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FIFA Fever: WC enters do-or-die stage as Argentina, Australia, Peru look for wins

Results of all the three matches played on June 20, 2018, were along expected lines as the teams advance further into the group stage. Portugal booted out Morocco 1-0, thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 4th minute goal. As fans, we expected more fireworks on the field, though. 

Uruguay sealed Saudi Arabia’s fate with a 1-0 win on the back of the 23rd minute goal scored by Luis Suarez. Meanwhile, Spain, too, beat Iran by a solitary goal, scored in the 54th minute by Diego Costa. 

Tonight’s (June 21, 2018) ties promise some scintillating action and do-or-die situations for the teams to continue in the tournament:

 

Denmark Vs Australia (5.30 pm IST)

France Vs Peru (8.30 pm IST)

Argentina Vs Croatia (11.30 pm IST)

In their previous game, Australia lost out to France 1-2 despite putting up a spirited a defense. Captain Mile Jedinak had scored Australia’s only goal. However, expectations are not very high from the Aussies. 

On the other hand, Denmark gets ready to face the Aussies fresh from their 1-0 win over Peru. But it was a hard-fought victory and the Danes did not leave the match unscathed, as midfielder William Kvist suffered a punctured lung and will have to sit out the remainder of the WC. 

While Australia and Denmark have never faced one another before, the respective coaches for Australia and Denmark, Bert van Marwijk and Age Hareide, had met in 2008. Back then Marwijk was leading Netherlands, while Hareide was leading his home country Norway, where the former emerged the victor. 

Also Read: FIFA Fever: Russia poised to enter Top 16; Portugal looks for elusive win

For this tie, the scales are tipped in Denmark’s favour. But they can’t afford to let up their guard as Australia is looking for a win at any cost to stay in the game. 

SonyLIV, one of the premium OTT platforms in India, is the official mobile and internet broadcaster for FIFA and is the go-to destination for all football lovers.

On Match Centre, viewers can see live scores, player positions, team information, match statistics and live commentary. To make their experience more engaging, users can set reminders or view the entire schedule, while the points table gives a quick update on the standings, scores, etc. Additionally, SonyLIV has also created a fan-zone on the second screen, which users can access on their mobile phone or tablet and experience features like predictions, emotion meter, polls, contests, even as they watch the game in real-time.

Some of the other features also include viewing missed games with snippets and clips of key moments from every match along with highlights. To cater to the widest possible range of viewers, SonyLIV will be available in six simultaneous audio feeds - Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and English.

France is definitely the stronger team, compared to Peru. But they need to strengthen their defence. The 2-1 win against Australia was not an easy one for France despite the presence of a strong French line-up comprising Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, and Kylian Mbappe. 

Like Australia, Peru, too, is desperately looking for a win, having lost its opening match against Denmark 0-1. Despite creating many more scoring opportunities against their opponent, Peru was not able to produce any concrete results. The South American team was ranked 11th in the preceding WC and have all the chops necessary to qualify for the top 16. Considering that France and Peru have met only once previously in a 1982 friendly, neither have a clue what to expect. The team that takes the initiative on the attack will have the upper hand. Expect some attacking play. 

Argentina broke many a fans’ hearts when it drew 1-1 against Iceland. It wasn’t a result anyone was expecting. Despite several attacks, Messi failed to get the ball to cross the goal line. Experts are advising the team to go revise their 4-2-3-1 formation to a 3-4-3 formation and rely less on Messi. Will the tie against Iceland see Messi bounce back and find his mojo? 

On the other hand, Croatia had an easier time with Nigeria, which it defeated by 2-0. Football experts consider the Croatian midfield options to be among the best in the world. The trio of Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, and Mateo Kovacic can shore up the goals tally for Croatia. 

‘Football Extraa’ on Sony Ten and SonyLIV continues with its game analysis, predictions, observing the strengths and weaknesses of individual teams and players and much more with football greats such as Luis Garcia, Louis Saha, David James and Bhaichung Bhutia.

Click here to read more on FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.

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