The 2022 Soccer World Cup is underway, and what we’ve seen so far is not what we expected at all. Some of the underdogs way down on FIFA’s rankings have risen to trump the greatest soccer nations, while a couple of the world’s best players haven’t quite lived up to their iconic names.
On the other end of the scale, we’ve seen veterans of the game lead their nations to brilliant victories, and youngsters rise to the occasion to make a name for themselves. The hard yards have been put in with reputations on the line, so how are things fairing up at the 2022 Soccer World Cup?
Host nation, Qatar, faced off against Ecuador in the first match of the World Cup after the opening ceremony wowed the live crowd, as well as millions of eager eyes around the world. No host nation had ever lost an opening Soccer World Cup match…until 2022. Qatar put up a good fight, but unfortunately, their efforts weren’t enough to overcome the talent that is Ecuador. After a penalty in the 16th minute and another goal in the 31st minute, the South American nation walked away 2-0 winners. Will Qatar be able to rally its troops and change their fortunes in their 2nd game?
As World Cups go, nothing is ever set in stone, and victories don’t come as easy as some of the players and coaches would like. This definitely would have been factored into various predictions from around the world, but maybe not as much as many would have thought. Here are some of the unusual results we’ve seen from the first round of this year’s World Cup:
- Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: The Argentinian soccer giants came into this match on the back of a 36-game undefeated streak, with their main talisman, Lionel Messi, playing in what is most likely his last-ever World Cup. As such, they were expected to dominate a lesser-talented Saudi Arabia. That wasn’t the case at all. After going 1-0 down in the first 10 minutes, the Saudis pulled it back in the second half to pull off a historic 2-1 victory, upsetting many fans and shocking millions around the world.
- Germany vs Japan: Even though Japan’s odds of making it past the group stages are relatively good, they didn’t expect their opening match against Germany to end the way it did. Germany put one past Japan in the form of a 33rd-minute penalty, but the Japanese pulled two late goals back in the 75th and 83rd minute to break the hearts of Germans all over. The final result was 2-1 to Japan.
Just as the unpredicted was bound to be a theme at this Soccer World Cup, so was the more commonplace. These two games ended as everyone thought why would, and made for plenty of entertainment:
- England vs Iran: With a wildly-talented side, the English came into this tournament hoping to win their first World Cup since 1966. Their first opponents were a hopeful Iran side, which pundits and fans expected to be a fairly easy test for The Three Lions. England went on to prove everyone right and win the game in style, the final result being 6-2.
- Spain vs Costa Rica: Spain came into this World Cup hoping to repeat the success of their 2010 side. With only one player left from that winning side all those years ago, and a host of new youngsters, people were wondering if lack of experience would get in the way of talent. The young side certainly showed they have what it takes when they thrashed Costa Rica 7-0 in their first game.
With one or two other games not going the way people thought they would, these are the rest of the results from the first round of matches:
- Senegal 0 – 2 Netherlands
- USA 1 – 1 Wales
- Denmark 0 – 0 Tunisia
- Mexico 0 – 0 Poland
- France 4 – 1 Australia
- Morocco 0 – 0 Croatia
- Belgium 1 – 0 Canada
- Switzerland 1 – 0 Cameroon
- Uruguay 0 – 0 South Korea
- Portugal 3 – 2 Ghana
- Brazil 2 – 0 Serbia
With such a mixed bag of results from match week 1, what can we expect from round 2? With the opportunity for history to be made in more ways than one, you can expect teams to put it all out there to secure a spot in the round of 16. Remember to keep an eye on the important fixture dates and teams so that you don’t miss a single second of the action. If it’s your turn to host game day, book a cleaning service with us to get your home spotless and ready for the action.