World Cup 2022 – From France to Brazil to referees and recoveries: the best and worst of the first day

First halfway point of the World Championship at Qatar 2022 and first chance to get a small picture of the situation. The top 3 and worst 3 things seen here at the World Cup after all the ‘first’ matches of the group stage. From Richarlison to Lewandowski, from Saudi Arabia to Argentina, up to the ‘oddities’ of the VAR room and the maxi recoveries of the referees.


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  • The Saudi Arabia of fox Hervé Renard
You don’t win an African Cup by chance. Imagine two. And imagine if one of the two is with Zambia. The surprise team after matchday one was Hervé Renard’s Saudi Arabia. And not just for the result that went around the world, but for how it was configured. Tight lines, high pressing, rhythm, clear ideas and the right amount of malice, of studs made to be heard by the opponents. Saudi Arabia is truly a team with a capital S, for a coach outside the routes usually known by the mainstream public but one of the most prepared ever under the heading ‘head coach’. Kun Aguero had also tried to sound the alarm. He wasn’t listened to.

  • From Giroud to Rabiot: France responds present
And he does it even without Benzema, Kanté and Pogba. Because it is above all the news here. The reigning world champions immediately proved to be a sensational catchment area, a nation that could take two teams to the World Cup with the feeling that both would make at least the quarter-finals. Of course, Australia perhaps wasn’t the most probative test in the world, but the Galletti went down and even if they went down they didn’t panic, turning the game around calmly. In short, the start was convincing. Very convincing. Among the European so good only Spain. But Costa Rica was very little.

Olivier Giroud stars with his France at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Credit Photo Getty Images

Many wondered “but why him and not this?”, “but why him and not that?”. Because in the last 7 official matches with Brazil, the good Richarlison has played: one against Chile, two against Bolivia, one against South Korea, none against Japan, two against Ghana, one against Tunisia and two against Serbia in their World Cup debut . Not bad, right? He is the real striker of the Selecao and he is also in an evening in which before the first goal he hadn’t done much. Here, once unlocked, he then set the pearl there. The best goal of the World Cup, for now, is his. Let’s see who beats him. Meanwhile Brazil flies.


  • “Unbeatable” Argentina
Hipster football, football that is liked by those who like it. The football of those who presented themselves undefeated in 36 games. There is a reason, however, that no one in South America has won a World Cup for 20 years. Brazil will try, all right, but many put Argentina there on the strength of this sensational streak. And instead the rejection is total. In terms of the game and in terms of reaction to the first difficulty. No need to add anything else.

Lionel Messi disappointed during Argentina-Saudi Arabia – Qatar 2022 World Cup

Credit Photo Getty Images

He was expected, for a Poland of great ambitions as usual with a bomber like that up front. Instead, he betrays at the climax, missing a penalty that would have been very important to direct the half-playoff with Mexico in Group E which, after Argentina’s knockout, would have been very important to win. In short, his taboo at the World Cup is confirmed as such, with 0 goals in the last review and the scoreboard which for now remains the same in this one.

Lewandowski despairs after missing penalty in Mexico-Poland – World Cup 2022

Credit Photo Getty Images

  • Sikazwe, his brothers and the maxi recoveries
There were no huge referees. Or rather: there is no uniformity of adherence to the VAR. We have seen very revisable whistles, we have seen sensational episodes passed on the sly, we have seen a disparity of some evident judgments which confirms to us that technology has not solved all the problems. On the contrary. The worst for posting is certainly the Zambian whistle Sikazwe who defrauded Canada, but it’s not just him. To this must be added the directive on recoveries. But what is it? Come on, 8 minutes of added time in a game where the team is up 6-0? But please.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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