hot in front

Brazil-Serbia and Portugal-Ghana

A group of Brazilian supporters pose with a replica of the World Cup in Doha on November 22.

After Argentina’s surprising win by Lionel Messi against Saudi Arabia this Tuesday, it is the turn of another great favorite for the final victory that debuts this Thursday at 8:00 p.m.: Brazil. Two lengths away from the record for goals in the “King” Pelé’s team (75 against 77), Neymar will try to avoid the same opening setback as his PSG teammate. Still, he and his teammates will have to watch out against an armed Serbia to play the killjoy in a Group G of the Death, with Switzerland and Cameroon. In particular, watch out for Juventus Turin star striker Dusan Vlahovic, who is playing his first major international tournament with the Eagles.

Serbia had been one of the surprises in the standings by beating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in their group, forced to go through the play-offs. Precisely, a little before (5:00 p.m.), “CR7” should, on the occasion of his entry into the tournament, against Ghana, join the closed club of players in the five final phases of a World Cup. Will we witness the burst of pride of the five-time Ballon d’Or, whose divorce with his club, Manchester United, has just been registered?

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the last chance for two legends

full throttle

Hajime Moriyasu’s Masterstroke

On Wednesday, November 23, the second sensation of the World Cup arrived from the Khalifa International Stadium: Japan defeated Germany. Same score (2-1), same scenario (a turnaround in the second half) as the day before, when Saudi Arabia created the feat against Argentina.

This Japanese victory owes a lot to one man: Hajime Moriyasu. With the 1-0 against his team, the Samuraï Blue coach took a risk by making five changes, going from a 4-2-3-1 system to a 3-4-3 – three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards – offensively oriented.

His audacity transformed his team in the last twenty minutes of the game and both Japanese goals were scored by players from the bench. “I think this is a historic victory for Japan”The coach in charge of the Japanese team since the summer of 2018 reacted after this victory.

Japan's coach, Hajime Moriyasu, on the pitch of the Khalifa International Stadium after his team's victory over Germany (2-1) during the World Cup, on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, in Doha (Qatar).

quicksand

“My children, for me, are the best in the world. Well, with my players I feel the same. »

At a press conference, the Uruguayan coach Diego Alonso insisted on remembering, “without arrogance”How much do you believe in your men? “They are feelings, that is what I feel. Mine are the best. » The successor to the emblematic Óscar Tabárez (fifteen years in charge of Celeste) will take his first steps in the World Cup this Thursday, at 2:00 p.m., against South Korea.

a piece of blue sky

Dembélé, neither defense nor only “atmosphere”

Ousmane Dembélé in conference, is always the promise of a certain freshness and sometimes lunar moments. Indeed, we are talking about a player who did not know when he started if he was right-handed or left-handed. Could this ambidexterity make him a makeshift left-back if something bad ever happened to Theo Hernandez, the only specialist on the job now? The idea was launched by his teammate -and son of Evreux (Eure) like him- Dayot Upamecano a few minutes before. “If I play on the left side, we’re going to concede a lot of goals, huh… There’s Theo, he’s there, warns Dembélé, hilarious. We hope you remain in very good health. »

The FC Barcelona winger was also questioned about his role as an entertainer. If Dembélé remembers that Didier Deschamps first took him for his “soccer skills”admit to love “set the mood”. In 2018, he was especially useful in this role after losing his starting job to … Australia at the start of the World Cup. A decisive passer in Kylian Mbappé’s goal against these same Australians, Dembélé hopes that history does not stutter.

Qatar postcard

Germans challenge FIFA

Present in the stands of the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, on the occasion of the match between Germany and Japan, on Wednesday, the German Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser, wore, for the moment of a snapshot, the “One Love” bracelet. against discrimination The same one to which seven European federations had to yield on Monday, under penalty of sports sanctions from FIFA. At the same time, the starting eleven of the Nationalmannschaft covered their mouths in protest during the official photo that precedes the match.

Also read: The symbolic gesture of the Germans against the attitude of FIFA

Already the day before, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark from 2011 to 2015, had worn a dress in the colors of the rainbow, which are also those of the LGBTQI+ community, in the openings of the Ahmad-Ben stadium. -Ali, in Al-Rayyan, during the match between her country and Tunisia.

Grain of sand

twenty-one

Like the number of shots attempted by the Canadian team against Belgium (including 14 in the first half)… without finding the net, on Wednesday, November 23 at Al-Rayyan. Thirty-six years later, in the World Cup (their only participation dates back to 1986), the Canucks were attractive but too imprecise in the last gesture in front of Thibaut Courtois’s cage. The last Belgian embankment had the merit of repelling an Alphonso Davies penalty in the opening minutes. Finally, Michy Batshuayi sanctioned that lack of realism and the Red Devils won 1-0.

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