****Before the arbitrary analysis of Group C that, while informative, will only be about half right from a prediction standpoint....it's important to note how fantastic the games were today!
-Group A: Uruguay looked slower than a 55+ rec league, but had enough talent to eek by with an 89th minute goal from Gimenez, putting an L on Egypt(for those ripping the manager for sitting Mo Salah, let's first see what an extra handful of rest days can do for him). Goal differential will matter in this group, as Russia pounded Saudi Arabia 5-0 yesterday. Uruguay and Russia are tied with 3pts, but the host nation holds a +5 GD that may come in handy when all group matches are played. Russia is hoping that Saudi Arabia shows a bit more professional pride in their final two matches and doesn't concede 5 every game.
-On to GROUP B ------Morocco is heartbroken. They lose out on hosting World Cup 2026 via lopsided vote on Wednesday, then offer up a 95th minute OWN-GOAL earlier today against Iran. Iran wins 1-0, their first World Cup match since 1998, and Morocco is likely out of the tournament...because they are NOT beating either Portugal or Spain. It could've been rust in the opening match, but what an embarrassing and awful effort today against a bad club. They're done.
-GROUP B continued ---- Portugal/Spain was as good a DRAW as you will ever see. Ronaldo falls in the box like a feather to gain the penalty early, 1-0 Portugal. Diego Costa ties it up for Spain. Ronaldo breaks Spanish hearts again just before half, mostly thanks to the elite keeper David De Gea bumbling a simple save. 2-1 Portugal. Diego Costa scores HIS second goal in the second half to tie it at 2 each. Then, Nacho volleys in the prettiest goal of the tournament so far (until....) to make it 3-2 Spain! I am telling you, this Spanish squad can win this tourney....BUT, can Portugal?? CRISTIANO RONALDO WANTS IT. His free kick, sealing the hat trick and leveling the score at 3...absolute perfection. My god. 3-3 final score. Technically, Iran is winning the group right now. That won't last.
LATER THIS EVENING: Group C and D previews, as action kicks off tomorrow morning!