That brings the World Cup day: Switzerland beats Cameroon, Ronaldo starts the tournament

Breel Embolo of Switzerland, celebrates his goal with Granit Xhaka and Silvan Widmer during the match between Switzerland and Cameroon, for the 1st round of Group G of the FIFA World Cup, WM, Weltmeis ...

The Swiss celebrate the 1-0 win over Cameroon.Image: / imago images

World Cup day

Switzerland – Cameroon (11 a.m.)

The World Cup game between Switzerland and Cameroon on Thursday afternoon ended 1-0 for the Swiss. Coach Murat Yakin’s team defeated the Cameroonians at Al-Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah. Ironically, Cameroonian Breel Embolo scored the opening win for the Swiss national team.

You can read the full match report here: Switzerland beats Cameroon 1-0 – goal scorer doesn’t celebrate

Uruguay v South Korea (2pm)

Since the 2010 World Cup, when Uruguay finished third, the team has always reached the knockout stages. Uruguay meets South Korea in the first game of Group H on Thursday. In Qatar, a mature guard led by Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani will be making their last World Cup appearance after a difficult qualifier. Defender Ronald Araujo from FC Barcelona is fit in time for the start of the World Cup after tearing an adductor muscle and a long injury break.

In 2018, South Korea sealed the embarrassing defeat of the then world champion Germany with a 2-0 win. However, the prestige success was not enough to advance. In any case, the two-time Asian champions in ten World Cup participations only made it past the preliminary round at the home World Cup in 2002 (fourth place) and 2010 (round of 16). The omens aren’t the best this time either, especially as superstar Heung-Min Son sustained a facial fracture ahead of the tournament. But the former hamburger can play with a mask.

Transmission: ZDF and Magenta TV

South Korea won 2-0 against Germany at the 2018 World Cup.

South Korea won 2-0 against Germany at the 2018 World Cup.Image: imago sport photo service / imago images

Portugal-Ghana (5pm)

Portugal’s start to the World Cup will also be Cristiano Ronaldo’s first application for a new job. Two days before the game, Manchester United and the superstar, who can now openly plan his future, parted ways. While the 37-year-old was often just a substitute at his club, he is undisputed in the national team. The title at his last World Cup would not be the worst application. In Group H, Portugal meets Ghana.

Ghana’s hopes rest on Otto Addo’s tactical flair. Born in Hamburg, he took charge of the national team in February after a poor showing at the Africa Cup of Nations and led them to the World Cup by beating rivals Nigeria in the playoffs. However, Addo’s time as Ghana coach is limited – the 47-year-old is still employed by BVB and will return there after the tournament.

Transmission: ZDF and Magenta TV

Brazil – Serbia (8 p.m.)

The dream of a sixth World Cup title is omnipresent in Brazil – it should finally work out in Qatar. In Group G, Brazil meets Serbia. And the chances are good. No other team has such a top-class attacking team as the Seleção: whether Neymar, Vinicius Júnior, Raphinha or Antony – the Brazilian squad is brimming with quality. The only question will be how well all of this comes together in the first game. The Serbs are considered an uncomfortable opponent due to their robustness. Despite all ball artists, the main thing will be to counteract them.

PSG star Neymar is one of Brazil's top-class World Cup squad.

PSG star Neymar is one of Brazil’s top-class World Cup squad.Image: AP / Ahn Young-Joon

The Serbs have participated in a World Cup finals three times in the past 16 years – and three times they were eliminated after the preliminary round in 2006, 2010 and 2018. The hope for improvement has two main reasons: The Serbian offensive is very strong with players like Dusan Vlahovic, ex-Frankfurt Filip Kostić (both Juventus Turin) and Dušan Tadić (Ajax Amsterdam). And coach Dragan Stojković is an idol in his home country, who the players look up to and who lets them play very offensively in line with their potential.

Transmission: ZDF and Magenta TV

(With material from the dpa)

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