 1966, all we know now is that Russia is having an unreal tournament so far.
After crushing Saudi Arabia in the opening match, beating Egypt, and shattering all of Spain’s hopes and dreams of winning this one, Russia’s chances of going further in the tournament are increasing by the day. The question remains if luck is playing a role here, or have we all just been sleeping on them?
Speaking of this World Cup’s unpredictable surprises, the Mexican national team was the first brutal blow that came to the Germans, when they beat them 1-0 in their first match. Their forward, Lozano, was also named ‘Man of the Match’ for his stunning goal against Die Mannschaft!
Although Mexico lost in Monday’s battle against Brazil and got knocked out, their incredible performance will forever remain in everyone’s heads. The ball possession was even at the Mexican side at the beginning, but Neymar’s efforts (along with his great acting skills), stood in the way of Mexico’s deserving dreams.
Their best FIFA achievement was reaching the Quarter-Finals in 1970 and 1986.
Senegal was hands down one of the best at the group stage, and also had the best performance of their specific group, too bad they got knocked out too early by Japan, due to FIFA’s fair play rule!
Their star was Liverpool’s very own forward, Sadio Mane, who was named ‘Man of the Match’ for scoring a goal against Japan in the group stage, and surely, would’ve scored a lot more for Senegal if it wasn’t for their brutal exit!
Senegal’s biggest FIFA World Cup achievement was reaching the Quarter-Finals in 2002.
Finally, this team wouldn’t have even made it to the list, if it wasn’t for Monday’s match against Belgium.
Their best achievement was also round of 16 in 2002 and 2010.
Japan have beaten Colombia, equalized with Senegal in the group stage, and qualified for the round of 16 through fair play. Japan’s forward Yuya osako was even elected ‘Man of the Match’ against Colombia.
The Japanese team’s stunning effort amazed everyone, as they led their battle against Belgium, whom they almost knocked out with a 2-0 lead, until Belgium equalized and then reversed the table with a last minute winner. It was heartbreaking to witness, but in the end, that’s football!
Croatia and Russia are on our watch now, and surely, those two ain’t going down without a fight! As for the rest of the teams, we hope to see them come back stronger in 2022!