USA and England start group stage, Qatar lose

the World Cup started in Qatar, after years of waiting, and ESPN has you covered for the biggest sporting event in the world.

We’ve seen the opening ceremony, pre-game speeches, and musical acts (yes, he was a BTS member!). We’ve seen the first goal disallowed by VAR at the World Cup (well done Enner Valencia for answering that trivia question) and we’ve also seen the first goals allowed at the World Cup (again congratulations to Enner Valencia , whose two goals gave Ecuador a victory over the host nation Qatar).

Be sure to check with ESPN throughout the tournament as we bring you the latest from Qatar. Let’s get into it.

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The leader: United States! USA! USA!

Pool B play starts bright and early on Monday morning when England take on Iran at Khalifa International Stadium (8am ET), but that’s just the appetizer to a delicious main course as the USA kicks off their tournament. against Gareth Bale and Wales at the Al Rayyan Stadium. (2 pm Eastern time).

For the USMNT, it is imperative that they get off to a good start as England awaits in their second group game. Wales offer plenty of threats thanks to their talisman Gareth Bale, who had some notable cameos during LAFC’s run to the 2022 MLS Cup this season, but the USA have their full complement of stars, led by Christian Pulisic, and will be eager to make up for what they missed at Russia 2018. (We won’t mention Couva. We won’t mention Couva.)

tyler adams has been named captain, making him the youngest American skipper at a World Cup since Harry Keough in 1950, and they’ve been lucky to avoid major injuries during pre-tournament buildup, something that can’t be said about France (Karim Benzema was discarded on Saturday), Senegal (sadio mane was discarded on Thursday) or Belgium (striker Romelu Lukaku he is already out for his first group match). The USA also received good news in the form of a defender destiny sergino and midfielder weston mckennie pass physical fitness tests to face Welsh.

They also received a timely message from home, courtesy of US Soccer, ahead of their first game…

Before the game, Sam Borden met the man responsible for feeding the team in Doha, while Luis Miguel Echegaray spoke to the fantastic striker Tim Weah about his football roots and what this World Cup means to him. Coach Gregg Berhalter think your team “can beat anyone” in Qatar… will be put to the test by the Welsh on Monday, then. No pressure then!

News and Notes

  • Host nation Qatar lost 2-0 to Ecuador in the opening game of the World Cup, with bizarre scenes of home fans leaving long before the final whistle en masse to leave a largely pro-Ecuadorian atmosphere for much of the game. second half. we cover the surrealism of the first day as much as the poor performance of the Qatar team in what was essentially their first game for a global audience. Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian fans were captured song “we want beer” as the Qatari fans left early.

  • Is this a sign of overcrowding and logistical problems to come? The official fan zone of the World Cup in Al Bidda was so overwhelmed by fans trying to enter that they closed access. The venue has a reported capacity of 40,000, but security services were forced to turn back fans as they approached the various entry points. reports Tom Hamilton.

  • England captain Harry Kane told the media will continue to wear the “OneLove” bracelet despite reported threats of a fine and yellow card at kick-off as several European teams battle with FIFA over the host nation’s human rights record. Kane said: “I think we’ve made it clear as a team, as a staff and as an organization that we want to wear the bracelet… I think we’ve made it clear that we want to wear it.”

  • Prior to his match with England, Iranian defender Ehsan Hajsafi was the first member of team honey a speak in apparent support of anti-government protests at home. “They should know that we stand with them. And we support them. And we stand in solidarity with them on the conditions. We have to accept that the conditions in our country are not right and our people are not happy,” he added. “We are here, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be their voice or that we shouldn’t respect them.”

  • Brazil is one of the frontrunners to claim the trophy in Qatar, but who will play in Thursday’s Group G game against Serbia? Right now, it’s all about misdirection. “We have no idea who the starting eleven are – we’re curious what the manager will decide and the competition is relentless to secure a place,” defender Alex Sandro said on Sunday.

the best of today

Mark Ogden enjoyed Qatar vs. Ecuador from a sports bar in Doha, while Tom Hamilton soaked up the sights and sounds of the packed fan zone.



Mark Ogden shares his experience of watching the opening game of the World Cup from a bar in Doha.

