FIFA World Cup 2022: Learnings from the primary spherical of matches
The excessive press
Maybe one of the hanging elements of the World Cup has been the willingness of the so-called weaker groups to advance additional up the pitch to win the ball in opposition territory. Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of worldwide soccer growth, had mentioned urgent has develop into “completely common” the world over earlier than the beginning of the World Cup. And it has been a way that has confirmed helpful for groups which have modified their strategy to power the difficulty off the ball when they don’t have the person expertise to compete on the ball.
The emphasis is on successful the ball again in areas of the pitch the place groups can threaten offensively, and make use of the little possession they get, versus successful the ball again in defensive areas, solely to face fixed assaults later.
A defining a part of Saudi Arabia’s shock 2-1 win over Argentina was the remarkably excessive defensive position, which not solely rattled the opposition but additionally caught them offside a complete of 10 instances – main to a few disallowed objectives. Japan’s second-half turnaround in opposition to Germany was constructed round an analogous excessive press. In one of many extra under-the-radar outcomes, Tunisia’s well-earned draw in opposition to Denmark got here from the identical dangerous strategy.
Groups that selected to take a seat again and look forward to counter-attacking alternatives alone – like Iran, Costa Rica, and Serbia – all confronted large defeats. (Learn Extra)