France 3-1 Poland: Giroud Scores, Becomes France’s all-time goalscorer; France Through To Q/Final As Poland Crashes Out, Mbappe Bags Brace, Lewandoski On Target

It is the end of the road for Poland in the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup, after goals from Oliver Giroud and Kylie Mbappe truncated their move to the quarter final.

Mbappe’s goal started with Griezmann hacking the ball clear near his own six-yard box to set the front-three away. Proof of his new No8 role and how he’s happy to do the dirty work. He adds the cherry on top of this French victory with another in the 91 minutes.

France will either play England or Senegal.

They had a couple of scary moments in the first half, but after the break Mbappe came to life and he’s fired them into the quarter-finals. Giroud’s record-breaking goal set the French on course for victory earlier on. Lewandowski scored a late consolation from the penalty spot.

As at 85 minutes, life appears to have been drained from Poland, now, and from this game as a contest, in truth.

Poland got their goal but were well out-classed in that second half. The French players go over to their fans at the end and look delighted to progress.

Lewandowski had initially missed a penalty… but the referee pulls it back for encroachment. Or maybe Lloris was off his line? Either way, he however got a second chance at scoring his second World Cup goal.

🔴LIVE UPDATE:

SECOND HALF: FRANCE 3-1 Poland

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLL: Kylie Mbappe

Dembele’s Move

Dembele opts to pull it right back to Mbappe on the edge of the box. Surely a ball across the goal-face would have done the trick, there? Mbappe miscontrols. Yes, you read that right.

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Poland’s Bereszynki takes the game to the French [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]
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France supporters fill the stands at Al Thumama Stadium [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]
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France’s Griezmann runs into a Polish challenge [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]
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Poland have a taste of the ball

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Upemecano’s Moves

Upemecano has been really impressive all tournament at the back for France. He makes a superbly timed challenge.

Bereszynski gets booked

The Pole picks up a yellow for a sliding challenge on Dembele. He argues he got the ball but the referee isn’t listening.

Griezmann tests Szczesny from the resulting free-kick but the keeper punches it clear.

Time for some more pictures…

No football for a few minutes or so, so enjoy these highlights of the first half while we’re making a cup of tea.

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France vs Poland, FIFA World Cup 2022, December 5, Al Thumama Stadium [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]
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France vs Poland, FIFA World Cup 2022, December 5, Al Thumama Stadium [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]
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It’s 1-0 at the break.

Just that one moment of excellence separates the sides – a through-ball from Mbappe and a fine swivel and finish from the record-breaker, Giroud.

Poland had their chances and will feel slightly unfortunate. The French quality has just about shone through.

GOAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL: Giroud puts France ahead in 44th mins

What timing from the French to find their goal just before the break – and it’s an historic one for the ex Arsenal and Chelsea man, who turned and found the bottom corner, to become his nation’s record goalscorer.

Poland holding onto it

Czeslaw Michniewicz’ team have grown into this game and had their first period of sustained possession. Frankowski has a shot blocked inside the box but positive signs for the team in white.

25 mins: France 0-0 Poland 

France dominating possession

Les Blues have had around 70% in this opening 15 minutes and have been putting some pressure on that Polish defence. Dembele gets another shot away at Szczesny’s goal, but it’s too close to him and the keeper dives on it.

Tchouameni shoots from distance

Poland allow him time on the ball 25 yards out and the midfielder launches a shot on Szczesny’s goal. The keeper can only parry as there’s some serious venom on it.

Dembele blocked shot

Mbappe once again causes chaos down that Polish right flank. He flashes a shot across goal which Dembele eventually gets a hold of, but his shot at Szczesny’s goal is blocked.

12 mins: France 0-0 Poland

France get us underway wearing their usual blue and white kit, playing left to right on your screens. Poland have donned a white shirt with red shorts.

Here we go.

France can this afternoon become the third team to book their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup when they meet Poland in Al Thumama Stadium.

The 2018 winners are the first reigning champions to reach the knockout stage at a World Cup since Brazil in 2006.

This afternoon’s kick-off pits Kylian Mbappe’s defending champions against Robert Lewandoski’s Poles, who qualified for the last-16 despite largely failing to impress in Qatar so far.

They sealed qualification with a game to spare before a surprise 1-0 loss to Tunisia in their final group game.

