So the first round of the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar was left behind. All 32 teams gave a premiere, but not all of them had interesting performances. The fifth day of the championship was no exception.
Switzerland—Cameroon - 1:0
By and large, disappointed both teams. We saw the Swiss even brighter last year at the European Championships. And then the first half, in which they had a lot of chances, ended in a goalless draw. And as soon as Brelu Embolo scored in the 48th minute, they decided to go on the defensive and play on hold. What for? After all, the Cameroon national team looked disappointing, especially after the break, and at the end they completely crumbled. As a result, in the end, some could not, while others did not want to.
Only two facts dispelled the general boredom: the ethnic Cameroonian Embolo did not celebrate a goal against the national team of his homeland, and the Russian citizen Gael Ondua played for Cameroon with our small tricolor on boots.
One fact could be dispensed with: for the first time in the 21st century, not a single shot in a World Cup match fell on target. In fairness, we can recall that Diego Godin hit the post.
In general, it turned out to be one of the most dull games. And okay, the Koreans—not strong, but militant—played according to their capabilities. But more was expected from Uruguay and its old guard. Maybe they will get hotter, but in the next round, Portugal is waiting for Celestina.
Portugal—Ghana - 3:2
This was real football. The Portuguese were playing predictably, but Ghana didn't want to concede either, but before the break was focused on defending and seizing the moment to counterattack.
And in the second half, the feast began. In the 61st minute, Cristiano Ronaldo, who had missed two chances before, converted a penalty—and became the first player in history to score in five world championships. This goal liberated not only the red-greens, but also their African opponents. The Ghana team went ahead, and it turned out that it is not bad in creation. At the 73rd minute, Andre Ayew restored the balance. But the Portuguese responded with a fast double—Joao Felix (78) and Rafael Leau (80) made the score 3:1. But Ghana fought to the end, and in the 89th minute, Osman Boukari gave the Africans one more hope, but nothing more. And the Portuguese showed that they are quite combat-ready and can still add during the tournament.
Brazil—Serbia - 2:0
The solid composition of the Serbs allowed us to hope that they would impose a fight on the five-time world champions. But the further the game moved, the more palpable the abyss between the two teams became. The Brazilians played easily and naturally and had to open the scoring in the first half. But such was the day - it was not customary to score before the break. Although the goalkeeper of the Serbs, Vanya Milinkovic-Savic, had enough work.
But in the second half, Neymar and his comrades turned around at full strength. If the match ended with a major victory for the Brazilians, no one would be surprised. But in the end, Richarlison scored a double - in the 62nd minute he closed the cross from the left flank, and in the 73rd minute he scored the most beautiful goal in the championship with an overhead kick in the fall. Brazil showed why it is considered one of the contenders for the title. The Pentakampeons have prepared ten dances for this tournament in order to celebrate the goals scored. Apparently, these homemade preparations may not be enough. The Serbs, on the other hand, looked pale and did not really create anything.