The upsets continued on day seven of the FIFA World Cup 2022 as Costa Rica and Morocco ambushed Japan and Belgium. It was a day where we also saw the Germans given a lifeline as they managed to get a much needed point against Spain.
There was that and plenty more to take away from the four matches on the day. Here are 10 takeaways for our OBSERVER ONLINE readers.
After a 7-0 pounding at the hands of Spain, Costa Rica were expected to be put to the sword against Japan. However, Los Ticos pulled off a surprise by defeating Japan 1-0 and becoming the first Concacaf team to win a game in Qatar.
The North African side made their intentions clear as they comprehensively beat a disappointing Belgium side. The Moroccans now seem poised to go to the next round as they lead the group with 4 points.
After being sidelined for months at Chelsea, Hakim Ziyech got the perfect opportunity to show Coach Graham Potter what he is made of. Ziyech delivered a man-of-the-match performance, including an assist in the final minutes to secure a 2-0 victory .
Canada will be disappointed to have fallen at the first hurdle at the World Cup despite credible performances against two of the top teams in the world. One may even argue that the Canadians were unlucky to lose their first group match as they dominated the Belgians. Croatia, despite their shaky start, bounced back to knock the North Americans out of the tournament with a 4-1 drubbing.
After missing a penalty against Belgium, Alphonso Davies was determined to prove himself versus Croatia. Despite scoring his country’s first ever World Cup goal and giving a superb performance, his efforts weren’t enough to beat a rampant Croatian side.
Let’s be honest, the Croatians underwhelmed in their first match against Morocco. The 2018 World Cup finalists, however, came into their Canadian matchup with something to prove and that they did. They showed that they are still a viable threat in a 4-1 thrashing of the Concacaf winners.
Japan shocked Germany in their opening match giving them all to play for in their second fixture against Spain. It was a battle between two previous world champions and it didn’t disappoint as the football played today produced moments of drama and magic. The match ended 1-1 with both teams deservedly gaining a point.
Leroy Sane was a big miss in Germany’s first match and the Bayern Munich forward proved this when he came on as a sub and completely changed the game. Sane’s display of speed and skill caused the Spanish defense problems and at times he looked unplayable.
The 7-0 drubbing of Costa Rica made the world take notice of Luis Enrique’s men, and the Germans looked to be fighting a lost cause as the Spaniards came out firing in the early stages. However, as Hansi Flick’s men began to settle, the game became more competitive as it went along. Spain’s performance, although good, showed that they are not invincible.
The final set of group E matches are bound to be entertaining as all teams still have a fighting chance to qualify to the round of 16. Costa Rica’s upset against Japan leaves the group wide open with all four teams in contention for a round of 16 spot.