(NEW YORK) — After years of controversy around its location, the 2022 World Cup is underway in Qatar.
There have been allegations of payoffs to FIFA members to earn the bid, criticism of Qatar’s laws against women and LGBTQ individuals, the deaths of migrants used to build the sparkling new stadiums and even last-second controversy over beer sales. The tournament was also moved from its usual summer timeframe to the holiday season to avoid Qatar’s intensely hot weather.
But on the field, the best players in the world — such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar — are ready to go. And the U.S. is back with a hungry, young team after failing to qualify for the last World Cup.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Nov 29, 7:40 PM EST
Christian Pulisic has pelvic contusion, status ‘day-to-day’: USMNT
U.S. forward Christian Pulisic was diagnosed with a pelvic contusion after colliding with Iran’s goalkeeper during a match on Tuesday, the U.S. men’s national soccer team said.
Pulisic’s “status is day-to-day,” the team said in a tweet.
“I’ll be ready Saturday don’t worry,” Pulisic said earlier in a social media post accompanied by a photo of the superstar cheering from a hospital bed. A family friend of Pulisic confirmed the authenticity of the post to ABC News.
Pulisic, 24, was helped off the field shortly after scoring a goal in the 38th minute of the match. Pulisic collided with Iranian goalie Alireza Beiranvand during the play and remained on the ground for several minutes. He did not return to the game.
He was taken to the hospital for scans on his abdomen, the team said.
Nov 29, 5:35 PM EST
Lionel Messi’s Argentina side highlights Wednesday’s action
Argentina, led by the legendary Lionel Messi, faces a critical match with Poland as it attempts to qualify for the knockout rounds Wednesday.
Group C is tightly packed with Poland standing at 4 points, Argentina at 3 points and underdog Saudi Arabia at 3 points. Mexico is at the bottom of the table with 1 point, but it does have a chance of making the next round.
If Poland or Argentina wins outright, it will qualify for the next round. If Saudi Arabia defeats Mexico, it will also improbably make it to the knockout stages. But who advances otherwise gets more complicated from there.
Mexico needs to defeat Saudi Arabia if it wants to advance, but they still would need to get a helpful result in the Poland-Argentina match (either a Poland win or a draw and advantageous goal differential). A draw in both matches would put Argentina and Saudi Arabia tied at 4 points and come down to goal differential as well. Poland would win the group.
Group D is more clear. France has already qualified for the next round, so they may take it easy against Tunisia. Tunisia would need to beat France, get a draw in Australia-Denmark and win out on goal differential.
The Aussies would advance with a win against Denmark. Denmark can only advance with a win, though it would need a better goal differential than Tunisia if the African country upsets France.
Here is Wednesday’s schedule:
- Australia vs. Denmark, 10 a.m., FS1
- Tunisia vs. France, 10 a.m., Fox
- Poland vs. Argentina, 2 p.m., Fox
- Saudi Arabia vs. Mexico, 2 p.m., FS1
Nov 29, 5:24 PM EST
Christian Pulisic taken to hospital for scans
U.S. star Christian Pulisic was taken to the hospital for scans on his abdomen after the team’s win over Iran.
Pulisic sustained an injury after he slammed into Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand while scoring the eventual game-winning goal late in the first half. Though he stayed down for several minutes and had to be helped to the sideline, he did return to the game.
The 24-year-old was substituted out at halftime. U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter said immediately following the game he did not have an update on Pulisic’s condition. The U.S.’s next game is Saturday.
Nov 29, 4:21 PM EST
Biden congratulates USA soccer team
President Joe Biden celebrated the U.S. win over Iran at the World Cup following remarks in Bay City, Michigan. He walked back up on stage and delivered his congratulations:
“USA! USA! That’s a big game, man. Well, I spoke to the coach and the players and said, ‘You can do it,’” Biden said.
He continued, “They did it. God love ‘em! Anyway, just thought you might want to hear.”
The U.S. will face the Netherlands at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the knockout round.
