The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar got underway on Saturday with the host nation falling to Qatar.
In a game that promised much, it largely under-delivered, at least from a Qatar standpoint as Ecuador bulled their way to a 2-0 lead in the first half that could easily have been three or four before the break.
As the crowds started to disperse in the second half, Ecuador took their foot off the gas with the game ultimately falling to a flat 2-0 finish. On first impressions, it leaves Qatar with a lot of work to do, assuming today’s other Group A game delivers on expectations.
Moving in to the second day of games, we’ve got one Group A and both Group B fixtures underway from lunchtime.
England and Iran will get to start the day with Harry Maguire expected to start as part of a back four for Gareth Southgate, despite not having started a league game for Man United since August of this year. Kick off at the Khalifa International Stadium is at 1pm.
At 4pm, Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is expected for captain Netherlands to the other group A game where they’ll meet Senegal. With Ecuador putting three points on the board early and keeping a clean sheet, both sides will no doubt be out for a win on
Then at 7pm, Gareth Bale will lead Wales into their first World Cup fixture since 1958 as they take on a confident USA side at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan.
No love for One Love
England, Wales and five other European nations will not be wearing the ‘One Love’ armbands during the World Cup after FIFA threatened on-pitch sanctions including automatic yellow cards for captains.
The FAs of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland along with England and Wales issued a joint statement on Monday saying their captains would not be wearing the armbands at games for the tournament, despite previous insistence that they would.
The One Love armband campaign was being used as a stand against discrimination and to highlight support for the LGBTQ+ community and rights.
Instead, FIFA hav confirmed its No Discrimination campaign has been brought forward from the planned quarter-finals stage in order that all 32 captains will have the opportunity to wear this armband during the World Cup.
World Cup 2022 Match Day 2 Fixtures
- Group B: England vs Iran (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan, 1pm)
- Group A: Senegal vs Netherlands (Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor, 4pm)
- Group B: USA vs Wales (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, 7pm)
Get the full list of fixtures here.