Poland finished ahead of Mexico on goal difference as they progressed from Group C as runners-up to Argentina, to whom they lost 2-0 in their final group fixture.

GOAL GALORE! Costa Rica 2-4 Germany; Los Ticos, Germany Crash Out Despite Havertz Brace; Japan 2-1 Spain: Samurai Top Group E After Beating Spain

The Samurai of Japan finished top of Group E after fighting to a 2-1 victory over Spain to reach the Round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Germany will be going home after failing to qualify for the round of 16.

Costa Rica are also out of the World Cup! Again, Germany fell in the group-stage despite Havertz’s brace to put them back in front here is in vain.

Germany did their best but they were always relying on a favour from Spain, which was not forthcoming. Goals from Havertz, Fullkrug and Gnabry meant they won this game, but the damage was done in that opening defeat to the Japanese.

Los Ticos put on a good account of themselves at this World Cup, and can be proud of what they’ve done.

Both Costa Rica and Germany played a frantic game from start to finish, both in the positive and negative sense, letting Costa Rica into the next round and out of it, putting themselves within touching distance and then as far away as possible. ​​​​​​​

🔴LIVE

KICK-OFF: Japan 2-1 Spain

KICK-OFF: Costa Rica 2-4 Germany

GOAL! Costa Rica 2-3 Germany | Kai Havertz 85′

GERMANY BACK IN FRONT!

They’re doing all they can. Gnabry with a great cross in, Havertz there at the back post to finish well.

One goal from Spain now and Germany will be through.

GOAL! Costa Rica 2-1 Germany | Juan Pablo Vargas 70′

Costa Rica free-kick, they’ll put this into the box. One goal away from sending themselves through and Spain out.

AND THEY HAVE IT! COSTA RICA TAKE THE LEAD!

Incredible. Lobbed into the box, it’s an absolute mess in the six-yard box but Vargas finds a way to bundle it in.

GOAL! Costa Rica 2-1 Germany | Juan Pablo Vargas 70′

Costa Rica free-kick, they’ll put this into the box. One goal away from sending themselves through and Spain out.

AND THEY HAVE IT! COSTA RICA TAKE THE LEAD!

Incredible. Lobbed into the box, it’s an absolute mess in the six-yard box but Vargas finds a way to bundle it in.

GOAL! Costa Rica 1-1 Germany | Yeltsin Tejeda 58′

ASTONISHING! COSTA RICA ARE LEVEL!

Fuller with the ball in, initial header is saved but it’s just pushed out to Tejeda who hammers it into the empty net.

Germany are heading out of the World Cup!

Another Goalllllllll For Japan (49 mins)

Tanaka puts Japan ahead!

It’s that man Doan again. His ball across the face of the goal is kept in by Mitoma who’s pass is bundled in by Tanaka.

49 mins: Japan 2-1 Spain

Goallllllllllllllll!

Doan scores the equaliser for Japan!

The changes pay immediate dividends – Japan are level!

Unai Simon hasn’t covered himself in glory here. The Spain goalkeeper is loose in possession, not for the first time this evening, and plays a rather formless pass out to the left.

Ritsu Doan picks it up, cuts infield and unfurls a fierce strike from 25 yards. Simon gets both gloves to it, but can only palm into the back of the net.

HALF TIME! JAPAN 1-1 SPAIN

HT: Costa Rica 0-1 Germany

Real chance for Costa Rica to break right at the end of the half, Campbell slows it up though and the half-time whistle goes. What a waste.

Well Germany were utterly dominant for about 99% of that half, could have been four or five goals up.

But Costa Rica should really have equalised through Fuller… somehow they’re still in this! Gnabry’s goal the only difference at half-time.

Spain dominating possession

Even by the standards of Spain’s possession-stye football, the possession stats from the game are eye-popping. Japan’s players have barely held on to the ball.

Japan can’t keep hold of the ball

We all know Spain are good on the ball but they are equally adept at winning the ball back. Japan haven’t been able to string more than a couple of passes together in the Spain half.

33 mins: Japan 0-1 Spain

Musiala puts it well wide

He wriggles past a couple of defenders before shooting from around 15 yards, but it’s nowhere near the far side of the goal he was aiming for.

