The World Cup has arrived and there are six Magpies playing in the group stages: Kieran Trippier, Nick Pope, and Callum Wilson for England, Garang Kuol is with Australia, Fabian Schar is part of the Swiss team, and Bruno plays for Brazil.
Here’s a recap of all that went on Thursday, Nov. 24, with more updates to come in the following days as games keep getting played with the World Cup still in the group stages.
Fabian Schar (Switzerland)
Match: SWI vs Cameroon (World Cup)
It was surprising to find out about Schar getting blocked from the Swiss starting XI but that is what happened on Thursday as Switzerland saw Cameroon off in the debut of the two international teams in the 2022 World Cup.
Switzerland’s manager Murat Yakin decided to use Nico Elvedi and Manuel Akanji from the get-go and both men ended up playing the full 90 minutes and earning a yellow card, which at least will boost the chances of Schar making it to the pitch at some point if the Swiss contingent is still alive by MD3 or into the knockout stages.
Breel Embolo was the man tasked with leading the way for Switzerland and he paid off with a goal after the break, in the 48th minute. Cameroon might have deserved a bit more, making Swiss goalie Yann Sommer the man of the match thanks to his five saves (all of them from inside-the-box shots).
With Brazil winning by two goals and Switzerland just by a one-goal difference, the latter went to sleep sitting second.
Match: BRA vs Serbia (World Cup)
Nothing. That’s all Bruno got to do on a very warm Thursday night in Qatar. Brazil could break the Serbian lock through the first half of their debut but everything changed in the final 45 minutes. Tottenham Hotspur’s forward and Brazil’s no. 9 Richarlison bagged a couple of goals in a span of 11 minutes (from the 62nd to the 73rd) and that buried a very dull Serbia.
Serbia lacked all sorts of bite, sat deep, barely caused any trouble to the Canarinha, and inevitably ended up paying their dues to a Brazil side that was far from a sublime football machine.
Neymar’s magic didn’t quite appear at any point and by the 80th minute, the bright genius was forced off the pitch injured (sprained ankle). He was seen laughing (not before dropping tears while on the bench, though) with some teammates, including Lucas Paqueta, and if all goes well he should make it back to the grass at some point through the tournament.
Bruno never touched the pitch although Brazil finished the game making five changes, all of them involving midfielders (Fred) and forwards (Gabriel Martinelli, Antony, Rodrygo, and Gabriel Jesus).
Brazil and Switzerland face each other in MD2 next Monday in a pivotal game that could see one of them qualifying and the other one getting into deep trouble if the match doesn’t end in a draw.