Ten injured stars forced to miss World Cup
2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema was the latest superstar ruled out through injury since the squads were finalized. Who else is missing out?

What’s on tap tomorrow?

– England vs. Iran (Pool B, 8 am ET): The Three Lions have been the last “almost there” team in recent years, finishing fourth at the 2018 World Cup and then second at the European Championships. What can they achieve this time? if you have heard his new anthem (okay, the latest release of their familiar refrain), then “football comes home for Christmas” but they’ll need to start strong against an Iran side who show no fear.

-Senegal vs. Netherlands (Group A, 11 am ET): We assume these two will be the teams that advance to the round of 16, but Ecuador’s victory over Qatar means that a decisive result for one team here could spell doom for the other. Cody Gakpo he is likely to take on the role of midfielder in the Dutch attack, and for good reason — read our profile of the next big transfer target here, while Senegal are trying to figure out how to replace injured talisman Mane, who was ruled out of the World Cup on Thursday.

– United States vs. Wales (Pool B, 2 pm ET): What more is there to say? The pressure is on Berhalter & Co. to live up to the hype at home with three points against a Wales team that could be tougher than they look.

What else caught our attention?

We had our first use of VAR at the World Cup as end of valenciaThe goal in the third minute, which would have been the fastest goal in the history of a World Cup opening match, and Dale Johnson was available to explain why the call was made



Dale Johnson explains why Ecuador had a goal disallowed under confusing circumstances in the opening game of the World Cup against Qatar.

Your best bets (odds via Caesars Sportsbook)

Take a look at how to actually bet on soccer games, as ESPN contributors Paul Carr, Dan Thomas and Dalen Cuff give you key tips. about odds, options and futures.

This is what we have for the first two days.


Netherlands (-160) against Senegal (+500), Draw +255

Bracelet: The Netherlands looks much better than Euro 2020 from just over 15 months ago. Nope sadio mane it is a dagger for Senegal. I think the Dutch are going to fly away, I take more than 2.5 goals (+115).

Car: I’ll stay away from this one now that Mane is out, but that price tag of +500 on Senegal is tempting for a team that still has defense first.

Thomas: I think this could be a tight affair. I’m not sure where the goals for either side are going to come from. I would take the bass on this one. Netherlands 1-0 Senegal.


England (-290) against Iran (+1000), Draw +340

Car: Can I bet less on all games in this group? Maybe not, but I like under 2.5 goals here (-150). Iran allowed five goals in 14 ties and only conceded one goal each. Spain Y Portugal four years ago. All three of England’s group games at the Euros last year had a total of two goals, so until Gareth Southgate indicates that he will use all of England’s attacking talent, I’ll take the low in the England games. England.

Bracelet: I will go on saying that I am fading from England. That being said, their defensive approach against an inferior opponent will lead to a win, but without much flair and perhaps just a goal scored. There isn’t much value here, and I don’t like this game, but I would pick England to Win to Nil (-128).

Thomas: I don’t have much hope that England can go far in this tournament. However, given the weakness of the teams around them in the group, I think they will qualify easily, starting with a comfortable win against Iran in the first game. harry kane scoring anytime (-110) looks like a layup. England 3-0 Iran.

USA (+160) against Welsh (+200), Draw +190

Car: I hope this isn’t my American bias, but the US simply has more attacking options than Wales, highlighted by a quartet of quality wingers (Christian Pulisic, Brendan Aaronson, John Queen, Timothy Weah). Because of that and the not-as-good-as-you-think defense from Wales that allowed 1.2 expected goals per game in qualifying, I’ll go with the no-bet USA draw at -135.

Bracelet: Bias Warning! It’s been eight years since I saw the United States in a World Cup game. I can see that this is low scoring. The young attacking talent has not come together in their last few friendlies. Wales are not a dynamic attacking team, relying on the brilliance of Gareth Bale or cross looking kieffer moorethe head There is no value in low plays or in both teams not scoring. The fair move is probably Draw +190 or even Wales Draw without betting +105. But no emotional coverage here: USA wins (+160).

Thomas: I know I’m not selling it very well. But I fancy a 0-0 draw here.

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