World Cup 2022, Day 9: The schedule and what’s at stake for teams | Qatar World Cup 2022


Four games are scheduled for day nine — Monday, November 28 — of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The schedule

Cameroon vs Serbia (Group G): 1pm (10:00 GMT), Al Janoub Stadium

South Korea vs Ghana (Group G): 4pm (13:00 GMT), Education City Stadium

Brazil vs Switzerland (Group H): 7pm (16:00 GMT), Stadium 974

Portugal vs Uruguay (Group H): 10 pm (19:00 GMT), Lusail Iconic Stadium

It is do-or-die for Cameroon and Serbia. Both teams are facing elimination on Monday afternoon. A losing effort by either team — taking into account a potential draw between Brazil and Switzerland — will spell a premature exit for the two teams.

Serbia, who sit in the basement of Group G, were downed 2-0 by Brazil, while Cameroon were edged 1-0 by Switzerland — both teams are scoreless thus far.

The young and inexperienced Cameroon team is also in search of their first win since the 2002 World Cup.

Switzerland Cameroon
Cameroonian players intercept Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri (centre) during a World Cup group G match at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, on November 24, 2022 [Ebrahim Noroozi/AP Photo]

“The mistakes that were made [against Switzerland] will not be made again in the next game,” coach Rigobert Song said after Cameroon’s loss to the Swiss.

FIFA is currently investigating Serbia’s football association after a nationalist flag — depicting Kosovo as part of the Balkan nation — was photographed in the team’s dressing room when they faced Brazil last week in Qatar.

“No comment, next question,” Serbia’s head coach Dragan Stojkovic said on Sunday when asked about the alleged incident.

Brazil vs Serbia Group G
A Serbian player [front] tackles a Brazilian during their Group G FIFA World Cup game at Lusail Stadium on November 24, 2022 [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Players to watch:

Keep an eye on Karl Toko Ekambi, who scored Cameroon’s World Cup-qualifying goal in a tie against Algeria. Ekambi, however, failed to capitalise on one of Cameroon’s better offensive opportunities against a mediocre Switzerland in the game’s opening half.

Cameroon’s Choupo-Moting is another fan favourite looking to make an impact on the scoresheet.

Serbia are reeling from a number of injuries, most notably, 28-year-old talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic, who broke the record for the most goals scored in an English league season last year.

But it is not all bad news for Serbia: after missing the team’s first game against Brazil due to injury, winger Filip Kostic is available for selection on Monday, although it is not clear if he will start.

“The situation is not excellent, but I am satisfied compare[d] with what we had before. The situation is better and that makes me happy,” Stojkovic told reporters on Sunday.

South Korea's Son Heung-min looks out during the World Cup group H soccer match between Uruguay and South Korea, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan , Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
South Korea’s Son Heung-min looks out during a Group H match against Uruguay, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, November 24, 2022 [Lee Jin-man/AP Photo]

South Korea and Ghana are desperately looking to take a win after losing points in their first matches in the tightly contested Group H.

On Wednesday, a scrappy South Korea drew 0-0 against Uruguay, while Ghana are coming off a simmering 2-3 loss to Cristiano Ronaldo’s mighty Portugal on the same day.

The threat of possible elimination has not diminished South Korea’s hopes, even though they are neck-and-neck with Uruguay with only one point in their grouping.

“I said earlier I do not feel any pressure, I never did and never will,” South Korea’s coach Paulo Bento told reporters on Sunday.

“During the first game, we had a chance of at least ensuring a third-place finish. In the second game, we will keep this opportunity … we will enter the field with a focus on a win,” he said.

South Korea, ranked 28th, are appearing in their 11th World Cup — the most for any Asian country.

Ghana are ranked 61st and it is their fourth World Cup.

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Group H - Portugal v Ghana - Stadium 974, Doha, Qatar - November 24, 2022 Ghana's Andre Ayew celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Ghana’s Andre Ayew celebrates scoring their first goal in the Group H game against Portugal at Stadium 974, November 24, 2022 [Hannah Mckay/Reuters]

 

 

Players to watch:

All eyes will be on South Korea’s captain Son Heung-min.

