Four matches were played on the fourth day of the FIFA World Cup 2022 being held for the first time in Qatar. The world cup continues to throw up surprises with Japan being the latest to shatter pre-tournament predictions after a memorable display against powerhouse Germany.
Before that, the day began with Morocco holding off last event’s runners-up Croatia for a goalless draw and later in the night, Spain produced a dominant display to kickstart their campaign. Belgium, another tournament favourites, also began their journey but with a scrappy win. But then, a win is a win. You get full three points and that’s what matters.
So two matches each from Group E and F were played on Wednesday. Here’s a look at the points table update from the groups.
Group E Points Table
In the first match from Group E on Wednesday, Japan took on four-time winners Germany. And then Ilkay Gundogan put them ahead in the first half by converting a spot kick. With the contest headed towards the Germans, Ritsu breath life into the contest when he brought Japan on level terms in the 75th minute. And eight minutes later, pandemonium. Takuma Asano put Japan in the lead and held onto it producing a big upset to start their campaign with a 2-1 win.
They briefly went to the top of the Group E points table before former champions announced their arrival with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica later and took the top spot pushing Japan down to the second. Ferran Torres struck twice while Marco Asensio, Dani Olmo, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata scored once each.
Group F Points Table
Well, unlike the madness of Group E, Group F was a sombre affair. However, credit to Morocco who frustrated 2018 finalists Croatia to start their campaign with a draw. There were few close chances but as the scoreline makes it clear, none were capitalised on.
Belgium, who are the world’s 2nd ranked team, were lucky to avoid an upset against Canada thanks to their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who saved an early penalty from Alphonso Davies.
Michy Batshuayi then found the back of the net in the 44th minute with a left-footed finish. Canada outplayed Belgium but the first half strike proved to be the difference.
With the win, Belgium have four points and took the top spot in their group ahead of Croatia and Morocco who are second and third respectively with a point each.
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