38 mins: Costa Rica 0-1 Germany 

GOAL! 11 mins: Costa Rica 0-1 Germany

Gnabry puts his team ahead with a close range header! Raum supplied the assist with an inviting cross from the right hand side.

Goal! 11 mins: Japan 0-1 Spain 

Morata scores for Spain!

Japan 0-0 Spain, 1 minute

Japan begin with a back five, with Junya Ito on the right and Yuto Nagatomo on the left, both immediately withdrawn into defensive positions. A second bank of four sit in front of them – Daizen Maeda could have a long night of chasing up front.

All-female referee team

It’s an historic night in the Al Bayt stadium as an all-female refereeing team will oversee a match at the World Cup for the first time. France’s Stéphanie Frappart is the one with the cards in her pocket, and is supported by Neuza Back of Brazil and Mexico’s Karen Díaz Medina.

A win would mean Spain will retain the top spot in Group E, but a loss could threaten their chances of qualification if Germany beat Costa Rica by a massive margin.

But Spain has registered a win against Asian opponents in their previous 5 encounters a streak they would like to continue.

Tunisia 1-0 France: Shocking! Tunisia Stun France, Win 1-0, Kahzri Scores; Australia 1-0 Denmark: Leckie’s Goal Pushes Australia Through, Griezman’s Late Goal Cancelled

Whabi Khazri’s 53rd minutes goal gave Tunisia the moment they have been waiting for, as they defeated the two-time champions, France. Fofana was dispossessed before the ball works its way to the Tunisian striker, who glides past Varane and beats Mandanda to put the Eagles of Carthage ahead.

Also, Australia break through Leckie with a stunning goal, who turns Denmark inside and out before a brilliant finish.

Australia have qualified for the last five World Cups, but they only got past the group stage once – in 2006, when they crashed out to eventual champions Italy in the round of 16.

If the current scores hold with draws in the Australia-Denmark and France-Tunisia games, the Socceroos will return to the knockout stage for the first time in 16 years.

LIVE BLOG:

KICK-OFF AT AL JANOUB STADIUM

Australia 1-0 Denmark

KICK-OFF AT EDUCATION CITY STADIUM

Tunisia 1-0 France

GOAL! Australia 1-0 Denmark (Matthew Leckie 57mins)

57:00 – Stunning goal as Australia break through Leckie, who turns Denmark inside and out before a brilliant finish.

GOALLLLLLLLLLL! (Khazri 53 Mins)

Khazri scores to give Tunisia the moment they have been waiting for. The Eagles of Carthage are ahead!

Second half under way!

France get the ball rolling again. Tunisia were the better side in the first period but failed to convert their industry into an opening goal.

France have already qualified for the last 16 but will be keen to finish top of Group D and will want to play with more cohesion in the next 45 minutes.

With Deschamps shuffling his pack for tonight’s fixture, making nine changes from Saturday’s 2-1 win over Denmark, plenty of those on the pitch will want to put a case forward for selection as the tournament progresses.

They have 45 minutes left to do so.

HALF TIME: Tunisia 0-0 France goalless

The other Group D game, between France and Tunisia at Education City Stadium, remains scoreless as the first half edges towards an end.

Tunisia appear to be on the offensive against a French side that resting key players, including Kylian Mbappe.

As things stand, Denmark still need a victory to qualify, and a draw would be good enough for Australia. But a goal by Tunisia against France would change the calculas.

Guendouzi’s bad pass sums up France’s half

France were looking to embark on an attack which just petered out as Guendouzi passed the ball into no-man’s land. Like Guendouzi’s pass, France have lacked cohesion in this half.

41 mins: Tunisia 0-0 France 

Duke gives away free-kick

A feisty barge on Maehle sends the Dane flying but the subsequent delivery from Eriksen is easily headed away by the Aussies.

39 mins: Australia 0-0 Denmark

Mandanda produces cool save

Khazri produces a clean and well struck effort from outside the area. He forces an alert save from Mandanda. There is some shoving in the area after the corner and France will play out from the back.

Eriksen doing his thing

Skov Olsen half chance

The forward plays a one-two on the edge of the box but can only scuff his shot at Ryan. All started from Maehle drifting inside from his left hand berth and finding space.

26 mins: Australia 0-0 Denmark

France struggling in attack

France have struggled to get into the Tunisia penalty area. Camavinga tries to find Kolo Muani but his pass is misplaced.

