Round 1 review: Karen on top of the world

Harry Kane

On a night when England celebrated beating Tunisia in their Group G opener thanks to Harry Kane’s double, Karen Myers won the first round of our World Cup game with some top-quality predicting.

In a great start to the tournament and the competition, Karen nailed five scorelines and eight results to score 21 points over the course of the 10 games.

Karen was one of only 28 players to nail Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland, and she was in the dozen who managed to predict Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland. She signed off round one by playing her banker on England to win 1-0 which gave her four points from the correct margin of victory. Impressive stuff Karen!

Shay Vikel was second with 18 points thanks partly to being in the 30.5% to predict Belgium’s 3-0 win against Panama. Many of you had their bankers on that scoreline like Or Prat, James Glover, Aruncikas and Belinda Spragg who all secured top-10 spots on the back of those six points.

Congratulations also go to the appropriately named Abedi Pele who also bagged five scorelines like Karen and to Arjun Chitaram for calling eight results.

It looked like it was going to be a tough round when no-one predicted Russia’s 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia in the curtain-raiser, but Itchy and Lloyd James shared the lead with seven points after Uruguay’s late 1-0 victory over Egypt.

Only three people predicted the 3-3 draw between Portugal and Spain which put Itchy two points clear after he went for a share of the spoils, although he led with 10 points via the Separata rules from Beatriz Alonso and Luke after France’s 2-1 victory over Australia.

At the halfway stage Pierre Jones was top of the shop with 11 points after predicting Iceland would hold Argentina – his fifth successive correct result.

Lloyd held a two-point lead over Kirill and six others thanks to his spot-on prediction that Croatia would beat Nigeria 2-0. Gary Hamilton and Jason Parker, both in this week’s top 10, stuck their bankers on that scoreline.

Just three players bravely went for Mexico to upset defending champions Germany 1-0 and with Itchy going for a 2-1 victory for El Tri he moved up to 12 points, just a point behind leader Luke.

But Karen took over at the summit by calling Switzerland’s 1-1 draw with Brazil, a lead she never relinquished as she picked up three points from Belgium and four from England to wrap up an impressive start to the competition.

Here’s a rundown of how the week went:

Round 1 prediktions

Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia (No correct predictions)
Egypt 0-1 Uruguay (15%)
Portugal 3-3 Spain (Three correct predictions)
France 2-1 Australia (10%)
Argentina 1-1 Iceland (4%)
Croatia 2-0 Nigeria (13%)
Germany 0-1 Mexico (Three correct predictions)
Brazil 1-1 Switzerland (1.7%)
Belgium 3-0 Panama (30.5%)
Tunisia 1-2 England (18%)

Eight correct results

Karen Myers and Arjun Chintaram

Five correct scorelines

Karen Myers and Abedi Pele 

Ten or less spot-on prediktions

3 – Germany 0-1 Mexico – Alan Tuite, hhhhjj and lowerappendageshrere fanatic!

3 – Portugal 3-3 Spain – Fardil Rashid Fahim, Hari and Jason Brunt

Top eight prediktions of round 1

Tunisia 0-2 England (40%)
Russia 2-0 Saudi Arabia (39%)
France 2-0 Australia (33%)
Portugal 1-2 Spain (32%)
Germany 2-0 Mexico (31%)
Brazil 2-0 Switzerland (31%)
Belgium 3-0 Panama (30.5%)
Argentina 2-0 Iceland (30%)

Round 2 preview

Round two gets under way on Wednesday starting with Portugal’s clash with Morocco and concludes with England’s Group G contest with World Cup debutants Panama. Here’s a rundown of all the games:

Portugal v Morocco (Wed): Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in his fourth World Cup as Portugal drew 3-3 with Spain in what was one of the best matches in the tournament’s history. Morocco were unlucky to lose 1-0 to Iran via a last-minute own goal and their attacking style could produce a classic encounter.

Iran v Spain (Wed): Diego Costa twice equalised for Spain in the draw with Portugal but it was Nacho’s brilliant strike that put them ahead before Ronaldo equalised with a sensational free-kick. Probably deserved to beat their Iberian neighbours and should not have too much trouble against Iran, who defended well and did not have a single shot in the second half against Morocco.

France v Peru (Thu): This could be a brilliant contest between two attacking teams. France squeezed past Australia 2-1 in a game of two penalties, while Peru deserved more than a 1-0 defeat by Denmark in a match in which they pushed forward at every opportunity.

Argentina v Croatia (Thu): Argentina brought their disappointing qualifying form to the World Cup after they could only draw 1-1 with Iceland in a match which involved Lionel Messi missing a penalty. Croatia looked fairly pedestrian against an average Nigeria team but still ran out 2-0 winners courtesy of an own goal and a Luka Modric penalty. Could be close.

Brazil v Costa Rica (Fri): Brazil made a great start against Switzerland but started to look disjointed as the game wore on and eventually Steven Zuber equalised with a header. In one of the worst games of the first round Costa Rica lost 1-0 to Serbia whose winner came from a brilliant Alexsandar Kolarov free-kick. Brazil won’t make the same mistake twice.

Nigeria v Iceland (Fri): Nigeria offered very little in a 2-0 defeat by Croatia, while Iceland defended bravely and went forward in packs against Argentina, crowding out Messi at every opportunity. The tactic worked but will they be more adventurous against a weaker team?

Belgium v Tunisia (Sat): Belgium finally came good with three second-half goals to see off debutants Panama in their opener in which Romelu Lukaku scored twice. Tunisia did well to last as long as they did against England and although their last-minute defeat was a cruel way to lose they could have few complaints about the result.

South Korea v Mexico (Sat): El Tri were superb against Germany and although the holders had most of the chances, Mexico could still have scored more than the one they managed through their talented PSV forward Hirving Lozano. South Korea struggled to create opportunities against a Sweden team lacking quality and another defeat looks likely.

Germany v Sweden (Sun): Too many of Germany’s star players underperformed against Mexico so coach Joachim Loew could bring Julian Brandt and Marco Reus into the starting line-up after lively substitute appearances. Marcus Berg fluffed his lines on too many occasion against South Korea and it look a VAR penalty from Andreas Granqvist to secure the points. Germany still look a cut above Sweden but remember they twice kept Italy at bay in the play-offs.

England v Panama (Sun): Gareth Southgate’s men played well against Tunisia as they deployed a pressing style made popular by Guardiola and Klopp to great effect. The Three Lions will have too much for a Panama team that did well to hold Belgium for the first 45 minutes but wilted after the break in a 3-0 defeat.

That’s a wrap on our round one review and a preview of this week’s action. All you need to do now is click on the blue banner and get those predictions in before Wednesday’s clash between Portugal and Morocco kicks off at 1pm. Best of luck to you all!