a scratchy 1-0 win against Canada. Today, two more challengers will enter the fray with five-time champions Brazil and Portugal beginning their respective journeys. The teams must have seen what happened to other tournament favouirtes and therefore must be cautious even though this is just the first week but a defeat could end up being the difference.
Switzerland and Cameroon kick off Thursday’s action in the same section at Al Janoub Stadium at 1:00 PM (1000 GMT).
Swiss skipper Granit Xhaka indicated his side would not copy Germany’s mouth-covering protest against FIFA’s stance on rainbow-themed armbands.
The Swiss were one of the seven European teams whose captains were to wear the armband in support of LGBTQ people at the tournament in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s preparation for what is surely his last World Cup has been overshadowed by his bitter departure from Old Trafford.
It was announced late on Tuesday that the 37-year-old would leave United with “immediate effect” in the wake of an outspoken interview with a British broadcaster in which he said he felt “betrayed” by the club and had no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.
Uruguay and South Korea will lock horns as well. Son Heung-min will be able to play for South Korea despite wearing a mask after facial surgery.
The Tottenham Hotspur attacker and Korean skipper had surgery earlier this month after suffering a fracture around his left eye during a UEFA Champions League game.
Brazil will be wary of a dangerous Serbian side when the teams meet at Lusail Stadium, especially after seeing Argentina suffer a shock defeat against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday at the same venue and Germany lose to Japan on Wednesday.
The Brazilians have arrived in Qatar hoping for a repeat of what happened at the last World Cup held in Asia two decades ago, when they won their fifth title in Japan.
Tite’s side can rely on a Neymar who has been in ominous form for Paris Saint-Germain, but the world’s most expensive player is surrounded by other outstanding attackers ready to share the burden, such as Real Madrid duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
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