24 mins: Tunisia 0-0 France 

Australia can’t keep the ball

It’s nearly all being played in their third since kickoff, with Denmark slowly putting the pressure on their opponents. Eriksen takes a free-kick from distance but Denmark are penalised for being offside.

Two-time winners France are competing at the 16th World Cup. Tunisia was the first African country to win a game at the World Cup when they beat Mexico in 1978.

With qualification to the round of 16 secure, France have unsurprisingly opted to rest a number of players including Hugo Lloris, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud.

With Tunisia unlikely to get three points against France in the other Group D match, a draw would probably be enough to see Australia through to the knockout stages for only the second time in their history. Win and they will definitely progress, no matter what happens in the other fixture

Australia XI: Matthew Ryan, Miloš Degenek, Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles, Aziz Behich, Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine, Riley McGree, Craig Goodwin, Mathew Leckie, Mitchell Duke.

Denmark XI: Kasper Schmeichel, Joachim Andersen, Andreas Christensen, Rasmus Kristensen, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Mathias Jensen, Christian Eriksen, Joakim Maehle, Jesper Lindstrøm, Martin Braithwaite, Andreas Skov Olsen.

Full Time: Brazil 1-0 Switzerland: Casemiro’s Late Goal Fires Selecao To Knockout Stage

A late goal from Carlos Casemiro at the 83rd minutes in the second half fired the Selecao of Brazil to the knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup game. Casemiro puts Brazil in front with an audacious outside of the boot strike. The defensive midfielder showing his more attacking teammates how it’s done there.

Swiss became hearts broken after the ball drops to Casemiro, who lets the ball bounce and sends a rocket of a half-volley into the back of the net.

Brazil fans are enjoying the good atmosphere as they’re going through to the next round with a bit to spare. This would be the first time they’ve had two wins in the first two games since they won it in 2002.

Brazil will let out a sigh of relief that they managed to get over the line in this game, as it looked for much of it that it would go down to the last day to secure qualification.

🔴LIVE UPDATES

FULL TIME: Brazil 1-0 Switzerland

GGGGGOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!! Brazil 1-0 Switzerland | Casemiro

Richarlison’s goal disallowed

67 mins: Richarlison was found to have been quite comfortably offside earlier in the build-up to the goal, with it the same phase of play and thus VAR rightly intervened.

64 mins: BRAZIL LEAD!

Changes afoot (60 mins)

Gelson Fernandes and Renato Steffan come on for Switzerland with Vargas and Rieder replaced.

Fred is off for Bruno Guimarães for Brazil.

Fred goes into the ref’s book

A trip on Sow as Switzerland were looking to fit Brazil on the counter is enough for the Man United player to be the next one cautioned. Can have no arguments, really.

The Swiss go up the other end and almost get a shot way but for several Brazilians throwing their bodies in the way of it.

Rieder’s Booking

50 mins: Rieder leaves an arm on Rodrygo in a bid to make his mark on the substitute and he takes the first booking of the game.

Half-time! Brazil 0-0 Switzerland

Brazil started the brighter side but the Swiss grew into this game the further the half went on and will certainly be pleased that we’re still level. Tite’s team need a spark and that injury to Neymar looks worse right now, even if they have the depth in attacking positions to still go far in this World Cup.

It’s nice to keep busy.

Brazil’s forwards are certainly making sure Switzerland’s Yann Sommer doesn’t get bored in goal

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CHANCE SWITZERLAND!

40 mins: Smart play down the left and Vargas almost spins Silva in the six-yard box! Alisson comes off his line to gather. A fright for Brazil.

So Far

31 mins: We’ve not seen much from Raphinha at all and he gets going at full pelt, cutting in from the right wing.

A powerful shot is aimed straight at Sommer’s midriff from 30 yards. Comfortable save.

Brazil in no rush

Tite’s side are playing like a team that knows that World Cups aren’t won in the group stages.

They gradually probe and pull the Swiss defence around.

A draw wouldn’t be a terrible result for either, but don’t shout that one too loudly.

Statistics So Far

Switzerland gets us underway wearing red and white, playing right to left on your screens. Brazil weaning their iconic canary yellow jerseys.

