• by Ayoade Akinyode
  • 2 Years ago
  • 0
Canada, US & Mexico to host 2026 World Cup


*A late header from Jose Gimenez earned Uruguay all 3 points against Egypt in the other Group A fixture played on Friday.

*Egyptian star, Mohamed Salah didnt take part in the game as he watched from the bench as his side lost 1-0 to Uruguay.

*Coach Hector Cuper said he didnt want to risk playing Salah as the Liverpool man recovers from a shoulder injury.

*Another African team, Morocco lost their Group B fixture 1-0 to Iran courtesy of a last gasp own goal by substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz.

*The victory handed Iran their first win at a World Cup finals in 20 years! They last won a match after beating USA 2-1 in France 1998.

*The loss to Iran capped a difficult week for Morocco who had lost the hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup to a joint bid by USA, Canada & Mexico earlier in the week.

*Morocco coach Hervé Renard becomes the second former Cambridge United manager to take charge of a team at a World Cup. Claude Le Roy, who managed Cameroon at the 1998 World Cup, is the other.

*Spain and Portugal produced the best match in Russia so far as they played out a thrilling 3-3 draw to share the points in the other group B match.

*Diego Costa scored a brace for Spain before Nacho added another. But Cristiano Ronaldo rightly took the plaudits for scoring an impressive hat trick for Portugal.

*Ronaldo is now one of just four players to have scored in four World Cups. Others are, Miroslav Klose, Uwe Seeler and Pele.

*Australian legend, Tim Cahill has the chance to become the fifth player in the list above has his team prepares to face France in the opening Group C match.

*Having captained Les Bleus to the 1998 World Cup triumph on home soil, France coach, Didier Deschamps knows a thing or two about global success and is blessed with one of the strongest squads in Russia.

*Australia will also be desperate for a positive start against France in Kazan, having lost their opening games at their previous two World Cups.

*World Cup debutants, Iceland will face Argentina in the opening group D clash.
Iceland will also become the smallest nation to compete in a World Cup finals when they meet Argentina in Moscow.

*Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli took the surprising decision to name his line-up a day before the match, handing starts to Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.

*Despite his success with Barcelona, Messi still has not won a major honour with Argentina. The forward turns 31 on 24 June so this could be his last chance to add the game’s biggest prize to his glittering list of achievements.

*Peru will be making their first appearance at the World Cup since 1982 when they take on Denmark in the other Group C encounter.

*With France the clear favourites to take top spot in Group C, Peru and Denmark could already be competing for second spot when they meet in their World Cup opener on Saturday.

*All time scorer, Paolo Guerrero is fit to start Peru’s World Cup opener against Denmark after being reprieved from a doping ban in time for the tournament.

*The Super Eagles of Nigeria will face Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium in their first Group D encounter on Saturday.

*Super Eagles skipper, John Obi Mikel said both sides’ brand of football is similar, but hopes their youthfulness stands them out after the final whistle.

*Nigeria begin a tricky Group D campaign against Croatia, with clashes with Argentina and Iceland to come later on in the group.

*After the second day, 13 goals have been scored at the World Cup so far in Russia.

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Ayoade is a Nigerian university graduate. A sports writer, columnist and administrator. A lover of sports generally but his expertise is football.

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