World Cup 2018 - Day Seven at a glance

Portugal, Spain and Uruguay will all be looking for wins in their middle matches

Spain manager Fernando Hierro talks with his squad at a training session in Kazan ahead of Wednesday’s game against Iran in Group B. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters


Portugal v Morocco
(Moscow, 1pm, RTÉ/BBC)
Betting: Portugal 8-13, Morocco 5-1, Draw 13-5

Uruguay v Saudi Arabia
(Rostov, 4pm, RTÉ/BBC)
Betting: Uruguay 1-7, Saudi Arabia 18-1, Draw 6-1

Iran v Spain
(Kazan, 7pm, RTÉ/ITV)
Betting: Iran 18-1 , Spain 1-6, Draw 6-1


Uruguay defender Diego Godin required surgery after being elbowed in the mouth playing for Atletico Madrid earlier this year. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Diego Godin is the very definition of a solid defender and is the rock around which Uruguay's team is built. The same holds through at Atletico Madrid, where manager Diego Simeone's teak-tough image is represented on the pitch by his 32-year-old centre back.


Godin’s fearless nature saw him undergo reconstructive surgery on three teeth earlier this year after being elbowed by Valencia goalkeeper Neto, with one tooth flying out of his mouth in the challenge. Simeone was disappointed his side didn’t get a penalty. Hard manager, hard player.


Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi has a shot at goal as Iran’s Morteza Pouraliganji attempts to block during the World Cup game in St Petersburg. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane described Achraf Hakimi's debut for the club at just 18 last October as "spectacular". Now 19, Hakimi is the very definition of a modern full back: he can play on both sides of the central defenders, is a good man marker and can also get forward, adding an aerial threat when he does so.

His options of getting forward against Portugal in the early Group B kick-off in Moscow look like they will be limited as he is likely to be up against his Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, whose hat-trick against Spain in last Friday's exhilarating 3-3 draw.


Cristiano Ronaldo is mobbed by his Portuguese team-mates after completing his hat-trick against Spain in Sochi. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Jose Fonte and Kieran Trippier were the odd ones out among the outfield players in their countries' dramatic late equalisers in the first round of games and it's all to do with an entry in the football rule book that football nerds will tell you they always knew about.

When Cristiano Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with a stunning free-kick in the 88th minute, he hared off towards the touchline with his team-mates in tow.

Except, that is, for Jose Fonte, who made sure to stay inside the pitch area while Ronaldo was mobbed.

Harry Kane’s injury-time winner against Tunisia on Monday saw England’s players lose the run of themselves also, except for full back Trippier, who calmly made his way back towards the half-way line while the England captain was fêted.

The reason is not tensions in the Portuguese or English camps, but the rule that as long as one player remains in an opposition’s half, they can not kick-off again. With the other nine outfield players off the pitch celebrating, Fonte and Trippier were keeping their heads while all round them were losing theirs.

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist