Surprising, stunning, flabbergasting, surprising, incredible. These are some of the phrases that come to mind while thinking about the opening week of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. We have seen things like thrashings, major upsets, mayhem, controversy, and other such things. On the other hand, this World Cup is one of the finest ones ever since there is no team that can be labeled as the clear favorite. In addition, no side has shown any level of consistency, since the teams who have competed in both of their matches thus far have showed different levels of form.
The victories of Saudi Arabia over Argentina, Japan over Germany, and Morocco over Belgium demonstrate that no favorite team is invincible in any game, and that no underdog team should ever be discounted. However, there have been occasional instances in which the elite teams have shown their superiority against weaker opponents by dominating them. However, if there is one thing that the first week has shown us, it is that nothing will come easily, and that every team, regardless of how large or tiny they are, will have to battle for every victory.
And the first week has done a great job of laying the groundwork for the rest of the World Cup.
Messi is magic
Out of Qatar
Cristiano Ronaldo sets a new record for goals scored in the World Cup.
The name Cristiano Ronaldo will be remembered forever as he became the first player in World Cup history to score a hat trick. When he converted a penalty kick against Ghana in his nation’s first game of the World Cup, he set a new record for most goals scored in a single tournament. The Portuguese forward has scored in every World Cup since 2006, and although he may not have won the tournament with his country, he has shown that he can remain competitive at the highest level for an extended period of time. In Portugal’s second encounter of the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo scored his first goal of the tournament, which happened to come against Iran.
Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s competitor, has also participated in every World Cup since 2006, although he did not score any goals in South Africa. Nevertheless, Messi is not the only player to score in four World Cups; the record is shared by three other players in addition to Messi. This features the legendary Brazilian player Pele, the German Uwe Seeler, and the leading scorer in the World Cup, Miroslav Klose. It happened in the FIFA World Cup in 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970 when Pele and Seeler were involved. In the meanwhile, Klose has scored goals in the FIFA World Cup in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014.
As Cristiano Ronaldo set a new record in the World Cup, we present to you the World Cup records that are considered to be the most impressive.
Saudi Arabia shocked Argentinian hearts
In the meanwhile, Saudi Arabia stunned the globe by claiming a 2-1 victory against two-time champion Argentina in the first encounter for both sides. The Albiceleste opened the game on the offensive and seized the lead less than ten minutes into the contest when Lionel Messi scored on a penalty kick. They managed to put the ball in the back of the goal an additional three times in the first half, but each time they were flagged for offside.
However, Saudi Arabia came out as a different team in the second half and pressured Argentina deep within their own territory. Salah Al Sheehri was the one who scored his team’s first goal, and he did it only three minutes after the second half had begun. And five minutes later, the Asian minnows completed the epic comeback when Salem Aldawsari wove his way around the Argentinian defense and blasted a thunderous shot that went past the helpless Emiliano Martinez.
The heroic deeds of South Korea are repeated by Japan against Germany.
In the inaugural encounter for both teams, Japan defeated the defending world champions Germany by taking a page from South Korea’s playbook. South Korea had previously won the world championship four times. And the squad from from the Land of the Rising Sun lived up to expectations. The Germans seized the lead thanks to a penalty kick from Ilkay Gundogan, much as the Argentinians did earlier. Die Mannschaft continued to generate opportunities and thought they had scored their second goal right before the conclusion of the first half, but the goal was disallowed because Kai Havertz was offside at the time.
And much like the Saudis, Japan emerged in the second half as a completely different team, coming out fighting with all guns blazing. On the other hand, they need further evidence to support it. This remained the situation up until the 75th minute, when Japan scored an equalizer via Ritsu Doan. This caused the Germans to get agitated as they began searching for the game-winning goal, which caused significant holes to appear in their defense. A long pass reached Asano, who controlled the ball with a superb first touch before past Manuel Neuer at his near post. Japan were prepared for it, and it was Asano who scored the goal. As a result, we saw the World Cup’s second unexpected result.
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Morocco’s victory against Belgium kept them in contention for the World Cup
Morocco’s victory against Belgium on November 27 was the third significant shock of the 2018 World Cup. The result threw Group F into chaos and made it possible for any team to advance. Thibaut Courtois, Belgium’s goalkeeper, had a remarkable game in the team’s opening encounter, which they barely won against a Canadian team that was playing inspired soccer. The Red Devils, on the other hand, were helpless against Morocco and were unable to generate any opportunities that were easily exploitable for themselves.
On the opposite end of the field, the Africans were much more effective in converting their scoring opportunities, and they seized the lead with a goal from Romain Sass in the 73rd minute. This meant that Belgium had 17 minutes in addition to the extended time to make a comeback and win the game. And this meant putting oneself in harm’s way by moving ahead. And then Morocco carried off a brilliant counterattack, which culminated in Zakaria Aboukhlal scoring the second goal in injury time to put an end to any remaining uncertainty about the outcome.
The worst hosts in the history of the FIFA World Cup was held in Qatar
The previous record for the poorest performance by a host nation in the tournament was held by South Africa before the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Although they were unable to go beyond the group stage, the squad did manage to get a draw and a victory over one of the dominant teams in Europe, France. But things have gone from bad to worse for Qatar, who are the first hosts to ever lose their first two matches. They also became the first hosts to be eliminated after just two match days and currently hold the record for the quickest elimination since the beginning of the World Cup, which is six days. This record was set when they became the first host country to be eliminated after only two play days.
The fact that Qatar is the current Asian champion after winning the AFC cup in 2019 is perhaps more shocking than the first revelation. To make things even worse, their last encounter is against the Netherlands, the most significant group in the squad, and Felix Sanchez will be hoping that his troops can at least salvage something from the game. The Dutch are the most considerable group in the team.