The first round of the group stage, for the 22nd edition of the 2022 World Cup held in the State of Qatar, witnessed remarkable numbers and some surprises, the most prominent of which was the fall of Argentina and Germany against Saudi Arabia and Japan.
16 matches were held in the first round, and although the general features of the nature of the competition for the two tickets to the second round of the eight groups were not yet clear, some indicators appeared, and confirmed the seriousness of some teams to go far in the tournament, especially France, the defending champion, along with England, Spain and Brazil.
The first round of the group stage of the Qatar World Cup 2022 witnessed the scoring of 41 goals, with a rate of 2.5 goals per match.
This edition witnessed the loss of the organizing country’s national team in the opening match, for the first time in the history of the World Cup, by defeating Qatar against Ecuador, 0-2.
The Spanish national team is considered the strongest attacker, after it reached the net 7 times against its counterpart, Costa Rica, which has the weakest defense in the tournament so far.
La Roja achieved its biggest victory in the history of the World Cup finals, while its striker Dani Olmo scored the 100th goal in the World Cup.
The England-Iran match in the second group scored the largest number of goals in one match in the World Cup in Qatar, conceding 8 times, after the “Three Lions” defeated the “Persian Lions” 6-2.
5 draws (4 negative 1 positive)
The result of the tie was attended in 5 out of 16 matches in the group stage, starting with a 1-1 draw between the United States and Wales.
After that, the goalless draw appeared in 4 other matches, namely Denmark and Tunisia, Mexico and Poland, Morocco and Croatia, Uruguay and South Korea.
6 players succeeded in scoring two goals in their first match in the Qatar World Cup, and they are Ever Valencia from Ecuador against Qatar, Bucayo Saka from England against Iran, Iranian Mahdi Tarmi responded against Jordan Pickford, Olivier Giroud from France against Australia, and Ferran Torres from Spain, who entered the ball twice against Costa Rica, and Richarlison from Brazil against Serbia.
The most famous referees who managed the first round matches received 55 yellow cards, one of which was for the Portuguese Paulo Bento, the coach of South Korea, while the red card was absent from these meetings.
The largest number of cards went to the Saudi national team, which got 6 of its players a yellow card.
The Germany-Japan match, which ended in a 2-1 victory for the second, was the only confrontation that came out clean, as no player received a yellow card.
The Qatar World Cup referees awarded 9 penalty kicks in the 16 matches, some of which were after the return to the video referee (VAR) technique.
7 penalty kicks were scored successfully, by Ecuadorean Ener Valencia, Iranian Mahdi Tarmi, Welshman Gareth Bale, Argentine Lionel Messi, German Ilkay Gundogan, Spaniard Ferran Torres and Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo.
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While two penalty kicks were wasted, the first by Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, while the second was its Canadian hero, Alphonso Davies.
Goals disallowed by the video referee (VAR)
Video referee (VAR) technology had a major role in changing the fate of a number of matches in the first round of the group stage in the World Cup in Qatar.
The first decision was not effective, because Ever Valencia compensated for his canceled goal against Qatar, by scoring two goals, with which he led his country to victory.
As for the second and third decisions, they were very important, given that Argentina and Germany were one goal ahead of Saudi Arabia and Japan, respectively, so the goals of Lautaro Martinez and Kai Havertz were canceled, so that “Al-Akhdar” and “Samurai” succeeded in turning the tables and scoring two goals each, to achieve victory by the same result. (2-1).
The surprises of the World Cup began very early in this edition, and its third day witnessed Saudi Arabia’s victory over Argentina 2-1, which is a result that stopped the series of defeat for fellow star Lionel Messi at 36 games, so that Italy retains the record (37), and it is also the first victory in history for the “green”. on “Tango”.
And in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, the Japanese team followed, which beat Germany 2-1, and inflicted its second consecutive defeat in the World Cup, and also against an Asian team.
The “Manshafts” had lost their last match of the group stage in the World Cup Russia 2018, against South Korea, with two clean goals.
After the end of the first round matches, 14 teams managed to keep a clean sheet, waiting for their defensive lines to perform in the remaining group stage matches.
The teams are Ecuador, Netherlands, Denmark, Tunisia, Mexico, Poland, Morocco, Croatia, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Uruguay, South Korea and Brazil.
The exceptional Ronaldo
Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in 5 World Cup tournaments, after scoring a goal against Ghana.
And the Don did it and gave progress to the Portugal national team 🇵🇹💪🏽
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Cristiano visited goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Ziggy after he got a penalty kick, which he hit himself, to mark his eighth World Cup goal.
The largest audience
The Brazil-Serbia match, at the end of the first round of the group stage, witnessed a record audience that had never happened in Qatar.
About 83,000 fans attended the stands of Lusail Stadium, which will host the tournament final on December 18, 2022, coinciding with the National Day of the State of Qatar.