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2018 World Cup Roundup, June 15: Drama on the Iberian Peninsula

Portugal v Spain - International Friendly Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

So, you’re with us for this crazy journey that is the 2018 World Cup. You sure got a treat yesterday, didn’t you? Five goals from Russia? Vladimir Putin shaking hands with Mohammed bin Salman over FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s lap? No red cards (sigh)? Yeah, it was a day to remember.

What’s that, you say? You missed it? You just want to see the goals? OK. That can be arranged.

But you know what? We didn’t get a chance at an underdog story. Not even close. It’s funny, though. Russia and, say, Germany? You’ve got a Russian underdog. But against Saudi Arabia, anything but a win would be cause for an inquisition. Of sorts.

So, yeah. Goals. That’s what came out of this, and if you’re going to watch an underdog lose, it might as well be in dramatic fashion.

Matches

6 a.m., Egypt vs. Uruguay

9 a.m., Morocco vs. Iran

12 p.m., Portugal vs. Spain

Figuring out how to watch? Check out our Utah watching guide.

Oh, and all the matches are on Telemundo. Alright! Free streaming, here we come.

Portugal vs. Spain: Bad blood?

OK, so I don’t really know anything about the history between any of these countries. But as red-blooded Americans, it’s our job to create some controversy, so here goes.

I know you’d never have guessed it — I didn’t — but these two neighbors actually have a history together. This is very different than me with my neighbors, whose names I don’t know (except I probably recognize their names when their mail comes to me.)

Did you know they’ve played 35 times? 35! That’s more matches than Real Salt Lake plays in a season where we crash out of the U.S. Open Cup at first asking and don’t make the playoffs. Or the same amount. Mostly that.

Still, Wikipedia says this:

Current relations between Spain and Portugal are outstandingly good.

Well, you know what, anonymous Wikipedia editor? You’re probably not talking about soccer. Because if you were, you’d say it was “interesting” or “sometimes dramatic.”

For instance, did you know that the two teams met in the World Cup knockout stage in 2010? Yeah! They did. Wait, you say you remember watching that match? Oh. But did you know that was their first-ever World Cup meeting? It sounds to me like somebody is trying to sow discontent on the Iberian peninsula. There’s some drama for you. Ooooh.

Doesn’t soccer just bring us all together?