Record world champions Brazil and superstar Neymar started the World Cup tournament in Qatar with a win. The five-time title winner and one of the favorites scored a well-deserved 2-0 (0-0) against Serbia in Group G on Thursday evening thanks to two goals from Richarlison. The Tottenham Hotspur striker scored in front of 88,103 spectators at the Lusail Stadium with a save (62nd minute) and an artistic side kick (73rd) for the South Americans.
The attacking Brazilians were superior in the first half, but were unable to take advantage of the few chances they had. Even after the break, a lot was going on about Paris professional Neymar, and national coach Tite's team increased the pressure in the entertaining game significantly. Alex Sandro hit the post after just under the hour before Richarlison struck twice. Casemiro then put the ball on the crossbar. The Brazilians meet Switzerland and Cameroon in the preliminary round.
The Serbs, who had failed three times in the group games at a World Cup since the turn of the millennium, played to their defensive strength for a long time. On the offensive without the injured ex-Frankfurter Filip Kostic there was no punch.
Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo made the best start to the World Cup in Qatar with Portugal and secured the next record of his career. The 37-year-old led the 2016 European champions to a 3-2 (0-0) win over Ghana on Thursday. Just two days after leaving his club Manchester United, Ronaldo scored the Portuguese's 50th World Cup goal with a safely converted penalty kick (65th minute). Ronaldo is now the first player to score at least one goal in five different World Cups.
42,662 spectators in Doha also met João Félix (78th) and Rafael Leão (80th) for Portugal. André Ayew (73') managed to equalize for the outsider, Osman Bukari (89') only made it 2-3 for Ghana.
South Korea around star attacker Heung-Min Son scored a point against Uruguay in the first game at the World Cup in Qatar. The two teams drew 0-0 in the first game of Group H on Thursday. The 41,663 spectators in Al-Rajjan's Education City Stadium saw a balanced game, but for a long time there were few chances.
The South Koreans' biggest chance was missed by Ui-Jo Hwang (34 minutes) from a central position. Uruguay's captain Diego Godin headed the ball against the post from a corner just before the break (43'), Federico Valverde (89') also hit the post. It was the fourth goalless game at the World Cup.
Son played with a mask after his fracture in the eye area. The former Hamburger and Leverkusen player, like Barça striker Luis Suarez, remained without impact with the South Americans. Mainz Bundesliga professional Jae-Sung Lee was in the South Korean starting eleven.
With probably the most special goal of his career so far, ex-Bundesliga professional Breel Embolo gave Switzerland the hoped-for opening victory at the World Cup. The former Schalke and Gladbacher scored in the 1-0 (0-0) against his native country Cameroon on Thursday in the 48th minute and thus became the match winner in a game that was tough for long stretches.
For the ambitious Swiss, who threw world champions France out of the tournament in the round of 16 last year, it was the perfect start in the demanding Group G in terms of the result. Moting from FC Bayern Munich received a severe setback. The other preliminary round opponents of the two teams in Qatar are record world champions Brazil and Serbia.