Spain’s ahead #11 Ferran Torres scores a penalty throughout the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group E soccer match between Spain and Costa Rica on the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 23. (Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Photos)

So 16 video games performed, with one other 48 matches to go on the 2022 World Cup. There have been 4 0-0 attracts already — Russia 2018 solely noticed one — however a couple of groups have recorded assertion wins.

England arrived in Qatar having endured the worst buildup to a World Cup in its historical past. However Gareth Southgate’s workforce dispelled any criticism by thrashing Iran 6-2, its second largest victory on the event.

Likewise, France got here to the World Cup having misplaced its dynamic midfield duo of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté to harm, to not point out Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema.

After going behind to Australia early on it regarded just like the curse of the defending champion would strike France simply because it had the earlier 4 winners of their opening video games. However a brace from Olivier Giroud and targets from Adrian Rabiot and Kylian Mbappé sealed a French comeback and a flying begin to its World Cup defence.

Spain’s 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica set a brand new stage of excellence at Qatar 2022 — arguably probably the most dominant efficiency in a World Cup recreation this century. Not solely did La Roja rating seven, however Luis Enrique’s facet didn’t let Costa Rica take a single shot throughout the 90 minutes. Dominance.

In the meantime, Brazil carries the heavy burden as pre-tournament favourite, and it confirmed in a troublesome first half towards Serbia. Then Richarlison started working, grabbing a double, together with an early contender for purpose of the event with an acrobatic end to offer the Seleção a 2-0 win.

Brazil confirmed its unbelievable attacking depth as Neymar Jr. and youthful stars like Vinicius Jr., Raphinha, Richarlisan and Rodrygo took middle stage in a brand new and thrilling Brazil facet seeking to showcase a 2022 version of jogo bonito (the attractive recreation) on the World Cup.

Nonetheless, the most important winners of the primary spherical of fixtures have been arguably not from Europe or South America, however from Asia.

Saudi Arabia got here into the event as one of many lowest ranked sides and with an unknown workforce totally hailing from home membership soccer.

Within the path of the Inexperienced Falcons was an Argentina facet unbeaten in 36 video games and led by Lionel Messi in his pursuit of the one trophy that has eluded him in his glittering profession.

However the Saudis weren’t daunted, coming from behind to attain two good targets and trigger the most important upset in World Cup historical past.

Only a day later, Japan adopted up with a seismic shock of its personal, turning over Germany. Like Saudi Arabia, the Samurai Blue went behind to a first-half penalty, however turned it round to earn probably the most well-known win in Japan’s historical past.

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