-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson
Nov 29, 4:05 PM EST
US advances to knockout stage with 1-0 win against Iran
The United States has advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Iran.
Walker Zimmerman played hero for the U.S. in the 98th minute when he cleared a loose ball from just feet in front of their net.
The U.S. finished second in Group B and will face the Netherlands, the winner of Group A, in the knockout round.
Nov 29, 3:55 PM EST
England takes group with easy win against Wales
England is ticketed for the knockout stage and the top spot in Group B after a 3-0 win against Wales.
Marcus Rashford had a brace with goals in the 50th and 68th minutes and Phil Foden added one in the middle, just one minute after Rashford’s first goal.
England will face the second-place team in Group A, Senegal, in the first knockout match of the tournament.
Nov 29, 3:16 PM EST
England scores 2 quick goals to take 2-0 lead
England came out of the halftime on fire with two quick goals against Wales to take a 2-0 lead.
Marcus Rashford scored in the 50th minute on a beautiful free kick from just outside the box, followed by a goal from Phil Foden a minute later.
England advances to the second round with a win or draw. With a two-goal lead, they appear poised to earn the top spot in Group B.
Nov 29, 2:59 PM EST
US leads 1-0 at the half, England-Wales remains scoreless
The U.S. leads 1-0 against Iran at the half in a game they must win to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament.
Star striker Christian Pulisic scored the first goal of the game in the 38th minute on an assist from Sergiño Dest. Dest headed a ball to Pulisic, who was crashing into the box and knocked the ball into the bottom left corner of the net before crashing into Iran’s goalkeeper.
The U.S. came very close to making it 2-0 in stoppage time of the first half when Timothy Weah beat the keeper one-on-one. However, Weah, who had scored the only goal in the tournament so far for the U.S., was called offside.
In the other Group B match, England and Wales remain tied at 0-0. England just needs a draw to advance to the knockout stage.
Nov 29, 12:02 PM EST
Senegal, Netherlands advance from Group A
The first two teams to advance out of group play are Senegal and Netherlands. Netherlands cruised to a 2-0 victory over host country Qatar, while Senegal earned a 2-1 victory in a must-win match.
Senegal led 1-0 at the half on a penalty kick goal from Ismaila Sarr in the 44th minute. But Ecuador tied the game 1-1 in the 67th minute on a goal by Moises Caicedo off a corner kick. A draw would’ve meant Ecuador advanced to the knockout round.
But Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly scored the go-ahead goal just three minutes later off a free kick. The goal stood up as the game-winner.
A heavily favored Dutch side had no issues with Qatar, which had already been eliminated from contention for the second round. Cody Gakpo scored in the 26th minute and Frenkie de Jong added a second goal just four minutes into the second half. Netherlands finished atop the group with the win.
Netherlands will play the second-place team in Group B in the next round, while Senegal will face the winner of Group A. The U.S., if they advance over Iran, will likely take on Netherlands.
Nov 29, 11:03 AM EST
Senegal, Netherlands hold 1-0 leads at half
Senegal and the Netherlands hold one-goal leads at the half in the final matches in Group A.
Senegal, which likely needs a win to advance, scored a goal on a penalty kick by Ismaila Sarr in the 44th minute. Senegal leads Ecuador, 1-0. Ecuador needs a win or draw to advance to the knockout stage.
The Netherlands has had no problems with the host country of Qatar in the first half, leading 1-0 behind a goal from Cody Gakpo in the 26th minute. A win would put the Dutch into the second round.
Nov 29, 10:07 AM EST
Netherlands-Qatar and Ecuador-Senegal underway
The first two matches of the day are underway in Qatar, including the final game for the home squad.
Qatar, which cannot advance to the next round after losses in its first two matches, faces the Netherlands, which currently stands atop Group A. The Netherlands would advance with a win.
In the second match, Ecuador and Senegal face off with the winner guaranteeing a spot in the knockout stage. A draw would also be enough for Ecuador to move on.
