Soccer

🔴 LIVE: Cody Gakpo nets an early beauty for Netherlands! Qatar almost out

All the teams have now played their first match at the World Cup, so it’s time for round two.

Follow along with us for all of the action.

Netherlands v Ecuador

Netherlands got off to the ideal start when Cody Gakpo thundered in his second strike of the tournament with a fantastic left-footed strike from the edge of the area for the fastest goal of the competition so far, coming in at five minutes and four seconds.

If Louis van Gaal’s side avoid defeat, it will see hosts Qatar become the first nation to be eliminated from this edition of the World Cup.

With the final kick of the first half, Ecuador, who were the better side after conceding, thought they had equalised when Pervis Estupiñán diverted the ball home, only for it to be ruled out for a very narrow offside call.

Hosts almost out following second successive defeat

Scorers: Muntari 78′; Dia 41′, Diédhiou 48′, Dieng 84′

Senegal are the first African side to win at the 2022 World Cup after surviving the threat of a second half Qatar comeback.

The Africans were the better side for large parts of the first half on Friday, dominating possession as well as the shot count, but perhaps the most dangerous attack of the opening 35 minutes came at the other end, only for Akram Afif to go to ground rather than getting a shot away. Referee Mateu Lahoz was not interested in the host’s claims for a penalty.

That broke up any momentum Senegal had been building but they were handed the opener on a platter. A hopeful flat ball into the box did not look dangerous at first but Qatar’s Boualem Khoukhi fluffed his attempted clearance and could not react as quickly as Boulaye Dia, who pounced on the ball to drive it inside the near post.

It didn’t take Senegal long after the break to double their lead, as a dangerous Ismail Jakobs corner was met by Famara Diédhiou, brilliantly angled his body at the near post to direct a stooping header inside the far post.

Qatar responded well, with Abdelkarim Hassan going close from long range before Almoez Ali finally called Édouard Mendy into action from the edge of the box. That seemed to wake the hosts up but, unfortunately for them, it did the same for Mendy, who reacted brilliantly to deny Ismael Mohamed low down after the defender had directed a cross goalwards.

The threat was not over there and Qatar finally got their first World Cup goal when Mohammed Muntari powered a header home from a cross from the right. But any hope of a comeback was short-lived. Senegal pushed on and some combination saw Iliman Ndiaye free on the right. His perfect cutback was slotted home by Bamba Dieng.

The hosts could now be knocked out as soon as this evening if the Netherlands draw with Ecuador.

Stoppage time Iran winner breaks Welsh hearts

Scorers: Cheshmi 90+8′, Rezaeian 90+11′

A dramatic late show from Iran gave them a deserved 2-0 win over Wales, their first ever win over European opposition.

Kieffer Moore was handed a place in the starting lineup for Wales after a superb substitute performance against USA, and duly forced a save from Hossein Hosseini in the early stages of the game.

It was Iran that first had the ball in the back of the net, but Ali Gholizadeh went too early with his run and was ruled to be offside.

The game sprung into life early in the second half when Sardar Azmoun hit Wales’ right-hand post, and just seconds later hit the left-hand post with a curling effort.

As Iran ramped up the pressure Wayne Hennessey was called into action, making an excellent save low to his right-hand side on a shot from Saeed Ezatolahi.

After a good move from Wales, Ben Davies forced Hosseini to tip his powerful shot over the bar, before Wayne Hennessey was sent off after a VAR review for a crazy challenge on Mehdi Taremi outside the box.

With substitute goalkeeper Danny Ward between the sticks, Iran almost had the lead late on when Medhi Torabi’s shot went inches wide of the post.

It was heartbreak for the Welsh as – with their defence sucked deep and out of position – Rouzbeh Cheshmi fired home in the ninth minute of stoppage time.

And it was soon 2-0 as Iran broke away and Ramin Rezaeian beat Ward with a chipped goal to leave Wales in despair.

Still to come…

England v USA

Find details of yesterday’s matches here.

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