The World Cup has begun, here’s what to expect

The World Cup has begun, here’s what to expect

Updated: 2 months, 7 days, 13 hours, 22 minutes, 56 seconds ago

As the 2018 World cup came to an end, everyone’s focus shifted to where the 2022 World Cup would be held. Qatar was given the opportunity to host the biggest soccer tournament in the world on their home soil.  

The World Cup kicked off yesterday morning with Ecuador defeating Qatar 2-0, giving them three points and the lead in group A. There are 32 total teams broken down into groups of four to create eight groups.

Group A consists of Ecuador, Qatar, Senegal and #8 ranked Netherlands. The Netherlands, led by midfielder Frenkie De Jong and their captain, defender Virgil Van Dijk, are expected to win this group. 

Group B consists of England, Iran, the United States and Wales. England and the U.S. are expected to advance to the knockouts. England is led by the captain, forward Harry Kane. The U.S., which is the second youngest team in this tournament, is led by Midfielders Weston McKinnie and captain Tyler Adams.  

Group C contains Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia. Out of this group, Argentina is expected to go the furthest as they are led by an attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala.  

Group D is made up of the defending champion France, Australia, Denmark and Tunisia. France is not expected to be challenged in this group.  

Group E has 2 power houses in Germany and Spain, then has an up-and-coming team in Japan and an experienced team in Costa Rica. This group could go either way, however Germany and Spain are expected to go through to the knockouts.  

Group F has Belgium, the oldest team in the tournament, Canada, who has reached the World Cup for the first time since 1986, a very strong Morocco team and Croatia, the 2018 runner up.  

Group G is highlighted by tournament favorite Brazil and Serbia. Brazil is led by Antony Vinicius Jr and Neymar while Serbia was undefeated in qualifying matches and is on a 17-game unbeaten streak. The other two teams are Switzerland and Cameroon.  

The final group, Group H, consists of Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana. Portugal is led by Cristiano Ronaldo, Uruguay has Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez leading the charge, South Korea is the best team in Asia and Ghana had the best record in Africa.  

Out of these eight groups, only the top two will move on to the knockout stages that begin on Dec. 3.  

The U.S., who qualified for the World Cup after missing it in 2018, tied in their first game against Wales. With the tie, both teams receive one point, placing them behind England, who has three. The U.S. will face England on Nov. 25 at 11:00 a.m. before finishing the group stage with Iran on Nov. 29, also at 11:00 a.m.

The excitment of this tournament is heightened as it could be the last World Cup for some of the greatest soccer players on the planet. Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar have announced this will most likely be their last shot at a World Cup. 

Updates on where teams are at in their groups can be found online. 

This article has been updated to reflect Cameroon as the fourth team in Group G, not Senegal.

Jayden Barfuss can be reached online at [email protected] or on Twitter @JaydenBarfuss10