If Senegal-Ecuador tie and Netherlands loses, it will come down to goal differential to determine whether Netherlands or Senegal advances. Netherlands is currently plus-2 in goal differential on Senegal, so they are looking good.
Nov 29, 9:56 AM EST
FiveThirtyEight gives US 38% chance of beating Iran
The odds of beating Iran are in the U.S.’s favor, but the overall chances of advancing to the knockout round are not — at least according to FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup predictions.
The U.S. has a 38% chance of winning, while Iran has a 31% chance, with a 31% chance of a draw. Only a win will put Team USA into the next round, so that means there’s a 62% chance they won’t advance to the knockout stage.
For those looking even further down the line, the U.S. has less than a 1% chance of winning the World Cup — the same as Iran. For those looking on the bright side, the U.S. does have a 15% chance of making the quarterfinals.
FiveThirtyEight uses its Soccer Power Index ratings to determine the likely winner. The SPI draws from a database of international matches dating back to 1905. For a full explanation of how the rankings work, click here.
Nov 29, 9:16 AM EST
Pandas predict a US win against Iran
Good news for the U.S. men’s team — Qatar’s psychic pandas Thuraya and Suhail have chosen the U.S. to beat Iran in today’s must-win matchup.
The two pandas were gifted to Qatar from China to celebrate it as the host country of the World Cup. Every day, they are tasked with predicting which countries will win that day’s matchups.
However, the pandas are not given the choice of a draw and they’re not always correct.
The pandas also chose England over Wales, Senegal over Ecuador and Qatar over the Netherlands in today’s matches.
Nov 29, 8:54 AM EST
Blinken denies ‘geopolitical’ nature of World Cup
When Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about the unrest in Iran and China as it related to the game between the U.S. and Iran at the World Cup later today, Blinken said “let’s let the athletes do their thing,” expressing his belief that there are no geopolitical implications beyond a competitive game.
“I’m certainly confident in [the athletes’] abilities to do well on the field. And I don’t think there are any particular geopolitical aspects to this, other than that,” he added.
Affirming the right to protest, Blinken closed his answer, saying “protests that we’re seeing in China, protests that we’re seeing for different reasons, in Iraq, in other places — our position is the same everywhere, which is that we support the right of people everywhere to peacefully protest to make known their views, their concerns and their frustrations.”
Nov 28, 8:07 PM EST
Must-win match for USA highlights Tuesday schedule
The U.S.’s future in the World Cup will be decided Tuesday against Iran. After draws against Wales and England, the U.S. can only advance to the knockout stage with a win; anything else and they will be boarding a flight home.
Iran, ranked nine spots lower than USA in the FIFA rankings, defeated Wales and was blown out by England, so they are facing a similar situation as the U.S. — though a draw could also result in them making it out of the group stage as well. Wales can only advance with an unlikely dominating performance against England.
The match has almost been eclipsed by controversy over the U.S. Soccer Federation posting a photo of the Iranian flag on Twitter without the Islamic symbol. The post was to show support for protesters in Iran, and has earned calls for FIFA to kick the USA out of the competition. That’s unlikely, but Iran can handle it on the field by simply beating the USA. FiveThirtyEight’s predictions give the U.S. a 38% chance of winning versus 31% for Iran (with a 31% chance of a draw).
This is only the third time the two countries have met. They faced off in another politically heated match in the 1998 World Cup when the U.S. government called Iran the “most active” sponsor of terrorism just weeks beforehand. Iran won that match, 2-1.
The other two games on Tuesday will be in Group A, including the final match for the home country. Unfortunately for local fans, Qatar has already been eliminated from contention for the knockout stages. Netherlands can advance with a win over Qatar (or a draw and some help), while the winner of Ecuador-Senegal will also advance. Ecuador would advance with a draw.
