The World Cup is similar to something that happened in 2002 in a co-hosted tournament by Japan and South Korea. The roar from Luzhniki Stadium last night was deafening as Russia eliminated Spain which made fans walk down memory lane to 2002 edition.
FIFA World Cup 2018: The pre-quarterfinals of Russia 2018 are underway and have produced shocking moments for fans around the world. The tournament favourites Spain, Argentina, Portugal along with defending champion Germany have already been knocked out halfway into the tournament. It has turned out to be the tournament of underdogs.
The World Cup is similar to something that happened in 2002 in a co-hosted tournament by Japan and South Korea. The roar from Luzhniki Stadium last night was deafening as Russia eliminated Spain which made fans walk down memory lane to 2002 edition. Here is how the 2002 and 2018 World Cup is similar.
– Hosts qualify for the knockout stages:
Both in 2002 and 2018, the host nation qualified for the tournament. The 2002 WC was co-hosted by South Korea and Japan. Both Japan and South Korea had qualified for the round of 16 after emerging as the table toppers in their respective groups. South Korea won its’s first match against Poland 2-0. Russia also had a similar start, they won against Egypt 3-1.
Russia lost its final group game against Uruguay and qualified for the round of 16. Japan and South Korea on the other hand, drew one match.
– Defending Champions out in group stage:
France entered the tournament as defending champions after they beat Brazil 3-0 in 1998 WC- courtesy of Zinedine Zidane two goals. However, they finished last in 2002. Germany also faced a similar fate this year in Russia. After defeating Argentina in Rio 2014, Germany had a disastrous World Cup as they registered just one win from their three matches.
– Hosts nations emerge as the ‘Giant killers’:
Russia shocked the world after they eliminated Spain in the pre-quarterfinals. The host nation thrashed Spain in the penalty shootout and qualified for the next round for the first time since the break up of Soviet Union.
In 2002, also, after emerging as the table toppers, South Korea were up against Italy. The host nation sent shockwaves when the three-time world champions Italy, succumbed to South Korea in their round of 16 match.
South Korea defeated Italy 2-1. The resemblance between the two world cups is uncanny. The hosts of 2002 World Cup reached the semi-finals of 2002 edition. It will be interesting to see if Russia can overcome Croatia in their quarterfinal game.