Battling the aftermath of an eye-socket fracture, he commanded South Korea’s offensive drive in the scoreless match against Uruguay. He was fitted with a facemask for his last game after undergoing surgery earlier this month.

Football fans will recall Heung-min scored South Korea’s two of the three goals when they advanced from the group stage at Russia’s 2018 World Cup.

It is unclear if South Korea defender Kim Min-jae, who sustained a calf injury against Uruguay, will play on Monday. Forward Hwang Hee-chan is also sidelined due to a hamstring injury.

Ghana, led by their fearless captain, André Ayew and feisty Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus, will be hoping to inject some much-needed life into the Black Stars offensive unit on Monday.

Richarlison falls to his knees in celebration after scoring a goal against Serbia
Brazil’s Richarlison celebrates scoring their second goal during a Group G match against Serbia at Lusail Stadium, November 24, 2022 [Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters]

Tournament favourites Brazil, in search of their sixth World Cup, are fresh off a 2-0 win over Serbia as they prepare to take on a Swiss team which cruised to a lacklustre 1-0 victory over Cameroon last week.

Switzerland, ranked 15th, face a steep challenge squaring off against number one-ranked Brazil on Monday, though they will be without star player Neymar.

The two teams have drawn on two prior occasions, most recently 1-1 at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and 2-2 at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil.

Brazil could make history if they can manage a win on Monday.

They are undefeated in their past 16 World Cup group-stage matches — dating back almost a quarter-century when they were beaten by Norway in 1998. No team has ever gone to 17 group-stage matches without defeat.

Sommer
Switzerland’s Yann Sommer makes a save during a Group G match against Cameroon at Al Janoub Stadium, November 24, 2022 [Marko Djurica/Reuters]

Players to watch:

Brazil’s 25-year-old striker Richarlison is fresh off a solid two-goal performance against Serbia, bringing his scoring tally to nine in seven appearances for the Seleção Canarinho.

Brazilian heavyweight Neymar will be notably absent from Monday’s lineup due to an ankle injury. He is expected to sit out two games. Brazil may struggle without him.

Arsenal co-captain Granit Xhaka has had a stellar season

Portugal vs Uruguay

Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal against Ghana at Stadium 974 on November 24, 2022 [Hannah Mckay/Reuters]

A plucky Portugal, led by superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo, are looking to punch their ticket to World Cup’s knockout stages with a win over Uruguay Monday night.

Uruguay, for their part, have not yet found the back of the net in Qatar — or the front of it for that matter — failing to register a shot on target in their scoreless draw with South Korea last week. A loss on Monday will severely narrow Uruguay’s odds of making it out of the group stages.

Uruguay, who knocked Portugal out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 2-1 victory, are hoping for a repeat performance on Monday — but are equally wary of the “dangerous” Portuguese squad.

“About what happened four years ago, it’s a different match, we have different players, it will be a completely different match,” Uruguay’s coach Diego Alonso said at a news conference on Sunday.

He added: “Portugal [have] a very good squad, they have excellent players, they have a wonderful coach with wide experience. That makes them a dangerous team. On the other hand, we also have our own weapons. We will try to win, we will bring our A game.”

uruguay south korea
Uruguay’s Matias Vina in action with South Korea’s Lee Kang-in at the World Cup in Qatar on November 24, 2022 [Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters]

Players to watch:

Despite his recent struggles and controversies at the club level, Ronaldo soared in Portugal’s 3-2 victory over Ghana, becoming the first men’s football player in history to score in five World Cups. He will be hungry on Monday to secure Portugal’s spot in the final 16.

“United and focused. Towards our goal,” Ronaldo tweeted on Sunday in anticipation of the showdown with Uruguay.

Seasoned Uruguay strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are La Celeste’s best shot at hitting back at a menacing Portuguese offence.

Diego Godin will also be eager to add an offensive spark. He had one of Uruguay’s best chances in its 0-0 draw with South Korea, nearly putting the team on the scoreboard with a header that ricocheted off the post.

Go deeper

View the full 2022 World Cup schedule here and be sure to visit Al Jazeera’s AI match predictor to see how your team is projected to perform in Qatar.





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