Tuesday’s schedule of matches:
- Ecuador vs. Senegal, 10 a.m., FS1
- Netherlands vs. Qatar, 10 a.m., Fox
- Iran vs. United States, 2 p.m., Fox
- Wales vs. England, 2 p.m., FS1
Nov 28, 6:28 PM EST
White House won’t comment on Iran flag flap
The White House declined to comment on the Iranian flag flap created by the U.S. Soccer Federation’s removal of the Islamic emblem from a photo on the U.S. men’s national team’s Twitter account.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the White House would not have comment during a White House press briefing Monday afternoon.
“This isn’t the kind of thing that you would — that the White House would — comment on,” Kirby said at the briefing. “USA soccer is a private entity, and they make their own decisions about those kinds of things, and we wouldn’t comment on that. We wish them all the best tomorrow.”
Kirby also said he wasn’t aware of any conversations or consultations involving anyone from the U.S. government about the U.S. Soccer Federation’s decision to alter the flag.
The logo was later added back to the flag in the team’s Twitter header. The federation had said it was done to support protesters in the country currently demonstrating against the totalitarian regime and its treatment of women.
-ABC News’ Sarah Kolinovsky
Nov 28, 5:26 PM EST
US coach, captain try to avoid Iran flag controversy
U.S. national team coach Gregg Berhalter tried to keep the focus on Tuesday’s game at a press conference as he faced questions about why the U.S. team’s Twitter account removed the Islamic emblem from Iran’s flag in a post Sunday. He also insisted his team had no knowledge of the post.
The U.S. soccer federation said it removed the logo to show support for those protesting in the country against authoritarian rule and its treatment of women.
Berhalter tried to keep the focus on the uniting power of sports and the World Cup, even as Iran called for the U.S. to be kicked out of the World Cup for altering its flag.
“Sport is something that should bring people together, bring countries together,” Berhalter said. “When you look at the Olympics, to see all those countries competing at the same time, is a wonderful event. The World Cup is very similar, where people come from all around the world. Fans come from all around the world, and you get to compete on the field, as brothers, so sport does have the ability to do that.”
U.S. captain Tyler Adams was criticized by an Iranian reporter for mispronouncing “Iran,” which he apologized for, and he was questioned about discrimination in the U.S., saying it is everywhere but there has been progress. But he also deflected attention back to the game.
“Listen, we support Iran’s people and Iran’s team. But that being said, you know, we’re laser focused on this match as they are as well,” Adams, 23, told reporters. “We know how important this is for our progress of our team and what we want to do to prove to our country, you know, how hard we’ve been working. And we know they want to do exactly the same.”
The U.S. must defeat Iran Tuesday to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament.
-ABC News’ Karyn Rhodus
Nov 28, 4:29 PM EST
Portugal cruises to win over Uruguay, clinches spot in knockout stage
Portugal dispatched Uruguay on Monday, taking its second win of the tournament and guaranteeing superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will see the knockout stage in what is almost certainly the 37-year-old’s last World Cup.
Portugal won 2-0 behind two goals from Bruno Fernandes. The Manchester United star — briefly Ronaldo’s teammate before Man U dismissed the star — scored the match’s first goal in the 54th minute and then added the clincher in the 93rd minute on a penalty kick.
Portugal will play South Korea on Friday, but will likely rest some players to get them ready for the knockout stage.
Nov 28, 1:03 PM EST
Brazil tops Switzerland
In the Group G competition Monday, Brazil beat Switzerland 1-0 with a late-game goal by Casemiro.
With that, Brazil has won both its matches so far in the tournament and sits atop the group.
Nov 28, 10:14 AM EST
Ghana defeats South Korea, Cameroon and Serbia tie
Ghana won over South Korea 3-2 in a high-intensity match that saw the momentum change several times over.
Ghana started strong, with Mohammed Salisu scoring 24 minutes in and Mohammed Kudus at 34 minutes, bringing the score to 2-0 by halftime.
But then Cho Gue-sung of South Korea scored twice, at the 58th minute and again just three minutes later. He scored both goals on a header from a cross, the second powerful strike followed by an exuberant team celebration as it tied up the game.
