Germany struck a blow for everyone and everything being silenced by FIFA with their pre-match photograph when the players covered their mouths as if they were being muzzled. But within hours, they had one foot out of the competition.
Another major shock of the Qatar World Cup saw Japan come from behind to beat the Germans and now the path is clear for an unlikely group stage place for the Asians who play Costa Rica next.
Germany? They probably have to beat a rampant Spain, and as the most recent World Cups have shown, it’s not easy for a team to react to an opening-day loss.
On the latest episode of The Indo World Cup, Dan McDonnell lays bare the statistics.
“Everyone talks about, ‘Oh, Spain did it in 2010 and they went on and won the competition.’ They just happened to be one of the greatest teams of all time.
“The four semi-finalists in 2014 and 2018, all of them, won their first match of the competition.”
In fact, of the previous eight semi-finalists, only England lost any game at the group stage.
Losing the first match of the tournament is extremely damaging and presenter Aidan O’Hara offered a grim fact for the 2014 champions.
“I think it’s 18 per cent of the teams who lose their first game of the World Cup actually get through the group stage.”
Also on the show, Shamrock Rovers and Cape Verde defender Pico Lopes gives an insight into trying to stop the Cameroon threat.
Cristiano Ronaldo is looking for a job and a preview of today’s games with favourites Brazil in action tonight.
In the minutes before Tite announced his squad for Qatar, the Brazilian football confederation had a message to deliver, and it was not subtle. They chose this moment, with the nation watching, to air a two-minute campaign video celebrating Brazil’s famous yellow shirt.