World cup group stage stories: Lights off for Africa, the champions curse, youngest & oldest players, highest goal scorers +  more (pictures & videos)

This is the round of 16


Lights off for Africa

Senegal’s elimination means no flag will fly for Mama Africa at the round of 16; A first since 1982

But wait… there is France

Who says Africa is out when children of the continent play for France; Listen the entire les Bleus team are first generation migrants

Samuel Umtiti was born in Cameroon; Paul Pogba’s parents are from Guinea; Corentin Tolisso’s father is from Togo; N’Golo Kanté’s parents are from Mali; Kylian Mbappé’s father is from Cameroon; Ousmane Dembélé’s parents are from Mauritania; Blaise Matuidi’s father is from Angola; Nabil Fekir’s parents are from Algeria; and Steven Nzonzi’s parents are from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Meet Russia 2018’s youngest players

Trent Alexander-Arnold. 19-years old defender. played for Liverpool at the Champions League final and playing for England at the World Cup.

Kylian Mbappe is the youngest player ever to feature for France at a World Cup .   

Daniel Arzani is the rising star of Australian football  in the eyes of many experts.

during the International Friendly match between Hungary and Australia at Groupama Arena on June 9, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary.

And the oldest player …

Is a goal keeper. Egypt goalkeeper El-Hadary becomes oldest player in World Cup history. The 45-year-old El-Hadary even saved a penalty in Monday’s group stage finale against Saudi Arabia

Yellow cards matter:

Senegal becomes the FIRST EVER team to get eliminated from the World Cup on fair play. They were tied with Japan in group H both in points and number of goals. But Japan had 4 yellow cards while Senegal had 6

“Wa gwaan” …lets praise Jah for Aliou Cissé

He made history by being the youngest and only black coach at the World Cup

Wonder working substitute

Denis Cheryshev. He came in as a substitute 20 minutes before the Match started, yet he scored two goals giving Russia a clear lead over Saudi Arabia.

 They came to the world cup to receive some good flogging;

Saudi Arabia: Russia flogged them 5-0 at the opening game in the presence of their Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.  Panama was thrashed 6-1 by England.

Pride and heart break all in one pitch

South Korean soccer fans celebrate as they watch a live broadcasting of the Group F World Cup soccer match between South Korea and Germany, at a public viewing venue in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, June 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korea needed to beat Germany and then have Mexico defeat Sweden to have a chance at advancing from the group stage. Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min both scored at injury time to condemn footballing superpower Germany to their first opening-round exit in 80 years.

But after rejoicing they broke down in tears because their win could not see them through to the round of 16

Mexico and South Korea would become one …… (At least for one game)

After Sweden beat Mexico 3-0 on Wednesday, Mexican fans turned their support to South Korea, fearful that a victory by Germany would send their players home.

South Korea then pulled the 2-0 defeat that secured a second spot for Mexico in group F, that explains this celebration…

The champions curse 

Germany’s 2-0 defeat and exit at group stage means they join the champion’s curse hall of fame.

Spain – Champions 2010, Group stage exit 2014

Italy – Champions 2006, Group stage exit 2010

France – Champions 1998, Group stage exit 2002

African Curse?

Africa played a good game, but the God of soccer was not with them

Egypt lost to Uruguay with a 90th minute header 1-0 after working hard to stave off their opponent

Morocco’s Aziz Bouhaddouz netted into his own post at the 94th minute giving Iran a last minute win (Iran 1- Morocco 0)

Nigeria had the round of 16 in the bag- they only needed a draw against Argentina until an 86th minute goal by Marcos Rojo sent Nigeria home and Argentina limping into the round of 16.

Senegal lost their chance in the round of 16 with a difference of two yellow cards

Contenders for the golden boots:

Harry Kane on 5 goals against Tunisia and Panama . Others are Lukaku and Ronaldo with 4 goals each

Sent home for not being ready to play

Nikola Kalinic from Croatia was sent home from the World Cup after he refused to come on as a second-half substitute during the 2-0 defeat of Super Eagles on Saturday. According to reports, Kalinic who was starting his fourth successive international on the bench, claimed he had a back injury before telling coach Dalic he was unable to play.

Who knows, maybe he has mental health issues

More group stage action in pictures

Neymar being a baby

Diego Maradonna fooling himself

Former Argentina forward Diego Maradona (C) celebrates the opening goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Oh yes, lest we forget- The chilling defender from Senegal

And just in case his coach and the whole of Senegal missed it


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