Ghana met the challenge just minutes later, with Kudus scoring once more to put Ghana back in the lead.
With 10 minutes of extra time, South Korea was not able to score again as the Ghanaian team successfully defended multiple goal opportunities.
Earlier Monday, in Group G, Cameroon and Serbia ended in a 3-3 tie.
Nov 27, 3:59 PM EST
Germany, Spain tie
Germany and Spain ended their high-energy match in a 1-1 tie Sunday.
Both goals came late in the game, with Spain’s Álvaro Morata scoring at 62 minutes and Germany’s Niclas Füllkrug at 83 minutes.
Nov 27, 1:06 PM EST
Croatia beats Canada 4-1
Croatia handily beat Canada four goals to one. Croatia’s goals were scored by Marko Livaja, Lovro Majer and Andrej Kramaric, who scored twice.
Canada’s Alphonso Davies scored their sole point, the country’s first in a men’s FIFA World Cup, within the first three minutes of the match.
Croatia is now the top team in Group F, while Canada will not advance.
Nov 27, 11:23 AM EST
Morocco beats Belgium 2-0
Morocco beat Belgium Sunday with two goals over zero.
The first goal was scored by Abdelhamid Sabiri 73 minutes in on a free kick near the corner. The second goal came in extra minutes, scored by Zakaria Aboukhlal chipping off a smart assist by Hakim Ziyech.
This win puts Morocco at the top of Group F.
Nov 27, 8:12 AM EST
Costa Rica beats Japan 1-0 with late goal
Costa Rica beat the favored Japan 1-0 with a late goal on Sunday.
Keysher Fuller scored the match’s sole goal at the 81-minute mark, shooting from inside the 18-yard box and slipping the ball past the fingertips of Japan’s goaltender, Shuichi Gonda.
The goal was Costa Rica’s first of the tournament after losing 7-0 against Spain in its opening game.
Nov 26, 4:15 PM EST
Argentina tops Mexico 2-0 in vital win
After a stunning loss to Saudi Arabia, Argentina defeated Mexico 2-0.
Argentina and Saudi Arabia now have three points each. The team that wins their third match in this round will likely head to the knockouts.
Nov 26, 1:30 PM EST
France defeats Denmark 2-1 in heated match
France defeated Denmark 2-1 with a last minute goal from Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé, in what was a tight game between the two Group D teams.
Mbappé also scored France’s first goal of the match. The win solidifies France’s spot in the knockout round.
To qualify for the next round, Denmark will have to defeat Australia on Wednesday.
Nov 26, 12:17 PM EST
Poland defeats Saudi Arabia 2-0
Poland defeated Saudi Arabia 2-0, putting the Polish team in Group C’s top spot.
Saudi Arabia has the second highest number of points in the group thanks to its surprise 2-1 win over Argentina. Mexico and Argentina will face off later today, where Mexico could knock Argentina out of the tournament with a win.
Nov 26, 8:04 AM EST
Saudi Arabia can qualify for elimination round with win over Poland
Poland and Saudi Arabia have kicked off at Education City Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Saudi Arabia shocked the football world this week with a 2-1 over Argentina, one of the favorites to win the World Cup. Poland played Mexico and earned a scoreless draw against the squad to take one point away from the match.
The second Group C match of the day will take place later on where Mexico can eliminate Argentina from the competition with a win.
Nov 26, 7:07 AM EST
Australia defeats Tunisia for their first World Cup win since 2010
Australia and Tunisia played a tight game throughout with each squad having their chances to score but it was Australia who ultimately prevailed 1-0 over the North African side.
Tunisia is now on the backfoot when it comes to qualifying for the knockout rounds but they have not formally been eliminated in the loss to Australia. Australia have garnered three points in their two matches thus far. Tunisia has earned one point in their matches. Denmark takes on France later today in the other Group D match.
