On the first day of the second round of the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar, there was more struggle than beautiful football. Nevertheless, the standings began to clear up.
Wales - Iran - 0:2
The discouraging 2-6 loss to the English in the first match, as it turned out, did not show the true level of the Persians. From the very beginning, the Iranians were not inferior to the team of Gareth Bale, and by the end of the first half they seized the initiative. At the beginning of the second half of the match, ex-Zenit player Serdar Azmun and Ali Golizade hit the post, and then the Iranians pinned Wales to the goal.
In the 86th minute, Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy lost his nerve - he took down Mehdi Taremi outside the penalty area and received a red card. And his substitute missed twice in stoppage time: in the 99th minute, the score was opened by Ruzbe Cheshmi, and in the 101st - by Ramin Rezaeyan. The Iranians showed strong-willed and smart football and deserve a place in the playoffs - more than Wales and the United States.
Qatar - Senegal - 1:3
And here is the first loser of the championship: the hosts of the championship quite predictably became them. Qataris, what can we do, really the weakest team of the tournament. However, unlike the first match with Ecuador (0:2), this time they managed to have a successful stretch. True, by this time, after the goals of Boulaye Dia (41) and Famara Diedyu (48), the Senegalese were already leading 2-0.
The Qataris surprised even the opponent with several beautiful attacks and in the 78th minute retook one goal through the efforts of Mohammed Muntari. But to break the “lions of Terangi” failed – Bamba Dieng (84) set the final score. Qatar has one match left in the tournament against the Netherlands, which will not solve anything, and the Senegalese still need to defeat Ecuador to reach the playoffs.
Netherlands - Ecuador - 1:1
"Orange", won in the first round against Senegal with little blood (2:0), again did not show solid football. Wards of Louis van Gaal started well, and it was not for nothing that already in the sixth minute Cody Gakpo opened the scoring. This goal played a cruel joke on the psychology of the Dutch - they again began to save energy. But the Ecuadorians were not so simple - they fought, pressed, and in the 49th minute Enner Valencia scored his third goal in the tournament.
The South Americans fully deserved to win, unlike the opponent, who only scored twice on goal. But it did not work out, and even in the end, Valencia broke down, who was carried away on a stretcher. Ecuador will have a match of life with Senegal, and it's time for the Netherlands to think about their football - why even play in the World Cup, if you play like that?
England - USA - 0:0
This fight was disappointing. It was thought that after the extravaganza in the match with the Iranians, the British would continue to score. But the first half was left for the Stars and Stripes. However, this advantage was more tactical than gaming. Then the wards of Gareth Southgate leveled the game, but there was still trouble with the moments.
As a result, the match was remembered only by hitting the crossbar by American Christian Pulisic. It turned out that a powerful English attack is quite capable of fettering an average but organized team. For a contender for the title, this is unforgivable.