The World Cup starting in November and ending in December is firstly a surprise for anyone who would have been told some 20 years ago that such a football event would be played around that period. But what can be done to the swerving and difference in climatic conditions that a country like Qatar has over other countries that have hosted the biggest football event in the past?
Due to this, top leagues in Europe went on a month-long break because of the event, at least, no club wants to suffer defeats if league football is on when their best players are representing their respective countries.
That alone has made every football enthusiast focus on the World Cup and nothing else, even those whose countries failed to participate would still have their club’s stars to tip for the medal.
Qatar, a country with a population less than Moscow will be hosting the world cup, becoming the first country to do so in the Arab nation and second in Asia after Korea and Japan in 2002. This will also be the last time a world cup will comprise 32 countries as subsequent ones from 2026 will have 48 participants.
Records are settling in already from the first game played last Sunday till Saturday when this report was filed.
Qatar unfortunate start
Ecuador’s Enner Valencia was the first player to score in the competition from a penalty spot in the 22nd minute and to become the first player in world cup history to score an opener from spotkick. The captain further scored the second from a header to condemn Qatar as the first host nation to lose its first game in the World Cup.
Qatar later joined South Africa to become another host country to suffer group stage elimination, first in 12 years and second in 20 years.
Three Lions and its players making history
While Qatar’s unfortunate record was still on the plate to chew, England’s three Lions gave football lovers another memory to hold on till they set another.
Bouncing off Iran in an eight-goal thriller, where Garreth Southgate-led men scored six and conceded two to set another record of a heavy victory after a 6-1 win over Panama at the World Cup four-year-ago. It took England four years and 150 days to set another.
England players made the victory possible by setting personal and world cup records for themselves. The duo of Jude Bellingham, 19 and Bukayo Saka, 20 goals made the players second and third youngest players to score in a World Cup game behind Micheal Owen, who was 18 years and 190 days when he scored against Romania in England’s 2-1 defeat at the 1998 world cup.
Just as Saka was leaving the pitch with an embodiment of a new record, it seems he passed the mantle to Marcus Rashford who came for the Arsenal Winger to score a 49 seconds goal-the third quickest goal from a substitute in a World Cup history.
Meanwhile, the sixth goal scored by Jack Grealish was said to be “engineered” according to OptaJoe by 35 passes, first ever since 1966.
Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga becomes the first African female Referee to officiate at the World Cup
Before the World Cup began, it was announced that female officials will officiate at Men’s football event for the first time. Meanwhile, Africa was duly represented well as Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda officiated her first Men’s World Cup game. This also made her the first African woman referee to do so.
The 34-year-old was a fourth official during France’s 4-1 rot over Australia on Tuesday. Earlier, Mukansanga had set a record as the first female centre referee to officiate the AFCON which she did during Zimbabwe and Guinea’s game.
Spain record, Gavi’s trademark and Costa Rica loss
One of the countries that paraded young players in this World Cup is Spain and the Luis Enrique-led side have shown they are up to what grown-ups are capable of doing.
Spain’s 7-0 victory over a Costa Rican side that couldn’t get a shot on target was the first time La Forja won by such a big margin after their 6-1 win over Bulgaria at France 1998.
Gavi,who is the youngest player to ever play for Spain at the World Cup also joined the party with his second half strike putting him in the ranks of Brazil legend, Pele to become the youngest player to score at the competition since 1958.
Costa Rica also repeated their 1996 stat of zero shot on target in a world cup game.
“Suii master” Ronaldo scores five world cup competitions
Portugal captain and five ballon d’or winner, Crisitiano Ronaldo set a new World Cup record after scoring a penalty against Ghana on Thursday to become the first player to score in five World Cup competitions.
A background check on the Portuguese star showed that Ronaldo, 37, scored his first World Cup goal against Iran via spotkick at the 2006 World Cup hosted in Germany at 21 to become Portugal’s youngest player to ever score in a World Cup event.
He went further to score one goal in the 2010 world cup against North Korea whom Portugal defeated 7-0. Just like two previous editions, Ronaldo was able to register just a goal which was against Ghana in the 2014 World Cup. But the 2018 World Cup saw the Star scoring a hattrick against Spain in a 3-3 draw to become the oldest player to do so in a World Cup game.
Saudi Arabia broke Argentina’s 36-unbeaten record
Nobody would have thought that Messi’s Argentina would be stunned by Saudi Arabia in their World Cup opener. But it happened as the Saudi Arabian-led team by Herve Renard did a 2-1 comeback over Argentina. Messi scored in the first half from the spot but quick fire goals in the second half from Saudi Arabia who didn’t record any shot on target in the first half broke La Albicelestre’s 36-unbeaten streak in surprising manner.
No hattrick scored yet
No hattrick has been recorded so far in the first round of games played at the World Cup. This is unsimilar to the 2018 world Cup where Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first hattrick of the competition against Spain in the first round of the competition.
Discussion about this post