Brazil fans at Stadium 974

Brazil line-up

Brazil XI: Alisson; Militao, Silva, Marquinhos, Alex Sandro; Casemiro, Fred, Paqueta; Vinicius Jr., Raphinha, Richarlison.

Fred In

A conservative move by Tite as Fred comes in to anchor the midfield alongside Casemiro. That means Lucas Paqueta will step into attacking midifeld to support Raphinha, Richarlison and Vinicius Jr in attack.

Eder Militao repalces the injured Danilo in defence.

Today’s Swiss line-up

Switzerland XI: Sommer; Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka, Rieder, Sow; Embolo, Vargas.

FULL TIME: Belgium 0-2 Morocco: Ziyech Denied As Aboukhlal And Sabiri’s Goals Sink Red Devils

A late goal from Zakaria Aboukhlal and another one from Abdelhamid Sabiri, in the 92nd and 73rd minutes of the second half put the Atlas Lions on the top as they won their game against The Red Devils of Belgium in the round two of the Group F game.

Just like Ziyech earlier, Sabiri’s free-kick goes through the crowd and Saiss puts off Courtois as it goes in – only this time he’s onside!

In the 75th minutes, Belgium responded with Trossard and De Ketelaere on for Thorgan Hazard and the woeful Batshuayi was unable to deliver for the team.

The referee blows the final whistle and Al Thumama bursts into life as Morocco have beaten second-ranked Belgium to seal a famous 2-0 victory.

It really was a match of two halves, as Belgium by all accounts dominated the first one before Morocco, most likely due to the late disallowed goal towards the end of the half, wrested control back from the Europeans.

They continued to threaten the Belgian end as the match wore on, and once Sabiri broke the deadlock they began to believe more and more.

🔴LIVE UPDATES:

FULL TIME: Belgium 0-2 Morocco

GGOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLL!!!!! Belgium 0-2 Morocco | Aboukhlal

GOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL: Goal from A. Sabiri puts Morocco ahead of Belgium.

Soon after those substitutions are made, a corner is won on the left side and the change has done the trick.

Sabiri, who is tasked with taking it, curls in a lovely attempt at the far post which beats Courtois all ends up.

Lukaku warming up for action

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Morocco fans fans doing their part

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Courtois’ eardrums are taking a good old beating thanks to sea of red and green fans behind his goal.

They are whistling and cheering loudly without a break. Not surprising that the Real Madrid shotstopper is keeping a highline whenever possible.

Perhaps he wants to give his ears a much-needed reprieve.

Double substitution for Belgium

Martinez wisely decides a change is needed. On come Dries Mertens and Youri Tielemans for Eden Hazard and Amadou Onana.

61 mins: Belgium 0-0 Morocco

CHANCE MOROCCO!

56 mins: Case in point!

Boufal beats Meunier with a fine piece of skill and whips a shot towards the far post… it’s only just wide!

Explaining the disallowed goal

So, let’s explain that disallowed goal: Ziyech’s free-kick from the right beat everybody and looked to be the opener.

But Saiss was offside and surely interfered with play as he went for a header but narrowly missed the ball.

VAR called Cesar Ramos over to confirm he felt that Saiss was interfering, and the goal was chalked off.

A tight game

Morocco have grown into the game and will take heart from that solid finish to the half.

Batshuayi and Hakimi have had the best chances for either side, Belgium unable to make their early domination pay.

Half Time: Belgium 0-0 Morocco

VAR check disallows goal

Ziyech sends in a lovely strike which beats Courtois to nestle into the bottom right corner.

Seems as though the ball grazed Courtois’ right side as it beat him.

There is a VAR check for possible goal intereference as he did seem to be caught out when the ball went in.

The referee checks and it is deemed that the goal will not stand.

Courtois hasn’t had much to do

Thebaut Courtois was Belgium’s best player in their first game against Canada. His string of saves kept a spirited Canada side at bay. But so far, he’s been relatively untroubled by Morocco.

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Who do you think will score first?

35 mins: Still Belgium 0-0 Morocco

MOROCCO CHANCE!

35 mins: Hakimi bombs into the box and goes with a lash at goal… over the bar!

A good, quick attack from the Atlas Lions.

Onana’s Move

Onana sends an overhit through ball into touch and that early Belgian pressure has just subsided somewhat.