Nov 25, 4:09 PM EST
US and England tie 0-0
The U.S. and England tied in their match on Friday, ending the game without scoring any goals.
To advance to the next round, the U.S. will need to win its match against Iran on Tuesday.
England won its match against Iran on Monday 6-2.
Nov 25, 12:47 PM EST
Neymar injures right ankle during Brazil’s 1st match
Soccer star Neymar injured his right ankle during Brazil’s match against Serbia Thursday.
The team’s doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said Neymar sprained his ankle and said he is confident Neymar will continue playing at the World Cup, according to the Associated Press.
Nov 25, 12:47 PM EST
China gifts Qatar two pandas tasked with predicting game winners
Thuraya and Suhail are two pandas gifted to Qatar from China to celebrate their hosting the World Cup. Every day, they are tasked with predicting which countries will win that day’s matchups.
Fans of the U.S. men’s soccer team may hope this less-than-stellar rate holds as the pandas predicted this morning that England wins in the team’s group stage match.
Nov 25, 12:37 PM EST
Senegal beats Qatar 3-1
Senegal beat World Cup host Qatar 3-1, in what was the host’s first appearance in the tournament ever.
The two other Group A members, the Netherlands and Ecuador, are set to face off on Friday.
Nov 25, 7:30 AM EST
Wales suffers defeat at the hands of Iran
With two goals allowed in added time, Wales lost a tight match to Iran 2-0.
In the defeat, Wales has one point in Group B and Iran now has three. The United States will play England later today to wrap up the second games for each team in the group at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Nov 25, 6:00 AM EST
Wales and Iran battle to 0-0 at halftime in each squad’s second match
In a closely fought match between the two teams, Wales and Iran have played a tight match so far at halftime at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Ar-Rayyan.
Wales has had possession 54% of the time to Iran’s 30% with the ball contested 16% of the time.
England is leading Group B with three points and they will play the United States who garnered point against Wales in their first match. Wales is tied with the U.S. with one point and Iran yet to put points on the table.
Nov 24, 10:39 PM EST
Brazil wins against Serbia as Neymar suffers ankle injury
Brazil defeated Serbia 2-0 in the opening for Group G at Lusail Stadium courtesy of Brazilian forward Richarlison’s double goals.
Brazil’s Neymar, one of the sport’s most popular players, sprained his ankle, according to Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar.
Now at the top of the Group G standings, Brazil will play Switzerland on Monday, while Serbia will face Cameroon.
Nov 24, 8:43 PM EST
Portugal beats Ghana 3-2 as Ronaldo breaks record
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo made history today, becoming the first male player to score in five different World Cups after scoring a penalty kick in Portugal’s opening match.
Portugal now leads Group H after defeating Ghana 3-2.
Ronaldo left Manchester United earlier this week after an explosive TV interview in which he criticized the club and manager Erik ten Hag.
Nov 24, 2:04 PM EST
Portugal beats Ghana 3-2 as Ronaldo breaks record
Soccer star Christiano Ronaldo made history today, becoming the first male player to score in five different World Cups after scoring a penalty kick in Portugal’s opening match.
Portugal now leads Group H after defeating Ghana 3-2.
Ronaldo left Manchester United earlier this week after an explosive TV interview in which he criticized the club and manager Erik ten Hag.
Nov 24, 11:39 AM EST
Uruguay and South Korea draw 0-0
Uruguay and South Korea did not score any goals in their first appearance in the 2022 World Cup, ending the game with a 0-0 draw.
The two other teams in the group, Portugal and Ghana, are also facing off today.
Nov 24, 8:10 AM EST
Uruguay takes on South Korea
The match between Uruguay and South Korea has kicked off in Al Rayyan, Qatar.
This match is the first one featuring teams from Group H, the last group not to have played yet in Qatar 2022. The other two teams, Ghana and Portugal, will play later today.
Nov 24, 7:07 AM EST
Switzerland defeats Cameroon 1-0
Cameroon-born Swiss star Breel Embolo scored the only goal of the match in the 48th minute shortly after the half as Switzerland defeated Cameroon in the first game of the World Cup for each squad in Group G.
