Group A Profile

Your complete and living guide to the FIFA World Cup.

2 shares, 1 point

Part of our 2018 FIFA World Cup Hub

Results & Schedule

All times in Eastern Summer Time (Toronto, Montreal, New York)

Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia

June 15: Egypt vs Uruguay @ 8am

June 19: Russia vs Egypt @ 2pm 

June 20: Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia @ 11am

June 25: Uruguay vs Russia @ 10am; Saudi Arabia vs Egypt @ 10am


To Progress
  • URU (3 pts, +1, 1 goal) – Δ 94.6%
  • RUS (3 pts, +5, 5 goals) – Δ 82.1%
  • EGY (0 pts, -1, 0 goals) – ∇ 22.1%
  • KSA (0 pts, -5, 0 goals) – ∇ 1.3%


RUSSIA are hosting the World Cup for the first time. They will be competing in their 11th World Cup, debuting in 1958 and last failing to qualify in 2010. Their best showing was in England 1966 when they reached 4th place, beating North Korea, Italy, Chile, and Hungary, before losing to Germany and Portugal. They would have been the lowest seeded team in the tournament if they were not hosts.

They will be led by Russian coach Stanislav Cherchesov. At last year’s Confederations Cup, the hosts failed to advance from the group stage, losing out to Portugal and Mexico. Their star player is 32-year-old Igor Akinfeev, who was Russia’s starting goalkeeper in 2014 and has played for CSKA Moscow for his entire career.

As hosts, they did not participate in qualifying. In the last Euro in France, they finished bottom of their group, losing out to Wales, England, and Slovakia.

URUGUAY will be competing in their 13th World Cup, having been the inaugural champions and last failing to qualify in 2006. They also won in Brazil 1950 famously beating the more favoured home side in the de-facto final.

They will be led once again by the legendary Oscar Tabarez, who led the team to the World Cup semifinals in South Africa 2010 and to the Copa America victory stage in 2011. He even led the team to the World Cup in Italy 1990. They qualified on the final match day by winning at home against Bolivia, in a 4-2 game in which all 6 goals were scored by Uruguayan players. Their star player is Barcelona forward Luiz Suarez, who famously bit an Italian opponent in the last World Cup, and even more famously knocked out Ghana in the quarterfinals by blocking a goal with his hands in the World Cup before that.

In South American qualifying, they finished behind Brazil, but ahead of Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and the rest of the continent. They also recorded losses against Paraguay and Bolivia in the process. At the last Copa America, they failed to progress past the group stage, losing out to Mexico and Venezuela while beating out Jamaica.

EGYPT will be competing in their 3rd World Cup, their other two appearances being Italy 1934 and Italy 1990 (this will be their first World Cup outside of Italy). They have never made it past the first round.

They will be led by Argentinian coach Hector Cuper, who guided the team to the Africa Cup of Nations final last year. They qualified through a dramatic 94th minute penalty kick against the Congo, scored by their star player Mohamed Salah. Salah plays for Liverpool and scored 5 goals in 6 games for Egypt during qualification.

In African qualifying, they beat out Chad, Uganda, Ghana, and the Congo, although they were defeated by Chad and the Congo in their away games. At the last Africa Cup of Nations, they beat out Ghana, Mali, Uganda, Morocco, and Burkina Faso, before being defeated in the final against Cameroon.

SAUDI ARABIA will be competing in their 5th World Cup, debuting in 1994 and last appearing in 2006. Their best showing was in USA 1994 when they reached the round of 16, beating Morocco and Belgium, before losing to Sweden. They are the lowest seeded team in the tournament.

They will be led by Spanish coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, who led Chile to failure in South American qualifying for this year’s World Cup. They qualified at home by beating Japan at home, which edged them past Australia on goal difference (Australia later qualified through a play-off). Their star player is 31-year-old Mohammad Al-Sahlawi, who plays in Saudi Arabia’s domestic league.

In Asian qualifying, they were held to a draw by Palestine, and were also defeated by the likes of Japan, Australia, and the UAE. They did, however, beat Japan on the final match day in front of their home fans. At the last Asian Cup, they failed to progress past the group stage, losing out to China and Uzbekistan while beating out North Korea.


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Mika Ryu

Law student at Western University, and UofT graduate in economics and linguistics. Remember that your version of the world is always too simple.

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