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Qatar World Cup 2022 daily blog summary: Sunday 20 November – AS USA

– Opening match finishes Qatar 0-2 Ecuador – Qatar were pretty poor, but we got some VAR controversy and a penalty!     ​​​​​​​
– The World Cup opening ceremony was spectacular – check out the reaction here!
– France's Karim Benzema ruled out of World Cup with thigh injury – see how Deschamps described the moment ​​​​​​  
Tyler Adams officially named USMNT captain   ​​​​​​​
– Fall-out from Infantino's pre-World Cup rant continues with former NY governor New York governor Andrew Cuomo using something similar in 2017
– Argentina fans concerned as Messi still trains apart from squad   ​​​​​​​
2022 World Cup: fixtures, dates, times and group stage schedule
World Cup 2022
Qatar World Cup 2022 opening ceremony live: artists, music, updates | Black Eyed Peas, BTS…
Qatar vs Ecuador live online: score, stats and updates, Qatar World Cup 2022 opening game
Official: Tyler Adams named captain of the USMNT
Qatar 2022 World Cup: Calendar, full match schedule, groups, teams and kick-off times in the US
Gareth Bale analyses the USMNT ahead of World Cup opener
LAFC striker Gareth Bale looks ahead to the Group B clash later on Tuesday as Wales face Gregg Berhalter's USMNT.
Mexico at the World Cup in Qatar
Mexico get their World Cup campaign underway against Poland on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. ET. They are in Group C, alongside Argentina and Saudi Arabia. 
​​​​​​​You'll be able to follow the game live here on AS USA. 
World Cup 2022
Could Qatar have the worst performance by a host nation of the World Cup
After today's poor performance against Ecuador, hosts Qatar must be worried about taking the title of worst performing World Cup hosts. The current holders of the title are South Africa, the only side not to qualify for the knock-out stages (though they were desperately unlucky). 