Embolo, who plays for Ligue 1 club Monaco in France, refused to celebrate in what would be the only goal of the match and held up his hands after scoring before he was mobbed by his teammates in celebration.
Switzerland will next play Brazil on Monday while Cameroon will take on Serbia the same day.
Nov 23, 1:02 PM EST
Spain looks like Cup contender with rout of Costa Rica
Spain, one of the oddsmakers’ favorites to hoist the World Cup trophy next month, did nothing to dissuade those picking the 2010 champs to win another title.
Spain defeated Costa Rica 7-0 in the most lopsided game of the tournament so far. Costa Rica had zero shots on goal in the match.
Ferran Torres had two goals, while Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata each had one.
It was the most goals scored by Spain in a World Cup game, topping the six they scored against Bulgaria in 1998. Spain next plays Germany on Sunday, with the German side facing elimination with a loss.
Nov 23, 10:16 AM EST
Japan shocks Germany with 2 goals in final 15 minutes
Germany controlled possession throughout the first half and appeared ready to cruise to a opening game victory. Then Japan turned it on in a shocking final 15 minutes to steal the win.
German Ilkay Gundogan scored on a penalty kick in the 33rd minute, and thought they had added a second late in the first half before a review took it off the board.
In the second, Ritsu Doan tied the game at 1-1 in the 75th minute after coming on the pitch just four minutes earlier. Eight minutes later, Takuma Asano gave Japan the 2-1 lead and held on for the win.
Nov 23, 10:14 AM EST
German players cover mouths in protest
The starting 11 for Germany posed for photos covering their mouths before the match with Japan in a sign of protest.
Several European team captains had planned to wear “OneLove” armbands during the tournament as a protest against Qatar’s anti-LGBTQ laws. However, FIFA cracked down on the teams’ decision and promised to immediately hand out yellow cards to any player violating the rules on uniform.
Also, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser was pictured wearing the armband while watching in the stands, alongside embattled FIFA President Gianni Infantino. She had previously said she might not even attend the World Cup due to concerns over human rights.
Nov 23, 7:04 AM EST
Croatia and Morocco draw 0-0
Croatia and Morocco failed to score in their match, which ended up being the third 0-0 draw in the 2022 World Cup so far.
The other two teams in the group, Canada and Belgium, will face off later today at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium — popularly known as the Al-Rayyan Stadium — in Al Rayyan, Qatar. It will be Canada’s first World Cup match in 36 years and only their second ever appearance at the tournament.
Nov 23, 6:57 AM EST
Morocco and Croatia battle to 0-0 draw at halftime
Croatia controlled possession of the ball 51% of the time to Morocco’s 36% in the first half of the Group F match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar.
Croatia had two corner kick opportunities but were unable to capitalize on those opportunities to score while Morocco had one less foul in the first half than the European side.
Nov 23, 5:08 AM EST
Match between 2018 World Cup runners-up and Morocco kicks off
Croatia, runners-up to France in the 2018 World Cup, has taken the field against the second-best team in Africa, Morocco, in Group F’s first match of the tournament.
Morocco has not won a World Cup match since 1998 and has only ever emerged from the qualifying rounds in the tournament once, 36 years ago in 1986.
Nov 22, 4:23 PM EST
Soccer powers take the stage on Wednesday
Germany, Spain and Belgium take to the field on Wednesday as they each look to open the tournament with a win — and deliver a message that they are in World Cup-winning form. Germany and Spain won the World Cup in 2014 and 2010, respectively, while Belgium is No. 2 in the FIFA world rankings.
Our neighbors to the north, Canada, also get their World Cup underway. This is just the second time Canada has appeared in the World Cup and certainly want to do better than that appearance in 1986 when they went 0-3 in the group stage.
