Argentina vs Saudi Arabia
The first match of the day was the very anticipated return of Argentina. Argentina is a favorite to win. Argentina dominated this match. They had 70% of possession. They had 15 shots. Messi scored 10′ minutes into the game. They had a 1-0 lead going into halftime. Saudi Arabia quickly tied the game early in the second half. Saudi Arabia would score a few minutes later to take the lead. They would hold on to win. The final score was 2-1 Saudi Arabia. This is a huge upset. I saw a report that said Saudi Arabia declared tomorrow a national holiday because of how historic this is. A lot of the discussion is on how two goals from Argentina were disallowed. I think both goals that were called back were on sides. Argentina got robbed.
Denmark vs Tunisia
Denmark played Tunisia in today’s second match. This match was about as even as it gets. Denmark may have had the majority of the possession but they couldn’t find the back of the net. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. What stands out to me in this match is that Denmark didn’t win. I thought Tunisia would be an easy win for them. I guess not.
Mexico vs Poland
The third match of today was Mexico vs Poland. The big thing for Mexico heading to the world cup is that their fans PVA are not allowed to wear luchador masks in Qatar. The masks are a big part of the Mexican fan’s identity. So this was a big deal. With PVA’s track record I thought they would just ignore the rule but watching the game I didn’t see anyone with a luchador mask. Mexico had a lot of shots and a lot of the possession but didn’t score. They didn’t seem to be in a rush to take the ball up the pitch. They seemed to be comfortable with having their backline launch the ball from mid-field into the box. I’m not going to say that is a bad idea. It got them to the world cup. It helps them keep the ball away. It stops the counter attack. But even with 11 shots they didn’t score. Poland didn’t score either. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. Poland got a penalty kick in the 55′ minute. Mexico got the save. It was the biggest save so far in the world cup. The one save on a penalty kick might have saved the entire world cup hopes for Mexico.
France vs Australia
In the last match of today, France played Australia. France is the defending world cup champion. They won the Russia 2018 World Cup. The expectation I guess the French press and fans went nuts and got really dramatic about it. France was able to get the lead by halftime. The score was 2-1 France going into the second half. France added to their leads in the 68′ minute and 71′ minute. Australia couldn’t catch a break after France tied the game. The final was 4-1 France. France had 23 shots. That’s a lot. The Aussies gave up a lot of set pieces and just couldn’t rise to the challenge France presented them.
Now that half of the 32 teams have played, the standings look a little different from yesterday. The Netherlands leads Group A. England leads Group B. Saudi Arabia leads Group C. They should enjoy that while it lasts. France now leads Group D. They probably won’t be knocked off from their top spot.
Morocco vs Croatia should be a close game. I think Croatia will have the edge in that game. Germany vs Japan should be a good game. They are both high-level teams. It promises to be exciting. Spain vs Costa Rica should be fun to watch. Spain will either dominate or the game will be close. Belgium vs Canada is the game I am most looking forward to tomorrow. I am interested to see how Canada does on the world stage after considered being the best team in North America.