Day five of the FIFA World Cup 2022 could not have been any better. Tournament favourites Brazil delivered against Serbia, while Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo broke yet another record in an exciting match against Ghana.
Indeed, there was plenty to take away from the four matches on the day. Here are 10 takeaways for our OBSERVER ONLINE readers.
Breel Embolo was on target as Switzerland prevailed 1-0 over Cameroon. The 25-year-old made headlines as he refused to celebrate after scoring in the 48th minute against the country of his birth. Embolo was truly the difference in a match that looked extremely tight.
Portugal and Ghana played an end-to-end match as they produced arguably the game of the tournament so far. Both nations entertained fans in a match that finished 3-2 in Portugal’s favour.
Ghana were the only African team to score a goal in the opening games and were competitive despite falling 3-2 to Portugal. The Black Stars’ stellar performance must not be overlooked.
Mohammed Kudus shone for the Black Stars as he announced himself on the world stage. The 22-year-old was integral in both Ghanaian goals and was a constant thorn in the Portuguese defence. The Ghanaian looks a lively player bound to have many top clubs vying for his signature at the end of the World Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo was on target yet again as he opened the scoring for Portugal by way of a controversial 65th minute penalty. The former Manchester United player also grabbed headlines as he became the first man to score in five different World Cups.
Diogo Dalot’s resurgence this season at Manchester United was overlooked as Cancelo got the nod to start at right back for Portugal. This decision came back to haunt the Portuguese as two of the Ghanaian goals came from that side of the pitch. Cancelo was arguably at fault for both goals and allowed for the Ghanaians a way back into the game and contributed to a nervy end to an enthralling match.
Brazil entered Qatar as favourites, with a stacked team not heavily reliant on Neymar Jr. Additionally, unlike other teams, they have not been hampered by significant injuries. The Brazilians were made to dig deep as the Serbians managed to hold the five-time world champions to a stalemate in the first half. The Selecao, however, came out gunning in the second half and demonstrated arguably one of the best displays of attacking football, alongside Spain of course.
Despite Brazil coming out on top, Neymar was not at his best on Thursday. The Paris Saint Germain forward’s ability to put the ball in the back of the net will be a much needed asset if the Brazilians are to win their sixth World Cup title.
Many looked to Neymar for heroics to break down the stubborn Serbs, but it was Richarlson who gave the South Americans the edge in the end. His goals, including one that is an early contender for goal of the tournament, were the difference on the night. Many questioned his involvement before the World Cup – given his lack of involvement at club level for Tottenham – but the Brazilian repaid Tite’s faith with two well-taken goals.
For almost 60 minutes, the Serbians held an exciting Brazil at bay. Despite losing the match, they put up a solid performance as they were resilient in their defensive duties against the relentless South Americans.