World Cup 2022 Day 5: The schedule, key players, what to expect | Qatar World Cup 2022

Four matches are scheduled on day five – Thursday 24th November – of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The schedule:

Switzerland-Cameroon (Group G): 1pm (10:00 GMT), Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

Uruguay v South Korea (Group H): 16:00 (13:00 GMT), Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

Portugal v Ghana (Group H): 19:00 (16:00 GMT), Stadium 974, Doha

Brazil v Serbia (Group G): 10pm (19:00 GMT), Lusail Stadium, Lusail

Canada's Ismael Kone covers his face at the end of the World Cup Group F soccer match between Belgium and Canada at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022. Belgium won 1-0.  (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Canada’s Ismael Kone covers his face at the end of the World Cup match against Belgium at Al-Rayyan Stadium in Doha, Qatar on November 23, 2022 [Natacha Pisarenko/Reuters]

What to expect

Switzerland versus Cameroon

Switzerland have competed in 11 World Cups and over the past few decades, the Swiss have become tournament regulars, with the Swiss side’s appearance in Qatar marking their fifth consecutive World Cup game.

The Swiss have already reached the quarter-finals twice, although that was many decades ago. Can they ever go back to that old form? Maybe not, but they’re likely to annoy others during their campaign.

Cameroon had a rocky road to World Cup qualification in their eighth appearance at the tournament, their most successful to date by an African side.

A supporter of Cameroon holds the national flag
A supporter of Cameroon holds the national flag on the Corniche in Doha November 18, 2022 ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar [File: Philip Fong/AFP]

It will be a Trojan task for Cameroon to break out of the grouping with Switzerland, Serbia and preliminary round favorites Brazil.

But they have struggled for a long time: Indomitable Lions made history in 1990 when they qualified for the quarter-finals of a World Cup, becoming the first side from the African continent to do so – only Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) have done so so done since.

Cameroon had to beat holders Argentina 1-0 to get there.

Players to watch:

Switzerland is led by Granit Xhaka and the team has experience and quality in key midfield and defensive positions. But it will be Xhaka, 30, who will be crucial to Switzerland’s success in Qatar.

But his temper will be under scrutiny, especially when the Swiss take on Serbia on December 2.

gx
Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka and Manuel Akanji during training at the University of Doha Training Facilities, Doha, Qatar, on 23 November 2022 [Suhaib Salem/Reuters]

Xhaka, who is of Kosovar Albanian descent, is notoriously feisty on the pitch and was penalized by FIFA for an eagle hand gesture when he scored in the 2-1 win over the Serbs at the 2018 World Cup in Russia four years ago.

The nationalist gesture symbolizes the double-headed eagle on the national flag of Albania.

If Cameroon is to make its mark at this World Cup, that success will be spearheaded by Italy’s Serie A goalkeeper Andre Onana and star midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, as well as captain and veteran striker Vincent Aboubakar of Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr FC.

Egypt's Mohamed Salah in action with Cameroon's Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Nouhou Tolo
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah in action with Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Nouhou Tolo of Cameroon during the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final match at Olembe Stadium, Yaounde, Cameroon on February 3, 2022 [File: Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters]

Uruguay vs South Korea

The road to Qatar has not been easy for Uruguay – La Celeste – who risked missing out entirely and eventually failing to qualify. But they’ve arrived, and with high hopes — and with good reason.

Uruguay are in their group alongside Portugal, Ghana and South Korea, which will be tough work, but La Celeste have beaten each of those three teams at previous World Cups, including knocking out Portugal from the tournament in 2018 and beating South Korea in their round . of-16 encounter in 2010.

Uruguay
Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani and teammates during training at al-Ersal Training Site 1, Al Rayyan, Qatar on November 23, 2022 [Jennifer Lorenzini/Reuters]

The 2022 Qatar World Cup will be South Korea’s 10th consecutive appearance at the tournament and 11th overall.

No team from Asia has competed in as many World Cups as the Taeguk Warriors.

South Korea have made it through the group stage just once in four attempts since 2002 and won just three of their last 13 World Cup games. A match took place in Russia in 2018, where they defeated the famous defending champions Germany 2-0, knocking them out of the tournament.

