World Cup excitement alert: Why Portugal, Uruguay and Netherlands should be on high alert after Germany and Argentina defeats

The 2022 FIFA World Cup was one of the most unpredictable in quite some time, with two historic upsets on back-to-back days. First Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, and then Germany lost to Japan on Wednesday. Both saw the Giants gamble away a lead and fall 2-1.

And if you think that all good things (at least good for sport) come in threes, then surely another big surprise is in store. But who could it be? Here are three teams that could be on alert in the next few days:

1. Uruguay vs. South Korea

Date: Thursday 24 Nov | Time: 8 p.m. ET | TV: FS1 and Telemundo | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)

The South Americans hired Diego Alonso to get their World Cup qualifiers back on track and that’s exactly what happened. But there were some signs that this team might be eligible for an update. First, quite a lot has happened lately. They lost 1-0 to Iran in a friendly in September and 3-1 to Bolivia in World Cup qualifiers. They showed very little creativity in a boring 0-0 draw against the United States in the summer.

The team is full of people you probably thought had retired by now like Diego Godin, Martin Caceres and Luis Suarez and this isn’t the same attack or defense that we’re used to for this team. Now they have a lot of great young players and could be contenders in 2026 but this is a disciplined South Korean team with Heung-min Son and the pace to take advantage of an aging defence. Don’t be surprised if Uruguay are the next big dogs to go down.

Listen and follow below In Soccer We Trust: A CBS Sports Soccer Podcast where your three favorite former USMNT players cover everything you want to know about the United States Men’s National Team during the World Cup in Qatar.

2. Portugal vs. Ghana

Date: Thursday 24 Nov | Time: 11 p.m. ET | TV: Fox and Telemundo | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)

Yes, I know this isn’t the Ghana of Stephen Appiah and Michael Essien but with Inaki Williams at their side they can certainly capitalize on a Portuguese defense that still features 39-year-old Pepe. Thomas Partey is there to command the centre, Mohammed Salisu in defense can be a cornerstone and we must remember how Portugal struggle in group stage games. At Euro 2016, when they won the tournament, they didn’t win a single group game. At the last World Cup they only made it once in the group stage and that was against Morocco. They also won just one group stage game at Euro 2020.

On paper they have a great team. But it’s different on the pitch. Don’t be surprised if Ghana shows up.

3. Netherlands vs. Ecuador

Date: Friday 25 Nov | Time: 11 p.m. ET | TV: Fox and Telemundo | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)

This one is very simple. The Netherlands didn’t look too good in a 2-0 win against Senegal and Ecuador looked fantastic against an overwhelmed Qatar side. This Ecuadorian team has attacking speed, they have so much chemistry and the Dutch have a lot of good pieces that haven’t meshed yet. Senegal have overtaken them and I think it’s a different game with Sadio Mane. Ecuador’s ability to switch fields and use space could cause trouble for Friday’s World Cup hopefuls.


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