The first half of the match between Croatia and Morocco was carried out in a very cautious spirit. Both teams were based on a secure defense, they had difficulty getting chances. For the first time, Perušič seriously threatened Morocco’s goal in the 17th minute, but his shot went over the top.
At the very end of the first half, Bono Vlašič checked the goalkeeper of the African team, Modrič fired a few moments later, but he did not open a single goal account of the match.
Morocco threatened for the first and last time in the 51st minute, but Marzaoui’s header from close range was excellently cleared by Livakovič. There were no more chances until the end of the match, in a tactically led match, Croatia shared the points with Morocco for a 0:0 draw.
Japan has produced a fantastic turnaround
Another huge surprise ended in the Group E match between Germany and Japan in Rajján. The super-favorites of the tournament from Europe took the lead after goalkeeper Šúiči Gonda’s penalty save on David Raum. Ilkay Gündogan converted the penalty kick in the 33rd minute.
After the change of sides, the Germans could have increased the score, but it was goalkeeper Gonda who caught the Europeans and kept the hopes of the outsiders alive. In the 75th minute, a shock began to emerge. First, Ricu Dóan made his way through, only for Takuma Asano to complete the Japanese’s fantastic turnaround eight minutes later.
Japan defeated today’s opponent for the first time in history. The four-time world champions, the Germans, did not manage to enter the tournament, just like in 2018, when they were not good enough for Mexico at the start. After the collapse, the threat of elimination hangs over the Germans, because in the second round they will face the Spanish national team.
There was no further hesitation of the big favorite. The Spaniards decided the match against Costa Rica already in the first half, when Dani Olmo first made his mark after a great combination of the Europeans in the 11th minute.
Ten minutes later, the second striker of the Spaniards, Marco Asensio, was also happy, and in the 31st minute he made it 3:0 from a penalty by Ferran Torres. The duel began to smell like a debacle.
It was far from everything on the part of the Spaniards. In the second half, too, it was only one sided, Costa Rica couldn’t even get a shot on goal, on the contrary, the Spaniards marched confidently towards victory. In the 54th minute, Torres added another goal to the net for the Central Americans, followed by Gavi in the 74th minute, and Carlos Soler and Álvaro Morata completed the demolition in the end.
It is the highest triumph in the current championship and at the same time in the history of “La Roja” in the tournament. The team from the Iberian Peninsula did not succumb to the selection of the Central American country even in the fourth match between them and won for the third time. Costa Rica failed to win in regular time at the World Cup for the seventh time in a row.
The Belgians fought off a narrow win over Canada
The “Red Devils” did not enter the match against the North American team well at all and could have conceded several times in the first half. Alphonso Davies had the best chance, who scored a penalty kick in the 11th minute of the match. But goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois neutralized his poorly placed attempt.
Until the end of the half, the Canadians had several chances, two situations in the penalty area of Belgium smelled of additional penalties. However, due to the decision of the judges, they were not allowed, so the Belgians rejoiced. Michy Batshuayi scored in the 44th minute.
In the second half, the Belgians defended their narrow lead, and after the opening round, they lead the group table, and in the second match in Qatar on Sunday, they will face Morocco. The Canadians will face Croatia.