Teenagers light up the tournament as Spain’s Gavi & England’s Saka grab the headlines
FIFA World Cup 2022, the biggest sporting carnival in the world has kicked off in some fashion. We have already witnessed some high-voltage action in match day 1 of the group stage. The tournament has been under criticism for multiple reasons, but the quality of football on the field hasn’t suffered.
Fans have already come across some of the biggest upsets in the history of the World Cup. Records have tumbled, the greats have come to the party and the underdogs have shocked the world. The level of football has been as high as one expects from such a lucrative tournament.
One of the pre-tournament favourites Argentina suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia. Argentina’s 36-game-unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-1 defeat. A star-studded German squad crumbled under pressure as they lost 2-1 to Japan.
Big boys losing and underdogs thriving has already created a lot of excitement in terms of the qualification scenario. But, before we turn our focus towards match day 2 let’s have a look at the FIFA World Cup 2022 Match Day 1 Team of the Week.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Match Day 1 Results
Qatar 0 – 2 Ecuador; England 6 – 2 Iran; Senegal 0 – 2 Netherlands; USA 1 – 1 Wales; Argentina 1 – 2 Saudi Arabia; Denmark 0 – 0 Tunisia; Mexico 0 – 0 Poland; France 4 – 1 Australia; Morocco 0 – 0 Croatia; Germany 1 – 2 Japan; Spain 7 – 0 Costa Rica; Belgium 1 – 0 Canada; Switzerland 1 – 0 Cameroon; Uruguay 0 – 0 South Korea; Portugal 3 – 2 Ghana; Brazil 2 – 0 Serbia
FIFA World Cup 2022 Team of the Round Match Day 1
Formation: Line-up (4-3-3)
GK: Mohammed Al-Owais (Saudi Arabia)
While a few offside calls did come to his rescue but Owais did manage to keep the star-studded Argentina XI at bay. Messi scored a penalty against Saudi Arabia to give Argentina the lead. But apart from that Al-Owais was the difference between the two teams as Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina 2-1.
LB: Luke Shaw (England)
Luke Shaw has struggled at the club level in the recent past. However, his return to form is timely as Shaw recently returned to the United XI. As a result, he was trusted to do the job for England in their opening fixture. A wonderfully timed cross by the Manchester full-back led to England’s opening goal.
CB: Diego Godín (Uruguay)
Godin was the star man in defence for Uruguay yet again, he was dominant in the air. The veteran centre-back ensured a clean sheet and could have won it for his team but was unlucky to see his header bounce back off the post.
CB: Thiago Silva (Brazil)
Brazil was dominant with the ball and at the heart of it was a 38-year-old centre-back who operated like a quarterback in possession. He did everything that was needed of him and was spot-on with his passing.
RB: Angelo Preciado (Ecuador)
The host Qatar found life difficult in their first outing at the FIFA World Cup 2022. Credit goes to Angelo who was unplayable with his runs down the right flank. He set up Ecuador’s second goal with a wonderfully timed cross.
CDM: Casemiro (Brazil)
The tank was at his absolute best as he protected his defence and showcased sublime passing range. While he didn’t have much defending to do, he did light up the stage with his creative side.
CM: Gavi (Spain)
People who see Gavi play at the heart of Spain’s midfield for the first time won’t believe that he is still a teenager, such is the composure of the young Barca boy. He glided past the defence and was spot-on with his passing. Luis Enrique’s side demolished Costa Rica 7-0 as the 18-year-old looked like the spit of the legendary Spanish midfielders. In the 74th he scored with an outside foot volley which grabbed all the headlines.
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CM: Adrien Rabiot (France)
Rabiot stood up and justified his spot in the team as he carried his resurgent club form onto the international stage. The French midfielder has been talked about as a world-class talent for a while now and he finally justified all the talk with a hard-earned goal and a sensational assist.
LW: Kylian Mbappé (France)
One of the best players in the world at this point in time went all-out attack against Australia. The only way the Aussies could deal with Mbappe was hoping that he missed the target. The PSG forward produced yet another masterclass performance with a goal & an assist.
ST: Richarlison (Brazil)
Brazil has a habit of producing highly skilful forwards, Richarlison is another sensational talent that the South American nation has produced. The Tottenham forward scored an incredible scissor-kick goal which has been tipped as the goal of the tournament. He scored twice to guide Brazil to an easy win over Serbia before being subbed off in the 79th minute.
RW: Bukayo Saka (England)
Saka justified his position in the XI with two wonderfully clinical finishes as England smashed Iran 6-2 in their opening fixture. The Arsenal forward was at the peak of his powers as he dribbled past defenders with ease and lived up to Gareth Southgate’s expectations. His movement on the right flank and link-up play with Kieran Trippier was spot on.