Their only appearance in the last 10 in the last 10 years came in 2010, when they were defeated by Uruguay, their opponents, in Thursday’s opening game.

Player to watch:

Luis Suarez was the star for Uruguay in qualifying and while the presence of Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez enhances their attack, the Uruguay front line continues to be led by the two experienced strikers.

Suarez and Edinson Cavani, both 35, have also been the protagonists of Uruguay’s success over the past decade and this World Cup could be their final act. Together they have scored nine of Uruguay’s last 13 World Cup goals.

son Heung-min
South Korea’s Son Heung-Min celebrates his second goal in a friendly match against Costa Rica at Goyang Stadium on September 23, 2022 in Goyang, South Korea [File: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters]

South Korea and Tottenham Hotspur striker Son Heung-min is hailed as an icon of South Korean football.

Despite struggling with his form this season with Tottenham, Son joins this World Cup after scoring four goals in his last six internationals.

Portugal vs Ghana

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is on a mission. This is his last chance to win Portugal at a World Cup for the first time.

Portugal have reached the semi-finals of Euro (2012), won their first major cup (Euro 2016) and also won their first Nations League title in 2019.

Still, the team has been miserable at World Cups and Portugal have not made it to the quarter-finals since 2006.

Again, Portugal’s fate at the World Cup is closely tied to one man: Ronaldo – although his World Cup form raises some questions.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) of Portugal and Real Madrid is tackled by AC Milan’s Andrea Pirlo, 2010 [File: Andres Kudacki/AP Photo]

Even before their arrival, Ghana’s – the Black Stars – prospects in Qatar were in doubt as public sentiment on the streets of Accra and Kumasi ahead of the World Cup was overwhelmingly negative.

How things have changed in just 12 years when Ghana were then the third African side to make the last eight and only the second African side to make it to the knockout stages of consecutive World Cups.

That momentum seems to have deserted the team and in their grouping they face some of the best attackers in world football: Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani and South Korea’s Son Heung-Min.

Ghanaian fans sing at the countdown clock
Ghanaian fans sing in front of the 2022 World Cup countdown clock in Doha, Qatar [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Players to watch:

One word: Ronaldo

Brazil vs Serbia

In World Cup qualifying, Brazil went unbeaten to Qatar with 45 goals and just five goals conceded.

But the toughest battles are yet to come, and Brazil have left the last four World Cups early after defeats by Europe’s soccer stars: France and Zinedine Zidane in 2006, the Netherlands and Arjen Robben in 2010, Toni Kroos and Germany in 2014, and Belgium and Kevin De Bruyne in 2018.

Japan
Brazil’s Neymar in action with Japan’s Yuta Nakayama at the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan in June 2022 [File: Issei Kato/Reuters]

Despite this, Brazil are five-time world champions and will be brimming with confidence in Qatar 2022 as they no longer rely solely on star striker Neymar, who is just three goals shy of Pelé’s all-time leading scorer for Brazil.

A new generation of Brazilian players has taken the weight off Neymar’s shoulders.

Mitrovic Serbia
Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates his first goal against Portugal at Rajko Mitic Stadium in Belgrade, Serbia in March 2021 [File: Novak Djurovic/Reuters]

Serbia are making only their third World Cup appearance as an independent nation since their debut in South Africa in 2010.

Starting their campaign against Brazil – perennial tournament favorites at the World Cup – Serbia will not be absent as they are a spirited and close-knit side known for their attacking prowess.

They also qualified for the World Cup by beating Portugal away and topping their qualifying group.

Players to watch:

Brazil have a new generation of football stars in Vinicius Junior, Richarlison de Andrade and Raphael Dias Belloli (Raphinha) – all of whom should be watched at this tournament.

Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic, 28, is said to be in top form for this World Cup season. He was the top scorer in the World Cup qualifying group ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo with eight goals and also scored a further six goals in the Nations League.

Mitrovic has a big role to play for Serbia in this campaign.

go deeper:

Check out the full 2022 World Cup schedule here and be sure to check out Al Jazeera’s AI Match Prediction to see how your team is likely to fare in Qatar.

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