Part of our 2018 FIFA World Cup Hub
Results & Schedule
All times in Eastern Summer Time (Toronto, Montreal, New York)
June 15: Morocco vs Iran @ 11am; Portugal vs Spain @ 2pm
June 20: Portugal vs Morocco @ 8am; Iran vs Spain @ 2pm
June 25: Spain vs Morocco @ 2pm; Iran vs Portugal @ 2pm
- ESP (1 pts, 0, 3 goals) – ∇ 87.9%
- POR (1 pts, 0, 3 goals) – Δ 80.6%
- IRN (3 pts, +1, 1 goal) – Δ 25.8%
- MAR (0 pts, 0, 0 goals) – ∇ 5.7%
PORTUGAL are surprisingly only competing in their 7th World Cup, having debuted in 1966 and last failing to qualify in 1998. Their best showing was in England 1966 when they reached 3rd place, beating Hungary, Bulgaria, Brazil, and North Korea, before losing to England in the semifinals. They beat the Soviets for 3rd place.
They will be led by Fernando Santos, who led Greece at the last world cup and led Portugal to their first Euro title in France two years ago. At the Confederations Cup, they finished top of their group ahead of Mexico and Russia before losing to Chile. Their star player is 33-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, who alongside Messi is considered one of the best players in the world. This could be his last World Cup.
In qualifying, they won all but one game (an away loss to Switzerland), finishing ahead of Switzerland (who also qualified). They won their first Euro in France 2016, despite finishing 3rd in their group behind Hungary and Iceland. On their road to the title they downed Croatia, Poland, Wales, and home team France. Portugal might meet home team Russia in the Round of 16.
SPAIN will be competing in their 15th World Cup, having won the trophy for the first time in 2010.
Having fired their coach just two days before their first match with Portugal, it will be particularly interesting to see how they perform. Their star player is Sergio Ramos, having participated in Spain’s wins at Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup, and Euro 2012.
They were undefeated in qualifying, only dropping points in an away draw against Italy (who later lost to Sweden in a playoff). At Euro 2016, they finished 2nd in their group ahead of Turkey and the Czechs but behind Croatia. They lost to Italy in the Round of 16.
IRAN will be competing in their 5th World Cup, and it will be their first time appearing in back-to-back World Cup tournaments. They have never made it past the 1st round, although their first World Cup in 1978 only had 16 participants.
They will be led once again by Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz. He was also Portugal’s coach in 2010. Their star player is Sardar Azmoun, who plays for a Russian club. I would not expect to see him and Ghoochannejhad on the bench at the same time.
They were undefeated in qualifying, finishing top of the group ahead of Korea, as well as 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar (who finished last in the group). At the Asian Cup, they beat Bahrain, Qatar, and the Emirates before falling to Iraq on penalties.
MOROCCO will be competing in their 5th World Cup, debuting in 1970 and last appearing in 1998. Their best showing was in Mexico 1986 when they reached the round of 16, finishing at the top of their group ahead of England, Poland, and Portugal, before falling to Germany.
They will be led by French coach Herve Renard, who is well respected in Africa. Their star player is 31-year-old Medhi Benatia, who played for Bayern Munich before being transferred to Juventus.
They were undefeated in African qualifying, finishing ahead of Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, and Equatorial Guinea. They also finished ahead of Ivory Coast in their last Africa Cup of Nations Group. They also finished ahead of Togo and behind DR Congo, and lost to Egypt in the quarterfinals.