- Tournament favorites struggle after first matches in the ongoing Russia 2018 World Cup
- Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Spain are yet to prove they can win the mundial
The 2018 World Cup in Russia is turning out to be a tournament that has not been kind to the so-called favourites.
After matches played in Group A to F, it has been the B-list teams and also the minnows that have left the biggest impression in Russia.
So far, four favourites have had a tough opening to the World Cup, with Argentina, Germany, Brazil and Spain all recording surprise results.
The Spanish side were held by a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal who fought to earn an amazing 3-3 draw with the former world champions.
In an encounter that has been described by many as the game of the tournament so far, Spain were matched by their opponents, with nothing much separating both sides despite the superior quality that La Roja possesses.
Argentina were the next heavyweights to flatter to deceive as they were also held to a frustrating 1-1 by World Cup debutants Iceland.
The Argentines took an early lead through Sergio Aguero, but were pegged back by the Icelanders who simply refused to be overawed by the occasion.
A Lionel Messi penalty miss in the second half put the final nail on what was a truly disappointing night for the South Americans.
But there were still more surprises in Russia, though, with defending champions Germany also losing their opening game to Mexico.
Joachim Low’s side seem to have lost that spark which made them world champions four years ago, and succumbed to a very vibrant Mexico side led by Andreas Guardado and Hector Herrera.
By then the tournament had gained a reputation as one where most of the favouurites were being slayed by lesser opposition. Therefore, when Brazil took to the field many were torn between déjà vu and reality.
But as Steven Zuber stabbed home a delightful header to draw Switzerland level in the 50th minute to cancel out Philippe Coutinho’s excellent opener, it was obvious this tournament is not going well for the favourites.
With four of the pre-tournament favourites held, it is likely that the so-called minnow may end up stealing the headlines in Russia.
However, there are two more group games for them to gain redemption by overturning the matchday one results.
Fifa 2018 Most Powerful Teams: Football Team Ranking For The Fifa World Cup:
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