Qatar vs Senegal: Will the hosts be the first to leave the party?
Showcase game Qatar vs Senegal (Group A) 6.30 pm, Al Thumama Stadium
Twelve years and $220 billion in the making, Qatar’s World Cup could end in the first week itself.
The small nation-state has incurred an exorbitant cost, as reported by Forbes, to host the first World Cup in the Arab world. But they could be on their way out – becoming just the second hosts, after South Africa, to be eliminated in the group stage – if they fail to get a result against Senegal on Friday.
After a build-up – including behind closed-door friendlies that were not allowed to be recorded – shrouded in secrecy and intrigue, Felix Sanchez’s side were an unpredictable force coming into the tournament. Their players, however, failed to show up for the occasion in their underwhelming performance in the tournament opener against Ecuador. [Read More]
FIFA World Cup 2022: Learnings from the first round of matches
The high press
Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of the World Cup has been the willingness of the so-called weaker teams to advance further up the pitch to win the ball in opposition territory. Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development, had said pressing has become “absolutely universal” across the world before the start of the World Cup. And it has been a technique that has proven useful for teams that have changed their approach to force the issue off the ball when they do not have the individual talent to compete on the ball.
The emphasis is on winning the ball back in areas of the pitch where teams can threaten offensively, and make use of the little possession they get, as opposed to winning the ball back in defensive areas, only to face constant attacks later. (Read More)