World Cup

World Cup team of the round: Group stage round 1

Tom Gott
A perfect start from Saka
A perfect start from Saka / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

The first round of World Cup group stage fixtures is in the books.

We saw some sensational individual performances during the opening few days of the winter showpiece, many of which inspired some of the most memorable results in recent tournament history.

Here's 90min's team of the round for the first batch of group stage fixtures.


1. GK: Shuichi Gonda (Japan)

Shuichi Gonda
Gonda made up for an error / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Eight saves for 33-year-old Shuichi Gonda as Japan sealed a famous victory over Germany.

He more than made up for his sloppy penalty concession with a vital role in one of his country's most famous victories.


2. RB: Angelo Preciado (Ecuador)

Angelo Preciado
Preciado kicked things off / Lars Baron/GettyImages

Against a spirited Qatar crowd, Preciado delivered an excellent performance to inspire Ecuador to victory.

It was his cross which set up Enner Valencia's header but he also chimed in with five tackles.


3. CB: Hassan Al-Tambakti (Saudi Arabia)

Hassan Tambakti
Al-Tambakti was sensational / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

A monster of a performance from Al-Tambakti, who picked the biggest stage imaginable to have the best performance of his career.

The Saudi Arabia defender shut down Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez, fist-pumping along with every block.


4. CB: Toby Alderweireld (Belgium)

Toby Alderweireld
Alderweireld had a monster game / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Alderweireld won't have expected to be as busy as he was against Canada, who can count themselves hugely unfortunate to have lost to Belgium.

The veteran centre-back made a whopping 12 clearances as he constantly repelled the Canadian threat, and he also provided the long ball for Michy Batshuayi's winner.


5. LB: Yasser Al-Shahrani (Saudi Arabia)

Yasser Al-Shahrani
Al-Shahrani's tournament is over / Visionhaus/GettyImages

We won't see Al-Shahrani again at this tournament after the left-back suffered a gruesome head injury late in Saudi Arabia's victory over Argentina.

Before leaving on a stretcher, the left-back was sensational and he more than played his part in the biggest shock of the tournament so far.


6. CM: Jude Bellingham (England)

Jude Bellingham
Bellingham inspired England / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Bellingham was a dominant force in England's midfield as the Three Lions steamrolled Iran.

He scored a brilliant header and completed a cool 96% of his passes, adding an extra zero to his price tag in the process.


7. CM: Gavi (Spain)

Gavi
Gavi made more history / Clive Mason/GettyImages

Golden Boy Gavi lived up to that billing as he pulled the strings in Spain's 7-0 victory over Costa Rica.

The youngest scorer at the World Cup since Pele in 1958, Gavi offered a deflected assist for Dani Olmo before arrowing a goal of his own into the bottom corner.


8. CM: Adrien Rabiot (France)

Adrien Rabiot
Rabiot impressed his suitors / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Rabiot served an excellent reminder of what he can do with a dominant performance in France's dismantling of Australia.

The Juventus midfielder, who is out of contract in the summer, impressed with one goal and one assist.


9. RW: Bukayo Saka (England)

Bukayo Saka
Saka was in inspired form / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Two goals for Saka as he banished the demons of his last tournament outing in style.

Saka's first was an excellent half-volley but his solo-run second wasn't half bad either.


10. ST: Richarlison (Brazil)

Richarlison
Richarlison netted a worldie / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

Richarlison offered up the goal of the round with an outrageous bicycle kick to seal Brazil's 2-0 victory over Serbia.

The Tottenham striker's inclusion in the starting lineup was the subject of real criticism before the game but few could have any issues when all was said and done.


11. LW: Salem Al-Dawsari (Saudi Arabia)

Salem Al-Dawsari
A big day for Al-Dawsari / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

What a moment for Al-Dawsari.

Beating three defenders off the dribble, Al-Dawsari pulled out an unreal goal to put Saudi Arabia ahead against Argentina, creating one of the biggest moments in recent World Cup history.

facebooktwitterreddit