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What you need to know about Group B of 2018 World Cup  - Daily News Egypt

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What you need to know about Group B of 2018 World Cup 

Morocco is in the ‘group of death’ along with Portugal, Spain, and Iran 


In the final draw of the 2018 World Cup, the Moroccan national football team was placed in Group B along with Portugal, Spain, and Iran.

Morocco will make their first appearance at the global finals since the World Cup in France in 1998. It will be their fifth participation in the tournament, as they also played in the 1970, 1986, and 1994 editions.

Morocco will clash with two major competitors: Portugal, which held the 2016 UEFA European Championship, and Spain, the 2010 World Cup winners.

It will be the second time Morocco faces Portugal in the World Cup after their first clash in the third round of Group F in the 1986 World Cup, when the Lions of the Atlas beat the Spanish side 3-1, thanks to goals from Abderrazak Khairi (2) and Abdelkrim Merry, known as Krimau.

After beating Portugal in 1986, Morocco became the first Arab and African team to qualify for the Round of 16 of the World Cup, despite its 0-0 draws with Poland and England. However, Morocco was knocked out by West Germany.

Daily News Egypt reviews major figures and results of the 2018 World Cup’s Group B teams in this infograph:

  1. Portugal 

– Local football federation established in 1914

– Joined FIFA in 1923

– Joined UEFA in 1954

– Nickname: Selecção das Quinas

– First international match: Portugal lost 1-3 to Spain on 18 December 1921

– Biggest wins: Portugal 8-0 Liechtenstein in Lisbon on 18 November 1994

Portugal 8-0 Liechtenstein in Portugal on 9 June 1999

Portugal 8-0 Kuwait in Portugal on 19 November 2003

– Biggest defeat: Portugal lost 0-10 to England in Lisbon on 25 May 1947

– World Cup appearances: 6 (first appearance in 1966)

– Global titles: None

– Continental titles: UEFA Euro 2016

– Current FIFA World Ranking: 3rd place (23 November 2017)

– Best ranking: 7th place in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2017

– Worst ranking: 43rd place in August 1998

– Portugal’s all-time top goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo with 79 goals

– Portugal’s most capped player of all time: Cristiano Ronaldo with 147 caps

– Current coach: Fernando Santos

Portugal won the 2016 UEFA European Championship, held in France, for the first time in its history.

The Seleção participated in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, hosted by Russia, and finished third at the expense of Mexico. Portugal fought back from a goal down to beat Mexico 2-1 in extra time in the Confederations Cup third place match.

After losing the first World Cup qualifier to Switzerland, Portugal won the remaining nine in an assertive fashion, finishing top of their qualifying group with an impressive 32 goals scored—the fourth best team in European qualifiers.

Portugal’s World Cup qualifiers:

Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Switzerland v Portugal (2-0)

Friday, 7 October 2016
Portugal v Andorra (6-0)

Monday, 10 October 2016
Faroe Islands – Portugal (0-6)

Sunday, 13 November 2016
Portugal v Latvia (4-1)

Saturday, 25 March 2017
Portugal v Hungary (3-0)

Friday, 9 June 2017
Latvia v Portugal (0-3)

Thursday, 31 August 2017
Portugal v Faroe Islands (5-1)

Sunday, 3 September 2017
Hungary v Portugal (0-1)

Saturday, 7 October 2017
Andorra v Portugal (0-2)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Portugal v Switzerland (2-0)

2- Spain

– Local football federation established in 1909

– Joined FIFA in 1913

– Joined UEFA in 1954

– Nickname: La Furia Roja

– First international match: Spain beat Denmark 1-0 on 28 August 1920

– Biggest win: Spain 13-0 Bulgaria in Madrid on 21 May 1933

– Biggest defeats: Spain lost to Italy 1-7 in Amsterdam on 4 June 1928

Spain 1-7 England in London on 9 December 1931

– World Cup appearances: 14

– Global titles: 2010 World Cup winners (held in South Africa)

– Continental titles: Euro 1964, 2008, and 2012

– Current FIFA World Ranking: 6th place (November 2017(

– Best ranking: 1st place in July 2008

– Worst ranking: 25th place in March 1998

– Spain’s all-time top goalscorer: David Villa with 59 goals

– Spain’s most capped player of all time: Iker Casillas with 167 caps

– Current coach: Julen Lopetegui

In the 2010 World Cup final match, Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0, after an extra time goal by Andrés Iniesta. The win gave Spain its first World Cup title. However, La Roja failed to defend its title in the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil. Spain were eliminated from the group stage after suffering two defeats in their opening two matches, as it lost 1-5 to Netherlands and 0-2 to Chile.

Spain recovered in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, and won nine of 10 games. Spain defeated Italy in UEFA Group G, qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, prevailing 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, contributing to the first absence from the competition of the four-time World Cup winners since 1958.

Italy failed to qualify for first World Cup in 60 years after a play-off defeat to Sweden.

Spain led UEFA Group G for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification with 28 points and 36 goals, while it conceded only three goals.

