Wednesday’s schedule of World Cup fixtures started slowly but picked up sharply with Japan’s win over Germany followed by Spain’s record-breaking 7-0 win over Costa Rica.
Here’s everything that happened at the World Cup today.
Morocco 0, Croatia 0
Morocco and Croatia put on a defensive drill on Wednesday but unfortunately that meant another goalless draw. The 2018 World Cup saw only one goalless draw throughout the tournament. This year there were already three.
Where Morocco and Croatia finish in the group ultimately depends on their results against Belgium, but neither team can afford to take Canada lightly. The competition in Group F is tough.
Japan 2, Germany 1
It wasn’t the excitement of Argentina-Saudi Arabia, but Japan’s comeback win over Germany was twice as dramatic as Monday’s game. 75 minutes behind, Japan scored two late goals from their substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano. Japan’s place in the knockout stages is far from solid – they are yet to face a hungry Spanish side – but it was an incredible result nonetheless.
Wednesday marked Germany’s third consecutive defeat in the opening game of a major tournament, and unlike Argentina The team is not the highest-ranked team in its group – that title belongs to Spain.
Spain 7, Costa Rica 0
Spain set a record for most goals in a World Cup match in Wednesday’s 7-0 win over Costa Rica. More importantly, they picked up three points and shot up to the top of Group E on goal difference. When it comes down to it, it’s safe to assume Spain would win that tiebreak.
Belgium 1, Canada 0
Canada had every chance to take the wind out of Belgium’s sails but failed to convert any of their 22 shots on goal. Belgium, on the other hand, converted one of their nine attempts and ended up with a lower xG (0.76) than Canada (2.61). In a tournament full of surprises, nothing was to be expected for Canada on Wednesday. Maybe Sunday (11am ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports App) against Croatia.
GOAL OF THE DAY
Doan deserves all the credit he gets for his game-winning goal against Germany, not only for what it meant for Japan, but also because the angle was so impossible. Seriously, how did that shot go in?
SUPPORT OF THE DAY
Toby Alderweireld’s perfectly placed long ball to Michy Batshuayi broke the tie between Belgium and Canada and earned the Red Devils three points in their opening game of the World Cup. Who said centre-backs can’t be playmakers?
Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi scores against Canada in 44′
Watch Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi score a 44th-minute goal against Canada at the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
SAVE THE DAY
Thibaut Courtois showed against Canada why he is considered the best goalkeeper in the world. While Belgium threatened to go down 1-0 because of a handball in the penalty area, Courtois made a great save against Alphonso Davies.
Thibaut Courtois saves Belgium by blocking a penalty attempt
Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois saves an incredible penalty after Canada pulled a handball inside the penalty area at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
There are people who will argue that Courtois should have saved another penalty in the first half and they might be right but in reality he saved the only one he had to and gave Belgium the win.
MOMENT YOU MUST SEE
Before Canada and Belgium kicked off, FOX Sports analyst Stu Holden conducted Alphonso Davies’ warm-up on set.
Unfortunately for Canada, Holden is tied (and retired) to the United States.
Switzerland vs. Cameroon, 5 p.m. ET on FS1
If we assume that Brazil will walk away with the top spot in Group G – which feels silly considering the many upsets in the tournament so far – then Switzerland, Cameroon and Serbia are all in contention for second place. Switzerland vs. Cameroon is the first leg of this race.
Uruguay vs. South Korea, 8 p.m. ET on FS1
Uruguay may not be as high profile as Portugal, but they have plenty of quality in their squad and could well end up at the top of the group, especially with all the noise about Portugal at the moment. But first it has to get through Son Heung-min and South Korea.
Portugal vs. Ghana, 11 p.m. ET on FOX
After a disastrous start to the Premier League season with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo has an opportunity to put things right on the World Cup stage with a strong comeback performance – anything else would be seen as a failure for one of the greatest players of this generation.
Brazil vs. Serbia, 2 p.m. ET on FOX
Brazil had to lose their rivals Argentina to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. It is hoped to avoid the same fate against a much tougher Serbia side led by forward duo Aleksandar Mitrović and Dušan Vlahović. In any case, it should be fun.
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