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World Cup Daily: Portugal, Brazil look like contenders in tournament debuts

While Uruguay failed to live up to the pre-tournament hype in its 2022 World Cup debut, Brazil and Portugal looked as convincing as any team that’s played so far. 

Here’s everything that happened in the World Cup today and what to watch tomorrow.

Switzerland 1, Cameroon 0

Breel Embolo, who was born in Cameroon, scored the game-winner for Switzerland against the Indomitable Lions on Thursday. Out of respect, he didn’t celebrate his goal.

Cameroon picking up three points against Switzerland is huge considering who its next two opponents are: Serbia and Brazil.

Uruguay 0, South Korea 0

There were scoreless draws in the first round of group stage matches — four to be exact — but none was as uneventful as Uruguay-South Korea. Neither team had a shot on goal. Both teams picked up points, though, which puts them in a good position going into the final two group stage matches.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, right, celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the World Cup 2022 group A qualifying soccer match between Portugal and the Republic of Ireland at the Algarve stadium outside Faro, Portugal, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
(AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Portugal 3, Ghana 2

Cristiano Ronaldo got things going for Portugal in its first game of the tournament and his teammates returned the favor, scoring two more and holding off a late comeback effort from Ghana. Portugal is now at the top of the group and if it consistently plays like it did on Thursday, there’s no reason to believe it’ll fall from that spot.

Brazil 2, Serbia 0

It’s incredible that Brazil didn’t have more goals than it did against Serbia. We knew Brazil’s attacking combinations would be unfair before a ball had even been kicked, but they lived up to the hype in the first game. Of the 22 shots it took, nine were on target, and it finished with an xG of 2.34.

GOAL OF THE DAY

Forget Goal of the Day; this might be the Goal of the Tournament when it’s all said and done.

ASSIST OF THE DAY

Bruno Fernandes entered the tournament as one of the world’s most dangerous setup men — he showed why on Thursday. Any later, and João Félix would have been offside.

MUST-SEE MOMENT

Iñaki Williams nearly bagged a late-equalizer for Ghana because he sneaked behind Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who had no idea he was there. 

Had it gone in, it would have been one of the tournament’s most memorable moments — instead, it’s just our must-see moment of the day.

Richarlison of Brazil celebrates after scoring a goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Brazil and Serbia at Lusail Stadium in Lusail City, Qatar on November 24, 2022. 

Richarlison of Brazil celebrates after scoring a goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Brazil and Serbia at Lusail Stadium in Lusail City, Qatar on November 24, 2022. 
(Fareed Kotb/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Wales vs. Iran, 5 a.m. ET on FS1

Fans of Iran and Wales won’t be the only people watching Friday’s game attentively. The United States’ hopes of advancing to the knockout stage would get a nice boost with an Iran win or draw. The last thing the U.S. needs is a Wales win.

Qatar vs. Senegal, 8 a.m. ET on FS1

After losing its opener to Ecuador, Qatar will be looking to get its first win of the tournament against a Senegal team trying to do the same. A loss would effectively disqualify the host nation from the World Cup.

People gather around the official countdown clock showing remaining time until the kick-off of the World Cup 2022, in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Fans going to the World Cup in Qatar must show a negative COVID-19 test when they arrive as part of the host nation’s rules to combat COVID-19, organizers said Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. 

People gather around the official countdown clock showing remaining time until the kick-off of the World Cup 2022, in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Fans going to the World Cup in Qatar must show a negative COVID-19 test when they arrive as part of the host nation’s rules to combat COVID-19, organizers said Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

Netherlands vs. Ecuador, 11 a.m. ET on FOX

Ecuador had no problem against Qatar in the opening match of the tournament — how will it fair against a Netherlands side coming off of a confidence-building win against a team many thought would be a dark-horse for the title?

England vs. United States, 2 p.m. ET on FOX

Soccer? Football? It will all be decided on Friday, as will the United States’ path to the knockout stage.

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