Brazil and Portugal became the second and third teams to book their places in the Last 16 of the 2022 World Cup, joining France among the teams already guaranteed to advance from the group stage with a game to spare.
Their 1-0 and 2-0 wins over Switzerland and Uruguay, respectively, were not necessarily the most entertaining, but they showcased two sides who have the belief and the talent and the depth to go all the way. Casemiro popped up with a lovely goal late on for a Neymar-less Brazil, while Bruno Fernandes came within a post’s width of a hat-trick for Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo tried to claim Fernandes’ first goal, but replays showed that he had made no contact.
Notable in Brazil’s win was that Thiago Silva & Co have yet to give up a shot on target, let alone a goal after 180 minutes.
The two early games may not have resulted in a team reaching the last 16, but they were instant classics anyway, with no fewer than 11 goals scored in total.
Both games featured two-goal comebacks, South Korea overturning a 2-0 deficit and Cameroon storming back from 3-1 down. Korea would concede an eventual winner to Ghana however. Chelsea loanee Baba Rahman came on as a late substitute for The Black Stars.
Ghana’s win means that they only need a draw on the final matchday against Uruguay to advance alongside Portugal from Group H. Uruguay and South Korea, on one point each from the draw against each other, aren’t out of it yet either, but there’s luck and maths involved.
It’s a similar situation in Group G, with Switzerland in Ghana’s position, needing just a draw against Serbia. Cameroon and Serbia, on one point each from the draw against each other, aren’t out of it yet either, but there’s luck and maths involved.