World Cup day 6: Host bounced out; Wales, Netherlands struggled

Day six of the World Cup was the first few matches of leg two, scheduled for Thanksgiving Day. And it provided us with a football feast of its own. Let’s take a look back at the exciting actions of the day. The highly anticipated match between USMNT and England will be covered exclusively.

Iran making Asian proud. 

Iran get their first win in this year's World Cup
Iran celebrated a much-deserved win. Photo Credit: Sky Sports

Asian teams have shocked the World Cup this year. Saudi Arabia and Japan have done it; it’s Iran’s turn now. A must-win for Team Melli if they want to keep their hopes alive, especially after a humiliation in the first game. On the other hand, although they played much worse, Wales managed to salvage a point against the USA.

Iran started the game with a more proactive approach. They set the tone immediately on their opposition. Ali Gholizadeh even put the ball in the back of the net but got overturned by VAR. Sardar Azmoun should have shot at that opportunity.

In the second half, the boys in white jerseys dominated the game. But when the chances were either denied by the goalkeeper or flew over the goal. When the fans all imagined a scoreless draw, Taremi broke the offside trap forcing goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to come out and foul. After some VAR considerations, the referee dismissed Wales’ goalie from the game. With a dose of a morale boost, Iran kept attacking and got two goals in additional time. Match ended 2-0. Another Asian team was victorious.

Qatar set unwanted history again.

World Cup host bounced out
Senegal easily handled Qatar. Photo Credit: beIN Sports

Throughout Matchday one, any fans can agree that Qatar is not World Cup-ready. It can only get worse for the host from here, starting with the reigning AFCON champion Senegal. A hungry Senegal team after a loss is not a good sign for any team.

Qatar actually began the game better by their standards. A quick one-two with Almoez Ali put Akram Afif in a great position to score, but number 11 was too slow to take the shot. After that, it’s downhill for Qatar. An amateurish clearance from Khoukhi set up Boulaye Dia ideally to open the scoring for Senegal. 

And just minutes after the break, an effort from Ismail Jakobs put Famara Diedhiou in scoring position, and he capitalized. Qatar showed a little bit of fighting spirit. Mohammed Muntari carved his name into the Qatari sports history book as their first player ever to score in the World Cup. But the joy didn’t last long. Bamba Dieng put the nail in the coffin to win Senegal the game and send Qatar home (although they are already here).

This year marks the fastest ever a home team has been eliminated. 

The Netherlands could not get past Ecuador.

Enner Valencia equalized for Ecuador. Photo Credit: NDTV Sports

The Netherlands and Ecuador got their opening wins, meaning whichever team got a positive result in this battle can advance to the next round. 

Oranje started the game with high spirits. They went on the attack immediately. Cody Gakpo continued his fiery form with a rocket to put the European side up in the 6th minute. The rest of the first half was a push-and-pull game when the Netherlands decided to play slow-paced. Ecuador almost leveled, but Estupinan was in an offside position. 

The second half began with drama straightaway. Enner Valencia tapped in from the rebound to even up the scoreline. A terrible positioning from Nathan Ake kept Valencia onside. This goal meant La Tri captain has scored the last six World Cup goals for Ecuador. Ecuador utilized its physical advantage in the remaining minutes and created some prominent chances. The Netherlands also put in Weghorst, Depay, and Berghuis to strengthen the attack. All efforts were in vain. The tie means both teams are in phenomenal shape to advance.

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