Despite going behind to a first-half penalty, two goals in eight second-half minutes from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano turned the game around and secured a momentous victory for the Asian heavyweights.
It was dreamland for Japan, but another horror opening game for Germany, who also lost their first game in 2018 on their way to a humiliating group-stage exit.
It was a game where Spain’s young stars shone, as Gavi became the youngest-ever goalscorer at the World Cup since Pele, at the age of just 18 years old.
Earlier on Wednesday, Morocco and Croatia couldn’t be split as the sides played out the third 0-0 draw of the tournament so far in a game of few chances.
In the final match of the day, Alphonso Davies missed a penalty as Canada fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Belgium in their first World Cup match in 36 years. Les Rouges were highly impressive and deserved a point or maybe more, but poor finishing cost them against one of Europe’s best sides.
Day Five see’s the final set of first round group games, as the likes of Brazil, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Uruguay all get their campaigns underway. Here’s what is on the schedule.
World Cup matches today
The early game offered an intriguing matchup between Euro 2020 quarterfinalists Switzerland and African heavyweights Cameroon, and it was the Swiss who won out thanks to Breel Embolo’s early second-half strike.
Embolo — born in Cameroon — did not celebrate his winner out of respect for the country of his birth, but Switzerland know that they now have one foot in the knockouts, after an opening win.
Uruguay’s star studded front line faced the Son Heung-min led South Korea in the second match, but the forwards did not fire in a tame 0-0 draw.
All eyes will then be on Cristiano Ronaldo at Stadium 974 when he leads his country, Portugal, against Ghana. There will be huge interest as the world wonders whether his recent and tumultuous exit from Manchester United will affect how he plays for his country at likely his last World Cup.
In the late kickoff, Brazil — many people’s pre tournament favourites — begin their campaign against a strong Serbia side. With a star-studded attack and depth all around the pitch, will this be the start of a journey to World Cup glory for Brazil?
Thursday, November 24
|Group||Match||Time (ET / GMT)||Stadium|
|G||Switzerland 1 Cameroon 0||Al Janoub|
|H||Uruguay 0 South Korea 0||Education City|
|H||Portugal vs. Ghana||11:00 a.m. / 4:00 p.m.||Stadium 974|
|G||Brazil vs. Serbia||2:00 p.m. / 7:00 p.m.||Lusail|
World Cup 2022 matches tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 25)
The second set of group games begin tomorrow, with some teams looking to secure passage to the knockout stages, whilst others will need a win to keep their hopes of progression alive.
Wales take on an Iran side desperate to bounce back from their humbling 6-2 defeat to England, before hosts Qatar look to avoid the embarrassment of becoming the second host nation to fail to qualify from the group when they take on Senegal.
Netherlands and Ecuador lock horns looking for a win that would likely confirm their Round of 16 spot, before a titanic clash between England and the USA will have the world glued to their screens in the late kickoff.
|5 a.m.||Wales vs Iran||B||Ahmed bin Ali|
|8 a.m.||Qatar vs Senegal||A||Al Thumama|
|11 a.m.||Netherlands vs Ecuador||A||Khalifa Int’l|
|2 p.m.||England vs USA||B||Al Bayt|