The primary spherical of the World Cup has come to an finish with Brazil defeating Serbia 2-0 on Thursday. It absolutely received’t be forgotten quickly because it was a spherical stuffed with nice scores and some surprises combined in as nicely. Here’s a recap of each classes.
Enner Valencia (Ecuador)
Enner Valencia proved why he’s carrying the captain armband for his nation. He’s in distinctive type and is taking part in at a notably excessive stage. Not solely did he rating a objective within the third minute which was overturned by VAR on account of offside, however he calmly put away a PK just some minutes later to provide Ecuador the lead, after which gave us this great thing about a header to make it 2-0 and provides Ecuador a cushty lead that was by no means threatened to be reached by the hosts. Prime-notch high quality to get the WC beneath approach.
Tim Weah (USA)
Yeah, Tim Weah poked it in completely to beat the difficult Wayne Hennessey. However greater than the end itself, it’s the best way the play got here to be, ranging from the double header passes at midfield by Pulisic and Musah, to the good publish play, one-touching a move together with his chest by Josh Sargent again to Pulisic, adopted by Pulisic’s drive and delightful contact to Weah who completed it off brilliantly. Simply an all-around nice crew objective and one which’s uncommon to see.
Salem Al-Dawsari (Saudi Arabia)
A marvel objective by the Saudi participant who did all of it by himself; he obtained a pop up inside Argentina’s field, needed to go win the ball in between two Argentine defenders and dribble off a 3rd, to barely get his shot off earlier than one other sliding defender received to it first. To not point out, placing it within the far prime nook the place Emiliano Martínez barely received a scratch on it, however not sufficient to maintain it from heading into the web.
João Félix (Portugal)
The Atlético de Madrid ahead’s objective is by all means an amazing end, however wouldn’t be what it’s with out the jaw-dropping help by teammate Bruno Fernandes. A real master-class of what a via ball is, his move sliced via Ghana’s protection like a knife slicing via butter. An excellent move adopted by a top quality end offers us top-of-the-line targets of the primary spherical.
The perfect objective of the match to this point. By miles. Probably of your entire cup? A fantastic drive by Vinicius who served Richarlison the ball. The Tottenham Hotspur striker’s management was a bit excessive, however he improvised masterfully and linked on a bicycle shot to rocket the ball into the underside left nook. A really excellent objective to place the rating out of attain in a match utterly owned by Brazil, who look nicely on their strategy to not solely profitable the group, however profitable your entire factor as nicely, regardless of Neymar’s harm.
Gareth Bale’s PK objective
Not solely did this PK objective mark Wales’ first WC objective in 64 years, however it additionally saved some extent for Wales from what seemed to be a certain loss to the US. Because of this big objective, Wales and USA are nonetheless even with some extent apiece, tied for 2nd within the group behind England, with very excessive hopes to make it via the group stage. Had he missed, their hopes could be trying fairly dim by now.
Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina 2-1
In what’s presumably the most important upset in World Cup historical past, the Saudis overcame all varieties of odds, to not point out being down within the rating in opposition to a Messi-led crew. They stood their floor and got here again to defeat a closely favored Argentina squad who think about something aside from lifting the trophy a disappointment. HUGE outcome. Most likely the most important second this WC will see it doesn’t matter what, however by far the most important second on this first spherical, making it even larger on account of Saudi Arabia’s traditionally poor WC performances.
Mexico’s ‘Memo’ Ochoa heroic PK save vs. Lewandowski
In a sport the place Mexico had been scripted to lose, Robert Lewandowski’s PK within the 58th minute was about to make that come true. Nonetheless, standing beneath the goalposts was ‘Memo’ Ochoa who has provide you with some large saves in prior WCs all through his profession, most notably Brazil 2014. This was not the exception, as he brilliantly guessed the spot and never solely saved a objective, however rescued some extent for Mexico who’re momentarily alive of their group because of that save.
Japan come from behind to upset Germany
Photograph by Heuler Andrey/Eurasia Sport Photographs/Getty Photographs
Germany performed a heck of a sport, however let key probabilities slip to increase their lead. On the identical time, Japan by no means let up and saved pushing till they discovered not solely the equalizer, however the go forward rating as nicely on an amazing drive by Takuma Asano. One other big upset, however contemplating Japan have had success on this world stage prior to now, it’s not above Saudi Arabia’s. Nonetheless, an enormous outcome that was completely surprising with the Germans in agency management of the match via the primary 75 minutes. Group E might very nicely belong to Spain now.
Spain’s historic 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica
Photograph by Richard Sellers/Getty Photographs
In no way was it the highest-scoring match of all-time for a WC, however what Luis Enrique’s crew completed yesterday was actually historic in Spain’s document books. It’s their highest-scoring efficiency in WC historical past and completely demolished Keylor Navas’s objective with 6 completely different gamers chipping in to attain the 7 targets. With Germany’s loss and objective distinction an enormous benefit for the Spaniards, the trail has opened up for them to win the group.