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Winners & Losers from day 9 of the World Cup

Ghana ganan, and the end of the Group Stage begins.

Korea Republic v Ghana: Group H - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

We’ve reached the beginning of the end of the Group Stage, with groups A and B playing their final games on Tuesday. Remarkably, every game still has at least one team with something to play for, meaning there should be some exciting matches to come. But first, a look at the high- and low-lights of Monday’s action.


Posterior appreciators: Casemiro secured Brazil’s place in the Round of 16 with his spectacular half-volley against Switzerland in the 83rd minute, which proved to be the winner and the lone goal in the game. It may have taken a deflection, but the footage of that goal is likely to be watched on repeat for years to come, and for some the best part might even be the deflection itself. Swiss centerback Manuel Akanji stepped up in the hopes of blocking the shot, but turned as Casemiro made connection, allowing the ball to graze his glutes as it passed, just ever-so slightly altering the trajectory as it found its way into the net. The reverse angle of the goal perfectly frames Akanji for the rump respecters, the wagon bandwagoners, the (look away Brits) fanny fans. This one’s for the posterior appreciators.

All those aggrieved by Luis Suarez at a World Cup: I’m knocking on wood so as not to jinx anything here, but it looks like Uruguay are probably going to be finished at this World Cup following their next game. Their 2-0 loss to Portugal, for which Luis Suarez was dropped from the starting lineup in favor of Édinson Cavani, leaves them on just 1 point while Ghana sit on 3 and Portugal on 6. Fittingly, Ghana and Uruguay will meet in the final game of the Group Stage. Any result for Ghana puts them in a decent position to advance, but they’ll want more than just a draw, as a win would ensure their place in the Round of 16 and eliminate Uruguay in an act of minor retribution for Suarez’s handball in the 2010 Quarterfinals. This is probably the last ride for Suarez at a World Cup, and eliminating him and Uruguay would seem to balance the karmic scales a bit.


Anyone hoping for a chill final day in Groups G and H: Both Groups G and H have a team on 6 points, a team on 3 points and two teams on 1 point each. Sure, the group leaders could opt to rotate a little bit and get some guys some rest having already locked up a spot in the knockout rounds, but the two teams on 1 point in each group will be throwing everything they can at their opponents in the hopes that a win will be enough to see them through. The teams facing the group leaders — Cameroon vs. Brazil in Group G and South Korea vs. Portugal in Group H — will hope that a rotated lineup will give them the opportunity to pick up their first win of the tournament, while Switzerland and Ghana (the teams with 3 points in G and H) will be equally motivated to get wins against Serbia and Uruguay, respectively, to avoid being leapfrogged and left out in the (figurative) cold. Buckle in, it might get bumpy.

Jeonbuk FC: Gue-sung Cho, the 24-year-old striker who started for South Korea against Ghana after making a substitute appearance against Uruguay in the 74th minute, scored both goals — the first brace for South Korea at a men’s World Cup — as they lost 3-2 to Ghana. He was the only player in red to find any joy despite them taking a whopping 22 shots, with 16 coming from inside the box. It’s the kind of performance that draws international interest, and often alluring transfer offers. Cho joined Jeonbuk FC of the K League in January 2020, and managed only 8 goals in 34 appearances between then and March of 2021. He then went on loan to Gimcheon Sangmu, where he found his scoring boots, notching 22 goals in 49 appearances before returning to his parent club in September of this year. Since returning to Jeonbuk FC he’s got 8 goals in 11 appearances, and now it seems like he could potentially be on his way back out just as he’s heating up.

Storylines to watch on Day 10

7:00 AM - Netherlands vs. Qatar: Will it be Cody Gakpo again, or can someone else step up and offer some scoring help? The Dutch have scored 3 goals so far in the tournament, and all 3 have been scored by Gakpo. While that’s great for him, they're probably going to need more goals and more people involved if they want to do anything more than get out of the group. Netherlands only needs a point to advance, and while anything can happen even a rotated side should be able to handle Qatar. I’ve obviously been wrong over and over again throughout the tournament, but this seems like a good chance to get Gakpo some rest and have him ready for the next round, as he’s played more than any other Oranje attacker.

Watch the game on Fox, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

7:00 AM - Ecuador vs. Senegal: Ecuador are in the exact same position as the Netherlands — both have identical 2-0 wins and then they drew 1-1 against each other — so a point will do the job. However Ecuador’s opponent, Senegal, still has a chance at qualification for the next round with a win. They were already going to be a more difficult opponent for Ecuador than the Dutch’s opponents, and having something to play for will only make Senegal even more of a challenge. This seems unlikely to be the time for Xavier Arreaga to make his World Cup debut, so let’s keep an eye on Enner Valencia to continue pushing for the Golden Boot.

Watch the game on FS1, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

11:00 AM - Iran vs. USA: It’s been spicy off the field as the geopolitics of a match between Iran and the US flowed into the conversation around the game. On the field, realistically both teams need a win. Technically Iran could advance with a draw depending on the right result in Wales vs. England, but no one wants to be dependent on another game. For the USMNT to win and advance, they’ll need to score goals. It’s really not clear where those are going to come from, but it has become clear that they can’t depend on Christian Pulisic to do it himself. We almost certainly won’t see Jorstian Mordan in the starting XI, but we know that both players are capable of opening up a game if they’re used effectively.

Watch the game on Fox, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

11:00 AM - Wales vs. England: England has a history of being played tough by other UK countries in big tournaments. Everyone knows that records and form go out the window in a derby game, and adding the opportunity to take England down a peg to the fact that Wales could potentially qualify given the right outcome in Iran vs. the USMNT and we should have a real game on our hands. I don’t know that it’ll be a good game, but it should be a game. If England get the job done here, I’m expecting it’s a result of Black Boy Joy.

Watch the game on FS1, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

You can catch replays of all games in English on or Spanish on Peacock 30 minutes after the final whistle.

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