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World Cup Daily: Shadow Heroes Shine in Portugal’s Victory

After each match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the World Cup Daily blog on Sportsnet.ca will summarize the day’s events and provide a schedule of matches for the following day.

In case you missed it, here’s what happened in Qatar on Thursday…

result

Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0 Al Wakrah: match report || match statistics

Uruguay 0, South Korea 0 in Al Wakrah: match report || match statistics

Doha Portugal 3, Ghana 2: match report || match statistics

Brazil 2, Serbia 0 Lusail: match report || match statistics

Canada at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Canada will return to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986. Sportsnet reporters and insiders will receive full coverage from Qatar on all platforms.

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Main issue

An unsung hero shines in Portugal’s win

When Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo made his Qatar debut just two days after his public breakup with Manchester United, all eyes were on him and he marked the occasion by making history. Converted from 12 yards out in the 65th minute against Ghana after drawing a controversial penalty. In doing so, the Portuguese star became the first man ever to score in five different World Cup tournaments.

Ronaldo would make headlines with a 3-2 win in Group H, but it was the other three players who had the far greater impact for Portugal on the night. The 23-year-old João Félix is ​​a player who has not lived up to those expectations, but the Atlético Madrid star scored a stunning goal in the 78th minute to give Portugal his 2–1 lead.

23-year-old Rafael Leão has just shown why he is one of the young stars to watch in this tournament. Leon came off the bench and scored in just three minutes on his World Cup debut. His strike proved crucial as Ghana scored a goal in the closing minutes of the game, a very unpleasant development for Portugal.

Goals for Leon and Felix were scored by Bruno Fernandes, who delivered a perfect pass that ripped apart the Ghanaian defense. Throughout the match, Manchester his United star served as the Portuguese chief his architect, with good distribution and alignment with his attacking teammates. Without his efforts, the Portuguese might have met a different fate. Instead, they came out on top in Group H largely due to the efforts of their unsung heroes.

It took a while, but Brazil left its mark

Brazil entered the World Cup as favorites to win and lived up to expectations with a 2-0 victory over Serbia in Group G. The scoreline rather pleased the Serbs, who found themselves suffocated by the swarming attack of the South Americans for much of the match. Serbia defended well as Brazil earned her 22-5 dominance (within the 10-0 bracket) with her 63% possession percentage and total shots taken, with Vanya his Milinkovic his Savich’s superb saves. benefited.

Every time the team takes the pitch, there are a lot of expectations placed on Brazil, regardless of the setting. As spiritual caretakers of the game, Brazilians have a duty to entertain. Just winning is not enough. They also have to entertain and win in style.

The Serbs did their best to prevent it with a resolute defense. When Richarlison broke the deadlock with his first World Cup goal in the 62nd minute, a sense of relief overwhelmed the Brazilian, who had been thwarted at every turn by his opponents. Richarlison’s rebound attempt didn’t work, but he put Brazil on the board and gave them the lead they desperately needed.

Now that it’s over, it’s time for Brazil to put on the show and give everyone what they’ve come to see: the type of magic that only Brazil can produce. scored with a spectacular volley from , which he happily accepted. If Serbia’s hopes weren’t dashed by a poor opening goal from Richarlison, there is no doubt that it was after his stunning second goal. Brazil scored his three and everyone was delighted. Except Serbia.

goal of the day

In the 73rd minute, Vinicius Junior chipped the ball across the Serbian penalty area for teammate Richarlison with his back to goal. Rather than trying to control the ball and turn it, he absorbed the impact with his left foot, rotated his body and hit the ball with his right foot, delivering a stunning volley from 12 yards out to Serbia. I shook the net beyond the reach of people. Goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic Savic. The goal of the competition so far is simple.

today’s moment

What an emotional experience it must have been for Swiss forward Brel Embolo to score his first World Cup goal against Cameroon, where he was born and where his father still lives. .

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quote of the day

“Football writes these stories. Told Brell [Embolo]: “Cameroon is your friend, but also your enemy. I’m happy with his performance” – Murat Jakin, Switzerland

Six packs of statistics

• Xherdan Shaqiri is only the second Swiss player to appear in four World Cups (2010, 2014, 2018, 2022) after Valon Behrami.

• Diego Godin (36 years 281 days) is the oldest Uruguayan player to play in a World Cup, breaking the record set by Obdulio Jacinto Varela in 1954 (36 years 279 days).

• Cristiano Ronaldo is the fifth player to have played in five different World Cups (2006-2022), after Antonio Carvajal and Rafael Marquez (Mexico), Lothar Matthäus (Germany) and Lionel Messi (Argentina) is.

• Portugal vs. Ghana is the fourth World Cup match to score at least five goals after a 0-0 draw at halftime. The others were Poland 5-1 Peru (1982), Netherlands 2-3 Brazil (1994) and Belgium 3-2 Japan (2018).

• Brazil are undefeated in their last 20 appearances in the World Cup opener (17 wins).

• No player was shown a red card in the first round of this World Cup. It’s the first time since the 1986 Games.

Statistics provided by Opta

three stars today

1) Richarison, Brazil: The Tottenham forward has scored nine goals in seven appearances for Brazil after scoring twice against Serbia.

2) Bruno Fernandes, Portugal: The Manchester United star scored two assists in setting up his team’s second and third goals on perfectly weighted through balls.

3) Federico Valverde, Uruguay: He has run the show for his team in midfield both in attack and defense.

for friday

Qatar will face Senegal in Group A (8:00am ET) and return to action with both nations looking for their first World Cup win.

However, in the day’s marquee match, England will face the USA in Group B play (2:00pm). These countries have faced each other in the World Cup before. At the 1950 tournament in Brazil, the USA defeated England 1–0 in what was the biggest upset in tournament history. They also played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where he played in a 1–1 draw.


John Molinaro is one of Canada’s leading football journalists, covering the game for over 20 years in multiple media outlets including Sportsnet, CBC Sports and Sun Media. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of TFC His Republic, a website dedicated to in-depth coverage of Toronto FC and Canadian football. You can find the TFC Republic here.

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World Cup Daily: Shadow Heroes Shine in Portugal’s Victory

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