Is De Bruyne not confident about the Belgian team?

Ziyech lets one fly

Morocco’s first crack at goal comes courtesy of a Ziyech long-distance strike from well outside the box.

Unfortunately it has just a bit too much elevation on it to trouble Courtois.

Belgium are starting to take control (18 mins)

The Belgian players are taking their time spreading safe, close passes to each other bringing loud whistling from the Moroccan fans.

It’s starting to get dark inside the stadium. The floodlights have been switched on.
The whistling goes few notches up whenever Kevin De Bruyne has the ball. Perhaps the Moroccan fans know the Manchester City maestro is deadly on the ball.

Moroccan support in Brussels

A youth centre close to the canal in central Brussels. About 50 teenagers and people in their 20s are seated in front of a large screen, many of them of Moroccan background. They’ve brought bags of candy and Moroccan flags. Lots of excited chatter and cheering for the Morocco team.

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Ziyech is key

Hakim Ziyech hardly gets a look in at Chelsea but he’s arguably Morocco’s most important player. The winger is such a focal point of this Moroccan attack.

Belgium vs Morocco, Group F, FIFA World Cup 2022, November 27, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Belgium will go in with a 3-5-2 formation, while M

Kick-off!

Mexican referee Cesar Ramos blows his whistle and we are underway in Doha!

Time for the national anthems

Morocco fans are hear in big numbers and they belt out ‘The Cherifian Anthem’ with gusto.

A great shot of Hakim Ziyech, his eyes closed as he breathes in the moment, on the cameras as a fantastic delivery of that anthem plays out.

The atmosphere is building in Doha

This Morocco World Cup promo clip is enough to get any fan’s blood pumping for the World Cup

Countdown to kick-off

Belgium’s Line up

Morocco’s Starting XI

Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador: Valencia Scores Again, Gakpo on Target for Oranje

An early second half goal from Valencia made his team to draw with the Oranje of Netherlands in their second game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Ecuador have out-crossed the Netherlands by 20 to 5 in this game, showing how they’ve made it a priority to get the ball wide and in behind Oranje’s advancing wingbacks. The balls they’ve been putting in have been dangerous as well, not just the hit and hope variety.

Valencia going off on a stretcher will be the big disappointment for La Tri, with their captain very unlikely to be fit for Senegal.

Netherlands go into half-time the happier as the sole goal from Gakpo was a rare bit of sublime quality in a bitty half of football.

🔴LIVE BLOG: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador

Time for a few pics…

Ecuador's head coach Gustavo Alfaro reacts
Ecuador's Felix Torres, rear, and Memphis Depay of the Netherlands challenge for the ball
Nathan Ake
Estrada

Plata lashes the crossbar

A powerful curler with the left foot by Plata rattles off the crossbar with Noppert left watching it do it’s thing. Ecuador should be ahead here.

Netherlands don’t need to win

Having won their opening game against Sengal and with Qatar still to come, a draw wouldn’t be the worst result for the Dutch. However, that can be a dangerous mentality to have as attack is generally the best form of defence.

Mendez picks up a booking for a foul on Gakpo and will miss the next game.

Ecuado are knocking.

Virgil van Dijk makes an outstanding block to deny Enner Valencia but he can only watch as Gonzalo Plata whistles a stunning drive at goal.

Andries Noppert is beaten but the ball cannons off the crossbar to safety.

54 mins: Ecuador do deserve that goal, the Netherlands have looked limp since their early goal.

A huge test of the Dutch now.

Valencial the goal scorer. He has now scored his third World Cup goals for his country.

With that goal, Ecuador’s Enner Valencia becomes the World Cup’s leading goalscorer, with three under his belt so far at this tournament.

He’s scored five times in the six World Cup games he’s played in.

GGGGOOOOOAAALLLLL!!! Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador

49 mins: VALENCIA WITH A TAP-IN! Ecuador now levelled up.

SECOND HALF

Kick off! Depay on for Bergwijn for the Dutch.

Half time! Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador

A timely reminder that this game is far from over at the break.

GGGOOOO-NO!

45+3 mins: The corner is drilled back into the box and takes a touch into the net, Estupinan wheels away!

But the flag goes up as Porozo is adjudged to have obstructed the goalkeeper’s view from an offside position.