​​​​​​​Qatar need to up their game against Senegal and the Netherlands…
Messi and Cristiano save the World Cup
Yes, that is really what happens in this wonderful, Toy Story-inspired commercial, as the plastic players come to life when no one is looking.
There is so much to love about it, with my personal best bits including a Van Dijk post-tackle wink and Erling Haaland being stuck in his packaging.
Fabulous stuff from the Bleacher team.
Nike releases new World Cup ad
If you haven't yet seen it, don't wait any longer.
Nike is one of the brands that has had some of the best World Cup advertisements throughout the tournament’s history. This year is no different.
It features soccer superstars like Kylian Mbappé, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo. In it, the players are transported to a seemingly different universe, to a secret lab in Switzerland in which scientists are working to find out who really is the best player.
The three-minute commercial flies by as more and more players show up and even some fictional characters when things go awry. Check out the full video above.
What happened to Morgan Freeman’s left hand? This was his speech at the World Cup ceremony
Hopefully you were following the opening ceremony with my colleague Reem earlier but, if not, you may have missed the discussion surrounding one of the stars of the extravaganza, Morgan Freeman.
The Hollywood actor's left hand was held in a very obvious glove, and that had viewers wondering what was going on. Here's our piece to explain.
Cristiano Ronaldo's 'good vibes'
"Good vibes, good vibes, the same commitment and focus we put into each challenge," was the message from the Manchester United rebel aiming to redirect attention to the international job in hand.
"Focus! Will! Belief! Wherever, Portugal, always!"
What are the results from World Cup opening games?
As we continue to keep an eye on the opening game of the 2022 World Cup we started to wonder what other scores had been seen in each edition's debut battle.
Our pondering led to us writing this article which shows that goals have become more commonplace in recent years.
The Qatar World Cup has begun – and we've already had VAR controversy!
Follow the action here!
The World Cup opening ceremony was special
Follow the live reaction to the show here!
Joe Allen out of USA match
A stroke of luck for the USA, as Wales midfielder Joe Allen is out of Monday's game.
Egypt's Sisi to attend Qatar World Cup opening ceremony
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrived in Qatar to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony on Sunday, state TV quoted the presidency as saying.
Qatar has improved ties with Egypt and its Gulf neighbours after a resolution last year to end a political row that had seen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt boycott Doha for over three years
Didier Deschamps – Francia – 3,4 M€ / FRANCK FIFE / AFP
Deschamps 'extremely sorry' for Benzema as France superstar is ruled out of World Cup
Didier Deschamps vowed the show must go on for France after the latest crushing blow to their World Cup hopes saw Karim Benzema ruled out of the tournament.
Pain in the quadriceps of his left thigh – a femoral rectus injury to be exact – means Real Madrid's Ballon d'Or winner will play no part in the Qatar 2022 finals.
Benzema, who missed Les Bleus' triumph at Russia 2018 while out of favour amid an ongoing blackmail investigation, was hoping to play a big part in the trophy defence this time.
He was battling to prove his fitness after recent injury strife with Madrid, and Saturday's training session was his first full on-pitch activity with the France squad of this camp.
The 34-year-old could not make it through unscathed though, pulling out after feeling discomfort. He had been bothered by muscular fatigue in the left quadriceps while with his club, and this may be a recurrence of that problem.
Benzema underwent an MRI at a Doha hospital, the French Football Federation said, and he faces three weeks of recovery. He has been withdrawn from France's squad, with Deschamps able to call in a replacement.
Deschamps said: "I'm extremely sorry for Karim who had made this World Cup a major objective."
WC starts today
32 teams embark on their World Cup journey with just winner possible with the final game set for 18 December at the 80,000 capacity Lusail Iconic Stadium
Gregg Berhalter / Mike Stobe / AFP
High stakes opener for Berhalter's USMNT
The United States and Wales will head into Monday’s World Cup clash knowing that victory could decide one of Group B’s two qualifiers, with England fancied as heavy favourites to advance as group winners.
With a golden generation of talent spearheaded by Gareth Bale and playing at their first World Cup in 64 years, Wales will be out to echo their recent successes at European level, having reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals and the last 16 at Euro 2020.
Manager Rob Page called up nine Premier League-based players to his World Cup squad — which U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said the Americans must not underestimate, despite Wales’s preparations being hampered by injuries to key players including Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey.
“I think that, at least to the American media, Wales is under-rated,” Berhalter told reporters. “When I look at their squad, it’s basically a Premier League squad.
“To me, it’s a really good squad, a formidable squad. They’ve been in international competition before, they know what it’s like. And it’s going to be a very difficult game.”
The U.S. team endured a rocky run-up to Qatar and failed to score in September friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia, but Berhalter’s youthful albeit unproven squad will look to silence critics when they return to the World Cup stage after eight years.
El Tri look to start strong with win over Poland key
Mexico and Poland kick-start their World Cup campaign on Tuesday knowing the outcome of the clash could decide who survives beyond the group stage of the 2022 tournament.
Group favourites Argentina take on unlikely contenders Saudi Arabia in the earlier duel, and barring a major upset in that match the second spot in the final group rankings is likely to go to either Mexico or Poland.
Mexico's strong record of being unbeaten in their World Cup openers is a statistic any team could fear. They won five and drew one in the most recent six tournaments, always making it to the knockout stage.
The last time Mexico failed to find their way past the group stage was back in 1978 –– when they earned zero points in the group Poland topped.
This, however, is where the pros seem to end for Mexico this time round.
Coach Gerardo Martino's side is short in the striker department as, to the bafflement of Mexico's fans, the Argentine decided to leave out their all-time top scorer Javier Hernandez despite his good form this season.
Further dampening the mood, Mexico lost their last pre-World Cup friendly against Sweden, conceding a late goal as part of an unconvincing performance that has El Tri fans somewhat anxious on the eve of the tournament.
Welsh First Minister tells Infantino to stop digging
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said that FIFA President Gianni Infantino was in a hole and should stop digging after he accused critics of World Cup host Qatar of hypocrisy.
Infantino rounded on European critics of the host nation over the issues of migrant workers and LGBT rights on Saturday, adding that engagement was the only way to improve human rights.
Drakeford, who is in Qatar to mark Wales's first World Cup appearance since 1958, told Reuters on Sunday that Western countries should be prepared to review their own history but people's rights "really matter".
"I had two thoughts when I heard those comments. First of all, I think there is a serious point about being prepared to review our own history," he said at an event in Doha.
Qatar World Cup 2022 opening ceremony: what time does it start, who performs?
Here's all the info. you need to know ahead of the opening ceremony with BTS star Jung Kook the star attraction where the South Korean pop idol will perform the track 'Dreamers', the official song of the 2022 World Cup.
Much of our focus will be on the opening ceremony wiich will precede the opening game as host nation Qatar face Ecuador in a Group A clash.
Hello and welcome to our live World Cup news as the big day has finally arrived and today marks the opening of the 2022 World Cup.



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