World Cup kicks off in Qatar

France, Brazil, Portugal lead the Tournament (2-0)

Team USA captain Tyler Adams (#4) battles Harry Kane (#9) of England for possession. USA and England ended the match in a draw 0-0 after 98 minutes of play (provided by Getty Images)

Bryan Wang and Mustang Staff

Normally played in June, this year’s World Cup kicked off in November in Qatar, a nation of 3 million people. Qatar spent more than $200 billion building seven new stadiums for the global soccer tournament. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani secured the World Cup for Qatar in 2010 reports CBS News. At the Opening Ceremony Sheikh Hamad’s son, Sheikh Tamim asked his father to autograph a World Cup shirt, which was followed by thunderous applause in Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. The Opening Ceremony was highlighted by appearances by actor Morgan Freeman and BTS singer Jung Kook, who joined Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi in a performance of the song, “Dreamers.”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino addressed the fans, “Dear friends, welcome to the FIFA World Cup Qatar… football unites the world. And now let’s welcome the teams and let the show begin.”

Attending the Opening Ceremony was Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Western leaders boycotted attending the World Cup because of Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers and the LGBTQ community.

This year the teams favored to win the trophy include Brazil (Neymar, Allison, Vinicius), France (Mbappe, Benzema), and Spain (Pedri). In the first matches Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia after Salem Al Dawsari scored the go-ahead goal in a stunning upset for Lionel Messi and La Albiceleste. Team USA tied with Wales and Team Mexico tied with Poland in the first games. 23 year old Tyler Adams was elected by the USMNT as the team captain for the Americans. Tim Weah scored America’s first goal with an assist from Christian Pulisic in the 36th minute of play. Pulisic would be sent to the hospital for injuries after scoring the winning goal against Iran. Team USA will face the Netherlands in the Round of 16.

Host nation Qatar lost to Ecuador (2-0) as 7 million Americans watched on television. After losing to Senegal (3-1) Qatar will not advance beyond Group Play.

Teams that have advanced beyond group play include: Senegal, Croatia, and Poland. Germany, Mexico, and Canada have been eliminated.

Team USA (0-0,2d) vs Eng (0-0), vs Wales (1-1), vs Iran (1-0)

Team France (2-0), vs Aus (4-1), vs Den (2-1) || Team Brazil (2-0) vs Srb (2-0), vs Sui (1-0)

Top Teams: Spain (1-0, 1d), Portugal (2-0), Netherlands (1-0, 1d), Poland (1-0, 1d)

Eliminated: Qatar (0-2), Canada (0-2)

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