INJURY TIME

Just three minutes.

La Tri thwarted from breaking

Several times it looks like they’re about the get away on the break but the Dutch counter-press stops it before it really starts to become a problem. If they do manage to get that final through ball off they could be in behind van Dijk and Co.

ALMOST HALF TIME

40 mins: Into the final five of the half with Valencia and Dumfries having a bit of a to-do off the ball. Play on.

SAVE!

33 mins: Valencia picks up a nice crossfield ball, cuts onto his right and shoots early – forcing Noppert down low to his right to parry clear!

CHANCE ECUADOR!

27 mins: Good work down the left from Valencia leads to a gentle flick across goal by Estrada, but it fails to land at a teammate’s foot and Ecuador settle for a corner.

USING THE HEAD

After 20 minutes, this is how the stats are looking.

NETHERLANDS

 A long way to go yet but as things stand, the Dutch would qualify for the last-16 with England’s Group B meeting the top two from this group.

Dutch lacking passing options

Van Dijk looks frustrated at his team by the lack of people showing for the ball when he picks it up. The Dutch are holding onto it but mainly in their own half and midfield.

17 mins: Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador

GINGER:

Ecuador put the ball into the box and a bouncing half-volley at the far post causes a bit of worry for the Netherlands, who get it clear.

KICK OFF: Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador

GGGGOOOOOAAALLLL!!!! Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador | Gakpo (5 mins)

Ecuador wing-back Preciado can continue and we resume into Dutch possession across the middle third of the pitch.

Ake looks forward and Gakpo BURIES IT! The ball broke for the youngster, who spun onto his left foot and struck a delightful shot past Galindez at the near post!

Netherland’s Lineup

Ecuador’s Lineup

Full Time: Belgium 1-0 Canada; Batshuayi Scores As Red Devils Outshines Canada With A Lone Goal

The Red Devil won their opening game against Canada in the Group F game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, holding at Qatar.

Belgium’s forward, Batshuayi scores the opening goal for his side despite many attempts from the Canadians to score. Canada, during the game showed a lack of quality with their last couple of efforts.

The result means the Red Devils move top of Group F with Croatia and Morocco both tied on one point.

Canada’s pace caused Belgium’s aging backline a wealth of problems and they had the chance to take the lead in the 13th minute from the penalty spot after a Yannick Carrasco handball at a corner.

LIVE BLOG:

Attendance
40,432
 is tonight’s official attendance.

Substitution

Belgian goal scorer, Batshuayi has been substituted.

Another Substitution from the Canadian side

Score line

70 mins still Belgium 1-0 Canada

Chance for Belgium!

De Bruyne finds the ball on the right before squaring it to Batshuayi on the edge of the box. The striker lines up the shot, but Miller gets back to make another outstanding block.

Canada slowing down

Belgium, to their credit, have made things a bit tighter but Canada just aren’t creating as much in the second-half.

The game was there for the taking in the opening 45 minutes.

Substitution For Canada

Another Yellow Card

Amadou Onana, a new entrant into the game got served

Attempts at goal:

Belgium – 4

Canada – 16

Yellow Card

Thomas Meunier got served a yellow card

Eustaquio’s Attempt

Eustaquio is involved again. This time he shoots. The 25-yard effort flies wide.

SECOND HALF: Belgium 1-0 Canada

HALF TIME: Belgium 1-0 Canada

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL: Batshuayi scores in the 43rd minutes. Batshuayi smashes it home on the half-volley. This is a heartbreak for Canada.

Still Belgium 0-0 Canada in 23rd minutes

Lukaku can’t watch

Canada missed the penalty by Alphonso Davies. Still Belgium 0-0 Canada

Canada has been issued a penalty in the 10th mins

Canada currently attacking the Belgians with great strikes!!!

KICK-OFF: Belgium 0-0 Canada

Already, fans of the two countries are on ground to cheer up their players.

Morata, Torres, Asencio Score As Spain Whitewash Costa Rica 7-0 In Group F Opener


Spain, on Wednesday defeated Costa Rica  7-0, in their Group E opening game. Goals from Ferran Torres, Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Gavi, saw the Red Fury thrashing Costa Rica in the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Spain dominated the game from the beginning to the end, with collective effort goals.

Dani Olmo gave Spain an early lead in their opening game of the World Cup.

