(ESP-ENG) Fin de la primera jornada, que nos dejó? // End of the first round, which left us?
Hello friends, good vibes to everyone.
Finally the first day of this round of teams has reached its conclusion yesterday with two of the teams that most people were waiting to see debut, Portugal and Neymar's Brazil. The first one faced Ghana, a team that historically has always been in contact, uncomfortable and imposing while the second one had to face Serbia, a team that on paper has very good players but on the field they showed absolutely nothing, I would dare to say that it was one of the weakest teams of this first stage of the World Cup, because yes, they were against Brazil but their game was very null, almost compared to that of Costa Rica.
But let's go to Portugal vs Ghana, a match that gave us many expectations because it was the first game of Cristiano Ronaldo with his national team in what is his last World Cup as an active player, in addition to the whole novel of which he has been the protagonist in recent weeks ending with the fact that today he is a player without a club to start in January. Hence the whole atmosphere was given to see a recital of CR7 by the hand of Joao Felix and his former teammate Bruno Fernandes but it was not so, this Portugal and I understand that it is the style of his coach, Fernando Santos, plays in a very passive and horizontal way, I have rarely seen it to be incisive and vertical and hence this match against Ghana was muddy in much of the time.
That match started with Portugal trying and trying but without achieving anything, the ball was theirs, the few arrivals were also theirs but the danger and the chances were nowhere to be seen, the Portuguese did not represent a real threat to the Africans. And this was partly because this Ghanaian team was extremely orderly defensively speaking, they protected their goal all together with an impenetrable line of five that made Portugal uncomfortable because that was the other thing, Cristiano and company looked uncomfortable on the field, especially the 7th who did not see a clear goal in the whole first half. This confirms that Ghana's approach was working and indeed it did for the first 45 minutes.
But in the second half everything changed, a rather debatable "penalty" given in favor of Portugal thanks to an incursion by Ronaldo was effectively charged and thus the Portuguese went up on the scoreboard. With this goal, Cristiano Ronaldo would become the only player in history to score goals in five World Cups, that is to say, we have been seeing the "Bicho" scoring goals since Germany 2006, a real madness. This would uncover the goal box and the last twenty minutes were very frantic, Ghana would tie in less than ten minutes for Portugal in less than five to go back on top. The thing is that the changes disrupted the Africans, that compact block had been lost and they were left adrift and to the luck of a Portugal that put the batteries missing 10 minutes to the final whistle.
In the end it would end 3-2 and it could have been a bigger difference for the Portuguese. Rafael Leao came on almost at the end of the game, which is understandable because this young player is a gem, I feel that his soccer is what Portugal needs and needs to win but for a long time in this game I was not completely convinced. They can give more, they have the players for that but it is the way they play and the way they approach the games that stagnates this national team.
In the final match of the day it was the debut of the green team, which for many is the great favorite to win the cup and become world champions for the sixth time, something that would be a historic milestone. There are few teams whose squad really impresses me and one of them is this Brazil, yesterday they took out their starters just before the end of the match and the team that was left with the substitutes was a barbarity. Well, as expected, the total and absolute dominance was of the team coached by Tite, from the beginning to the end they had the ball and the opportunities because unlike Portugal they did arrive with some danger, in fact they did it more than twenty times, the issue is that they were not being very effective.
As I said at the beginning, their attack was sterile despite having names playing in the top teams in Europe, none of that helped them to even be a nuisance for Brazil. As with Costa Rica I expected a little more from the Serbians, I expected more resistance, more grit, more desire to at least want to appear a little but nothing to see. Logically this is the worst thing you can do because they are leaving the field to Brazil to do whatever they want, which in the end is what they did despite how short the score was, if they had been a little more effective they could have easily made it 5-0 without any problems.
But it's not all joy and there is a ghost that seems to haunt Neymar, the same one that has haunted him in past World Cups, that of injuries in the first games. The PSG star suffered a sprain as a result of a tackle that will keep him away from the field for the next two games, so hopefully we will see him back in the round of 16, because yes, Brazil will qualify without problems to those instances. With everything and injury Brazil gave a soccer recital against Serbia, in fact the last half hour of the match was a constant bombardment of shots and chances until Richarlison did the same and scored two goals, one of them being the best we have seen so far in Qatar. Brazil was very comfortable against what was supposed to be the strongest opponent in the group, they still have Cameroon and Switzerland, teams that will be no problem for them.
And last but not least Uruguay, the charrúa claw, also made its debut against South Korea in what was one of the most boring matches, with permission of Mexico - Poland, so far in the World Cup. The match was so annoying that I could not finish watching it, I left it with 15 minutes left and NOTHING had happened, Luis Suarez was a ghost during the time he played because he was replaced by Cavani who had one, the only one of the whole match. It is rare to see the light blue team in a World Cup without Tabarez but cycles are fulfilled and expire, the thing is that this new team with clear ideas was not seen yesterday, I feel that Uruguay since the qualifiers have been in an up and down, a roller coaster of play that does not end to consolidate, I do not know if you remember but Uruguay was about to be out of this World Cup because these qualifiers began terribly, playing well below the level.
Next up for Uruguay is Portugal and if they want to make a mark they will have to do much more than what they showed against the Asians. I still think that both teams will advance to the round of 16 but the South Americans will have to suffer a little more, as they are used to. With these matches the first round ended, one full of surprises, good and bad matches, a couple of good goals but above all with a strange atmosphere, I have only seen the real World Cup atmosphere in two or three matches but no more. Undoubtedly a World Cup that will give a lot to talk about and we are only in the first round of the group stage.
¡Un abrazo a todos, nos leemos en la próxima!
Well my people that's all for today, I hope you liked it.
¡Hugs to all, see you next time!