Spain’s World Cup qualifiers

Monday, 5 September 2016

Spain v Liechtenstein (8-0(

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Italy v Spain (1-1(

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Albania v Spain (0-2(

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Spain v Macedonia (4-0(

Friday, 24 March 2017

Spain v Israel (4-1(

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Macedonia v Spain (1-2(

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Spain v Italy (3-0(

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Liechtenstein v Spain (0-8(

Friday, 6 October 2017

Spain v Albania (3-0)

Monday, 9 October 2017

Israel – Spain (0-1)

3- Morocco

– Local football federation established in 1956

– Joined FIFA in 1960

– Joined Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 1959

– Nickname: The Atlas Lions

– First international match: Morocco drew 3-3 with Iraq in Lebanon on 19 October 1957

– Biggest win: Morocco defeated Saudi Arabia 13-1 in Casablanca on 3 September 1961

– Biggest defeat: Morocco lost 0-6 to Hungary in Tokyo on 11 October 1964

– World Cup appearances: 5 (first appearance in 1970(

– Global titles: None

– Continental titles: 1976 Africa Cup of Nations

– Current FIFA World Ranking: 40th place (23 November 2017(

– Best ranking: 10th place in April 1998

– Worst ranking: 95th place in September 2010

– Morocco’s all-time top goalscorer: Ahmed Faras with 42 goals

– Morocco’s most capped player of all time: Nourredine Naybet with 115 caps

– Current coach: Hervé Renard

Morocco will make their first appearance at the World Cup finals since France 1998. Morocco’s road to the 2018 World Cup began on Thursday, 12 November 2015 with defeating Equatorial Guinea 2-0, before losing in the second leg 0-1.

Morocco’s CAF Group C for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification included Ivory Coast, Gabon, and Mali.

The Atlas Lions qualified for the 2018 World Cup after recording an impressive 2-0 victory away to Ivory Coast in the final round of the qualifiers.

Nabil Dirar gave Morocco the lead 25 minutes in, delivering a cross that Khalid Boutaib came close to heading, but the ball ended up finding the back of the net.

The Atlas Lions then doubled their lead just five minutes later through Mehdi Benatia’s neat finish off a corner, ensuring Renard’s men finished top of Group C.

Morocco led Group C with 12 points, collected from three wins and three draws, without conceding any defeats or goals, becoming the only team to maintain a clean sheet among all the teams that qualified for the 2018 World Cup, while it scored 11 goals.

– Morocco’s World Cup qualifiers

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Gabon v Morocco (0-0(

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Morocco v Côte d’Ivoire (0-0(

Friday, 1 September 2017

Morocco v Mali (6-0)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Mali v Morocco (0-0(

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Morocco v Gabon (3-0(

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Côte d’Ivoire v Morocco (0-2)

4- Iran

– Local football federation established in 1920
– Joined FIFA in 1945
– Joined Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 1954
– Nickname: Lions of Iran
– First international match: Iran drew 0-0 with Afghanistan in Afghanistan on 25 August 1941
– Biggest win: Iran defeated Guam 19-0 on 24 November 2000
– Biggest defeat: Iran lost 1-6 to Turkey in Turkey on 28 May 1950
– World Cup appearances: 4 (1978, 1998, 2006, and 2014)
– Global titles: None
– Continental titles: AFC Asian Cup in 1968, 1972, and 1976
– Current FIFA World Ranking: 32nd place (23 November 2017)
– Best ranking: 15th place on 15 July 2015
– Worst ranking: 122nd in May 1996
– Iran’s all-time top goalscorer: Ali Daei with 109 goals
– Iran’s most capped player of all time: Javad Nekounam with 151 caps
– Current coach: Carlos Queiroz

Iran became the first team from the AFC and the second in world to book their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, following Brazil. Iran led its group in the first round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification which included Oman, Turkmenistan, Guam, and India. Iran collected 22 points from six wins and four draws, without conceding any defeats, becoming the only team to reach the second round of qualifiers unbeaten.

Iran qualified with South Korea directly to the World Cup 2018. Iran set a new record in World Cup qualifying by keeping a 12th successive clean sheet. Across their entire campaign, Iran conceded just three goals in 17 matches.

Iran’s World Cup qualifiers

First Round

Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Turkmenistan v Iran (1-1)

Thursday, 3 September 2015
Iran v Guam (6-0)

Tuesday, 8 September 2015
India v Iran (0-3)

Thursday, 4 October 2012
Oman v Iran (1-1)

Thursday, 12 November 2015
Iran v Turkmenistan (3-1)

Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Guam v Iran (0-6)

Thursday, 24 March 2016
Iran v India (4-0)

Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Iran v Oman (2-0)

Second Round

Thursday, 1 September 2016
Iran v Qatar (2-0)

Tuesday, 6 September 2016
China v Iran (0-0)

Thursday, 6 October 2016
Uzbekistan v Iran (0-1)

Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Iran v South Korea (1-0)

Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Syria v Iran (0-0)

Thursday, 23 March 2017
Qatar v Iran (0-1)

Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Iran v China (1-0)

Monday, 12 June 2017
Iran v Uzbekistan (2-0)

Thursday, 31 August 2017
South Korea vs Iran (0-0)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Iran v Syria (0-0)

Topics: Group B World Cup

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