World Cups opening matches don't disappoint

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

DOHA – The world’s most coveted sporting event is officially underway. 


Despite slashing their way through controversy after controversy, FIFA successfully got things underway in Doha, Qatar with a match Sunday morning between the home team, and Ecuador. 


The South American country easily slid past the World Cup Debutants in a 2-0 victory, with many believing it should have been 3-0. 


Early in the contest the Ecuadorians found themselves pressing, before finding the back of the net past Qatari keeper Saad Al Sheeb. It seemed to be a clear cut goal with Ecuador celebrating the first of the tournament, before a very controversial VAR was initiated. The review determined the player to be offside in what was a very confusing call. 


But just minutes later, Enner Valencia was awarded a penalty after being taken down in the box, which he made no mistake of. He tallied another for good measure with a well placed header in the 31st minute. 


Valencia, who plays in the Turkish professional league, led the Spanish-speaking squad to the group stage victory. 


On Monday we were treated to a slate of three separate games. 


England, looking to bring it home, opened up the tournament against Iran who they handed a world-class beatdown to. It was a bit of a slower start for the English squad before they netted three within  a 10-minute span to go into the half with a 3-0 lead. 


Into the second half they picked up right where they left off with Bukayo Saka finding twine twice, to help lead the team to a 6-2 victory. They’ll enjoy the opening game success  before facing off against the Americans on Friday. 


The Americans on the other hand, will be rueing their opening game performance as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Wales. Timothy Weah got the Americans up in the 36th minute, with it looking like they would hold the edge in this one. But what they failed to account for was Gareth Bale. The Welsh striker led a late offensive press which saw him net the equalizer in the 82nd minute. 


The third game on Monday was another exciting matchup between Senegal and the Netherlands. The Dutch squad came into this one the heavy favourites, with many not giving Senegal much of a chance at all. But the first half of play was an exciting one with a plethora of scoring opportunities being presented for both sides. 


It wasn’t until late in the second half that the deadlock would be broken as Cody Gakpo beat Edouard Mendy in the 84th minute, with Davy Klaassen adding insurance during injury time. 


World Cup action continues on Tuesday with four games on tap. Argentina takes on Saudi Arabia, before Tunisia goes head to head against Denmark, Mexico takes on Poland, and France and Australia close out the day.