Monday, 16 July 2018

Not a World Cup, rather ‘well of death’

Probhash Amin, Head of News, ATN News: After a draw on every World Cup, a group is declared as the ‘Group of Death’. This time, however, there is not much scope to do the same. Some claim Argentina’s group is difficult, while others say Brazil’s and there are others who say Germany is in danger; but ever since the start of this year’s World Cup, no specific group, rather the whole tournament has become sudden-death. No predictability. The bookmakers are also having problems in their business. They lose more cash if an underdog wins. The fortunetellers are facing a hard time this World Cup.
At the time of writing this, all 32 teams had played their first match, in which all predictions went down the drain.
The shock started from the very first match, in which two of the lower ranked teams took part. The host Russia has been ranked at 70 while Saudi Arabia at 67. Everyone expected an exciting, competitive match. What we got was a very one-sided affair – Russia took the match with a 5-0 win. The most exciting match came the day after, the former champion Spain was held back by Christiano Ronaldo. The match between Spain and Euro champion Portugal ended with a 3-3 draw. But we cannot call this a draw as Portugal is currently ranked at 4 and Spain at 10.
The actual upset came on the third day. Former champions Argentina drew 1-1 against newcomers Iceland. Messi had missed the penalty. Not only in Bangladesh, the Brazil-Argentina rivalry is present everywhere in the world. Argentine supporters became silent after their team’s performance while Brazilian fans were on cloud nine. A day later, Brazil slipped against Switzerland and the Argentine camp grew festive at Brazil’s draw. On the other hand, there was an even bigger upset than Brazil and Argentina’s draws – defending champion and FIFA number one ranked Germany lost to Mexico. And even though England somehow managed to beat Tunisia with a last minute goal, Poland and Columbia were not so fortunate. Columbia lost to Japan while Poland was defeated by Senegal.
After the first round of matches, the World Cup is now any team’s game. The gap between the tiers has lessened. In truth, there is no differentiating between underdogs and favorites anymore. No soothsayer will try to predict which team will advance to the second round. However, this is the ideal World Cup for the die-hard football fans who want exhilarating matches. There is no excitement in an easily predictable match. This year’s World Cup will be an exciting one, the initial round has told us this much. More thrills are yet to come. Hold on to your seatbelts, folks.
Translated by Abrar Hussain

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