The joys and disappointments of the start of the race in Qatar

After Brazil’s victory over Serbia (2:0), on Thursday, November 24, the 32 nations of the World Cup held their first match in Qatar. After five days of competition, among the exploits, disappointments, disclosures and confirmations, there are already the first lessons to be learned. Overview.


Spain at its best

To say that La Roja started the World Cup on their feet is an understatement. Four years after being shut out against the host nation in the Round of 16 in Russia, the Spanish selection set the tone in his first match in Qatar. In Group E, Costa Rica won against Luis Enrique’s team with a score of 7:0. With a young workforce and talent everywhere, including the bench (scoring six different goals), Spain can impress and shake up their next opponent, Germany, on November 27.

England started well

The European vice-champions did not tremble against their first opponent in Group B, Iran. “Three Lions” defeated the Iranians with a score of 6:2. Nuggets Bukayo Saka (double) and Jude Bellingham scored alongside the slightly more experienced Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling. England are now hoping striker Harry Kane, who suffered an ankle injury, will be fit for the game against the USA on November 25.

Brazil’s Richarlison scored a spectacular second goal against Serbia on November 24, 2022. REUTERS – AMANDA PEROBELLI

Richarlison sublimates Brazil

He has not shone in the Premier League with his new club Tottenham (just two goals from the start of the season, only in the Champions League). On the other hand, with the Brazil jersey on his back, Richarlison is on fire. The striker continued his good goals in the national team Against Serbia in Group G (2:0). It was he who opened the score after the break and made the dominance of the Auriverde concrete. It was he who scored the goal of the break with a beautiful scissor. The only shadow on the table for Brazil: the performance of Neymar, who injured his right ankle.

Giroud in the history of the French team

With Karim Benzema’s package, Olivier Giroud has become the Blues’ regular striker, along with Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, as well as Ousmane Dembélé, as in 2018. The Milanese quickly returned the trust Didier Deschamps gave him. If he didn’t score in Russia, Giroud scored twice in the victory for the Blues With Australia (4-1) in Group D, complex after the first few minutes. He is now the top scorer in the history of the French team, equal with Thierry Henry with 51 goals. In the next match against Denmark on November 26, will the board come out alone?


Belgium thanks Courtois and Batshuayi

Third in the last World Cup, the Belgians fought back to beat Canada (1-0, Group F) at the World Cup in 1986 after just one appearance. It almost started very badly with a missed penalty in the first minutes. Fortunately, Thibaut Courtois, the best goalkeeper of the World Cup 2018, saved Alphonso Davies’ shot. Then Michy Batshuayi found the opener before the break. Of course, the Red Devils won, but the Canadian Reds deserved better, having had more success on many of their chances.

Denmark stands

Denmark, which is the favorite of group D, maybe even ahead of France, could not experience the last good results. Against Tunisia, Christian Eriksen and his family could not do better than one goalless draw (0-0). The Eagles of Carthage caused trouble for Denmark Dynamite, who could not improve their game. This result will force Denmark to fight until the end to reach the playoffs.

Silent Uruguay

We can line up the veteran Luis Suarez and the promising Darwin Nunez and Facundo Pellistri from the start, throw Edinson Cavani into the arena, keep Federico Valverde and his shots on the field, and remain silent in front of the opponent’s cage. Against South Korea (Group H), Uruguay did not find fault despite the striker’s arguments. Not the best way to prepare to face Portugal.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during a tough match against Ghana on November 24, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo during a tough match against Ghana on November 24, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. REUTERS – HANNAH MCKAY

Portugal is suffering

He will remember the most optimistic victory (3-2, group H) and the record of Cristiano Ronaldo, the top scorer in five editions of the World Cup (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022). But that was it Slow first game with Ghana for the Portuguese. Defensive lapses allowed the Black Stars to get back to 1-1 and then believe it until the end. It does not provide certainty for the future.


Argentina falls from a very high place

The happiness of the “small” is the unhappiness of the “big”. Saudi Arabia did one of the greatest successes in history In what will remain the first thunderbolt of this World Cup, reversing the situation and winning over Lionel Messi’s Argentina (2-1, Group C). When Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud announced the Albiceleste holiday a day after the exploit, he was thinking. Unable to react, the Argentines, the South American champions, now fear premature elimination.

The striker of the Argentine national team, Lionel Messi, was sad after his team's loss to Saudi Arabia.
The striker of the Argentine national team, Lionel Messi, was sad after his team’s loss to Saudi Arabia. AP – Natasha Pisarenko

Germany was trapped

Pasting a copy of Argentina’s misfortune would also be good to illustrate the Nationalmannschaft’s performance against Japan. The Germans were leading 1:0 and could not take shelter. And upon arrival, it was Samurai Blue who managed to rejoice thanks to them the last quarter hour of madness This allowed them to win 2-1 (Group E). Germany in for another first-round struggle? Avoid shock against Spain now.

African teams are waiting

Five matches, two draws (Denmark-Tunisia, Morocco-Croatia), three defeats (Senegal-Netherlands, Switzerland-Cameroon, Portugal-Ghana), only two goals scored by the Ghanaians: the first day was not really a great success for the team. five African countries. The continent will have to look up if they don’t want to relive the zero points of 2018 (no qualification for the round of 16).

Lewandowski is still silent

Being Polish is hard. Robert Lewandowski, international since 2008, captain and top scorer with 76 goals, is still nervous about the World Cup. Poland failed to qualify in 2010 and 2014. In 2018, the forward could not score a goal (fight in the first round). In this 2022 World Cup, he could open the counter against Mexico. But Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa pushed back the penalty. Lewandowski is therefore looking for a goal at the World Cup.

Qatar is disappointed

As the host nation and the 2019 Asian champions, Qatar did not expect to experience such a complicated opening match. Ecuador was not impressed and Bordeaux (2-0) cooled off. Supporters in the stands got little taste of the spectacle and many of them left the sparsely packed Al Beit Stadium before the final whistle. The Qatari side now hope to regain their footing against African champions Senegal.

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