Here’s the schedule for Wednesday:
- Morocco vs. Croatia, 5 a.m., FS1
- Germany vs. Japan, 8 a.m., FS1
- Spain vs. Costa Rica, 11 a.m., Fox
- Belgium vs. Canada, 2 p.m., Fox
Nov 22, 4:07 PM EST
Defending champion France routs Australia
Just nine minutes into France’s opening round match with Australia they trailed 1-0 behind a goal from Craig Goodwin.
But any thoughts of the defending World Cup champions stumbling to a loss in their opener — like Argentina earlier in the day — were erased by Adrien Rabiot in the 28th minute. Five minutes later, Olivier Giroud banged one home to take the lead.
The rout was on in the second half when 23-year-old French star Kylian Mbappe headed one home in the 68th minute. Giroud scored a brace with his second goal in the 71st minute. The goal tied him with legend Thierry Henry for the most international goals in French history.
France finished with 23 shots to Australia’s four. The Aussies had just one shot on goal.
Nov 22, 1:11 PM EST
Mexico, Poland go scoreless after Lewandowski misses penalty
Mexico and Poland, both teams hoping to advance to the knockout stage, finished 0-0 in their opening match after Polish star Robert Lewandowski missed a penalty kick in the second half.
Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa came up with a big stop in the 58th minute Tuesday. Mexico, meanwhile, dominated possession — 61% to 39% — and had 11 shots but couldn’t break through.
Lewandowski, one of his generation’s great forwards, has not scored a World Cup goal in four matches.
Nov 22, 11:12 AM EST
Fans show off team pride with crazy costumes
Win or lose, you can always count on fans to show up — often in the most outlandish outfits.
-ABC News’ Moe Zoyari
Nov 22, 10:04 AM EST
Denmark, Tunisia settle for scoreless draw
Denmark, one of the sleeper picks to win the tournament, settled for a 0-0 draw with Tunisia in their first game in Group D. It was the first scoreless draw of the tournament and only the second draw — after the U.S.-Wales on Monday.
The Danes are ranked 10th in the world, while Tunisia is ranked 30th.
Denmark held its collective breath in the 93rd minute when the referee was called over to look at VAR for a hand ball, but the ruling came back with no penalty.
Nov 22, 9:35 AM EST
World Cup’s New High-Tech Ball Will Change Soccer Forever: FiveThirtyEight
When the 2022 World Cup made its debut on Sunday, it kicked off one of the most significant in-game uses of technology in sports history.
All tournament long, match balls will contain a sensor that collects spatial positioning data in real time — the first World Cup to employ such a ball-tracking mechanism. This, combined with existing optical tracking tools, will make VAR (video assistant referees) and programs like offside reviews more accurate and streamlined than they’ve ever been.
Combining these two forms of tracking has long been a holy grail of sorts in technology circles, and FIFA’s use of the ball sensor in particular will serve as a highly public test case over the next four weeks.
For more on the technology and how it will affect the World Cup, read FiveThirtyEight’s in-depth investigation.
Nov 22, 9:16 AM EST
Budweiser plans celebration with unused beer
With millions of dollars in unused beer sitting in Qatar, the company AB InBev says it will be bringing the beer to the winning country for an “ultimate” celebration.
“Where there is a celebration, there is always a Budweiser. In that spirit, Budweiser wants to bring this celebration from the FIFA World Cup stadiums to the winning country’s fans,” the company said in a statement. “We will host the ultimate championship celebration for the winning country. Because, for the winning fans, they’ve taken the world. More details will be shared when we get closer to the finals.”
Nov 22, 9:03 AM EST
Saudi Arabia stuns Argentina
Lionel Messi and Argentina were stunned by Saudi Arabia on Tuesday as the Saudis rallied to beat one of the tournament’s favorites, 2-1.
Messi, one of the sport’s all-time greats, scored in the 10th minute on a penalty kick. But Saudi Arabia came out strong in the second half with goals in the 48th minute by Saleh Al-Shehri and in the 53rd minute by Salem Al-Dawsari.
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