He gorgeously collected a ball from Gavi on the turn, before lofting it over Keylor Navas in the Costa Rica goal.

Then, with 20 minutes gone, stand-in striker Marco Asencio swept home a cross from Jordi Alba after another lovely move.

Ten minutes later, Jordi Alba was fouled in the box, and Ferram Torres stroked home the penalty.

It has been more of the same in the second-half, with Torres adding a second after a fine turn inside the box.

With 15 minutes left, 18-year-old Gavi completed the rout.

Earlier, groupmates Germany were sensationally beaten by Japan. Hansi Flick’s side could exit the tournament if they lose to Spain on Sunday.

Qatar 2022: Will Argentina’s Loss Impact The GOAT Conversation Between Ronaldo And Messi?

The memory of the first match loss in the opening 2022 FIFA World Cup game with Saudi Arabia in Qatar will continue to linger in the minds of the Argentines, after they suffered a humiliating 1-2 defeat at the Lusail Stadium.

Perhaps, fans of Manchester United player, Cristiano Ronaldo, will have more reason to crown the Portugal front-man as the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), after Lionel Messi failed to motivate his side to victory in the opener.

Ranked as third in world, many expected the South American team who have been unbeaten for three years and among the favorites to win the tournament, to trample on the Saudi Arabian, ranked 48 places below it in the world rankings.

Both players will be featuring at their fifth World Cup, having first taken to international football’s biggest stage in 2006. Neither has claimed the coveted trophy yet.

Now that Messi was unable to motivate his team to victory, what will be in the mind of his fans as per the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)?

Many football fans believe GOAT Leonel Messi was roasted at the opener by the Saudi Arabians.

Football fans across the micro-blogging app Twitter have made a mockery of Lionel Messi, as Argentina stumbled to an unexpected opening-day defeat against Saudi Arabia.

Messi became Argentina’s youngest-ever World Cup player when he came off the bench to set up one goal and score another in a 6-0 win over Serbia and Montenegro 16 years ago.

The Argentine then celebrated his 19th birthday by coming on in the last-16 against Mexico, which they won 2-1 after extra-time, but his side were eliminated in the following round by hosts Germany.

At the same tournament, Ronaldo became Portugal’s youngest-ever World Cup scorer aged 21 with a penalty against Iran in the group stage, while he scored the winning penalty against England in the quarter-finals – not to mention producing *that* wink when Wayne Rooney was sent off. He couldn’t prevent a 1-0 semi-final defeat to France.

In 2010, Messi and Argentina were again eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany, despite being considered among the tournament favourites, while Ronaldo and Portugal were knocked out by eventual winners Spain in the last 16.

Four years later, Ronaldo, by now Portugal’s all-time top scorer, battled through fitness problems to feature in Brazil, but his country suffered an embarrassing group stage exit on goal difference.

Messi, meanwhile, was man of the match in Argentina’s first four games and inspired his country to the final in his first World Cup as captain.

Argentina 1- 2 Saudi Arabia: Shocking!!! Messi Denied First World Cup Opener As The Green Falcons Defeat Argentina

The Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia shocked the world after defeating the 2014 World Cup runners-up, Argentina with a 1-2 victory in their opening Group C game.

Lionel Messi put the Argentines ahead of the game in the 10th minutes after scoring a penalty kick.

But the Saudi Arabians registered their presence in the game after equalizing in the 49th minutes in the second half of the game.

Al Dawsari put The Green Falcons ahead after scoring the team’s second goal to make it 1-2.

Watch Salem Al-Dawsari’s second banger goal;

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL: Argentina 1- 2 Saudi Arabia (Salem Al-Dawsari 54 min)

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL: Argentina 1-1 Saudi Arabia (Saleh Al-Shehri 49 mins)

LIVE: Second Half Kick-off; Argentina 1-0 Saudi Arabia

HALF-TIME: Argentina 1-0 Saudi Arabia

Messi nets, threes Goals disallowed

Lautaro Martinez’s goal was denied after VAR ruled it out in 30th min

🔴LIVE BLOG: Argentina 1-0 Saudi Arabia

Watch Messi’s Goal:

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL: Goal from Messi (Penalty)

🔴LIVE BLOG: KICK-OFF: Penalty kick for Argentina 9 mins