On Thursday, the first round of the World Cup ended with Brazil beating Serbia 2-0. It certainly won’t be forgotten soon as it was a round filled with great results as well as a few surprises. Here is a brief overview of both categories.
Enner Valencia (Ecuador)
Enner Valencia has proven why he wears his country’s captaincy. He is in great shape and plays at a very high level. Not only did he score a goal in the 3rd minute that VAR canceled for offside, but he calmly scored PK just a few minutes later to put Ecuador in the lead and then gave us this beautiful header to make it 2-0 and give Ecuador has a comfortable advantage that has never threatened the hosts. Top notch quality for running a toilet.
Tim Weah (USA)
Yes, Tim Weah did a great job defeating the difficult Wayne Hennessy. But more than the close itself, it’s how the game unfolded, from Pulisic and Mousa’s double headers in midfield, to great standing play, Josh Sargent’s one-push pass back to Pulisic. followed by Pulisic’s drive and Weah’s beautiful touch that finished it brilliantly. Just a great team goal that is rarely seen.
Salem Al-Dawsari (Saudi Arabia)
Amazing goal by a Saudi player who did it all himself; he received a pop-up in the Argentine penalty area, having to win the ball between two Argentine defenders and dribble past a third to barely land before the other sliding defender got to him first. Not to mention, he placed him in the far top corner where Emiliano Martinez barely scratched him, but not enough to keep him out of the net.
Joao Felix (Portugal)
The Atlético de Madrid forward’s goal is certainly a great result, but it wouldn’t have been the same without the amazing assist from teammate Bruno Fernandez. A true master class in what a through pass is, his pass cut through the Ghanaian defense like a knife cuts through butter. A super pass followed by a quality finish gives us one of the best goals of the first round.
By far the best goal of the tournament. By miles. Maybe the whole cup? Excellent shot by Vinicius, who served the ball to Richarlison. The Tottenham Hotspur striker had a little high control, but he adeptly improvised and took a bike kick to send the ball into the bottom left corner. A truly superb goal that put the score unattainable in a match wholly owned by Brazil, which, despite Neymar’s injury, looks confident on the way to victory not only in the group, but in general.
PK goal by Gareth Bale
Not only was this PK goal the first Wales goal in a World Cup in 64 years, it also saved Wales a point from what appeared to be a sure defeat for the US. Thanks to this huge goal, Wales and the USA are still on a point, tied for 2nd place in the group behind England and very hopeful of progressing through the group stage. If he missed, their hopes would already look rather dim.
Saudi Arabia beat Argentina 2-1.
This is perhaps the biggest disappointment in the history of the World Cup: the Saudis overcame all difficulties, not to mention the fact that they lost in the score to Messi’s team. They stood their ground and came back to defeat a very popular team from Argentina who consider everything but a trophy to be a disappointment. HUGE result. This will probably be the most important moment in this WCH no matter what, but by far the most important moment in this first round, which makes it all the more important due to Saudi Arabia’s historically poor WC performance.
Heroic save PK Ochoa from Mexico vs Lewandowski
In a game that Mexico was supposed to lose according to the script, Robert Lewandowski from PC in the 58th minute had to bring it to life. However, under the goalposts was “Memo” Ochoa, who has made several big saves in previous World Cups throughout his career, especially in Brazil 2014. saved a point for Mexico, who stayed in their group for a moment thanks to this save.
Japan came from behind to upset Germany
Germany played a damn good game but missed key opportunities to increase their lead. At the same time, Japan never gave up and kept pushing until they found not only an equalizer, but a successful score and Takuma Asano’s great drive. Another big disappointment, but given Japan’s past successes on this world stage, it’s no higher than Saudi Arabia’s. Nevertheless, a great result, which was completely unexpected, as the Germans confidently controlled the match during the first 75 minutes. Now Group E may well belong to Spain.
Spain’s historic 7-0 victory over Costa Rica
It was by no means the highest scoring match in World Cup history, but what Luis Enrique’s side achieved yesterday was certainly historic in the Spanish record book. This is their highest scoring result in WC history and completely destroyed a Keylor Navas goal with 6 different players scoring 7 goals. With Germany’s defeat and goal difference giving the Spaniards a huge lead, the path to group victory was clear for them.