2022 World Cup: USA and England start their tournaments, Qatar lose the opener and their fans leave early
2022 World Cup: USA and England start their tournaments, Qatar lose the opener and their fans leave earlyThe World Cup kicked off in Qatar, after years of waiting, and ESPN has you covered for the world's biggest sporting event.We've seen the opening ceremony, the pre-game speeches and the musical acts (yes, that was a member of BTS out there!). We've seen the first goal disallowed by VAR at the World Cup (well done, Enner Valencia, for being the answer to that trivia question) and we've seen the first goals allowed at the World Cup too (again, congrats to Enner Valencia, whose two goals gave Ecuador a win over host nation Qatar.)Be sure to check in with ESPN throughout the tournament as we bring the latest from Qatar.
Group B play begins bright and early on Monday morning as England take on Iran at Khalifa International Stadium (8 a.m. ET), but that's the mere appetizer to a delicious main course as the U.S. begin their tournament against Gareth Bale and Wales at Al Rayyan Stadium (2 p.m. ET).
For the USMNT, it's imperative they get off to a hot start as England await in their second group game. Wales offer plenty of menace thanks to their talisman, Gareth Bale -- who had a few notable cameos during LAFC's run to the 2022 MLS Cup this season -- but the U.S. boast their full complement of stars, led by Christian Pulisic, and will be eager to make up for what they missed out on at Russia 2018. (We won't mention Couva. We won't mention Couva.)
They also got a timely message from home, courtesy of U.S. Soccer, prior to their first match...
Mark Ogden enjoyed Qatar vs. Ecuador from a sports bar in Doha, while Tom Hamilton soaked up the sights and sounds from the overcrowded fan zone.
Mark Ogden shares his experience of watching the opening game of the World Cup from a bar in Doha.
- United States vs. Wales (Group B, 2 p.m. ET): What more is there to say? The pressure's on Berhalter & Co. to meet the sky-high hype back home with three points against a Wales side that might be tougher than they look.
Dale Johnson explains why Ecuador had a goal ruled out in confusing circumstances in the World Cup opener vs. Qatar.
Take a look at how to actually bet on soccer matches as ESPN contributors Paul Carr, Dan Thomas and Dalen Cuff gives you key tips on odds, options and futures.
Carr: I'm staying away from this one now that Mane is out, but that +500 price on Senegal sure is tempting for a squad that's still defense-first.
Thomas: I think this could be a tight affair. I'm not sure where the goals are going to come from from either side. I'd take the under in this one. Netherlands 1-0 Senegal.
Cuff: I'll just keep saying, I'm fading England. That said, their defensive approach against an inferior opponent will lead to a win, but without much style and maybe only a goal scored. There's not much value here, and I don't like this game, but I'd pick England to Win to Nil (-128).
Thomas: I know I'm not selling it very well. But I fancy a 0-0 draw here.