After each matchday of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Sportsnet.ca’s World Cup Daily blog will recap the day’s events and look ahead to the next day’s slate of games.
Here’s what happened on Friday in Qatar, in case you missed it…
Teams moving on: Brazil and Switzerland (Group G), Portugal and South Korea (Group H)
Eliminated teams: Cameroon and Serbia (Group G), Uruguay and Ghana (Group H)
Round of 16 matches: Brazil vs. South Korea and Portugal vs. Switzerland
MAIN TALKING POINT
A memorable nine minutes and 38 seconds
This World Cup has already produced so many incredibly dramatic moments during the final round games in the group stage. We can now add another chapter following a fantastic final day of action in Group H, with South Korea advancing to the round of 16 at the expense of Uruguay.
Uruguay jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Ghana to grab a temporary hold of second place behind Portugal who had already booked its ticket for the next round. At the same time, South Korea was tied 1-1 with Portugal, a result that if it stood would have seen Uruguay advance. But Hwang Hee-chan scored in the 92nd minute to give South Korea a 2-1 lead, moving his team into second place.
The Asians and South Americans were tied on four points, and they both had the same goal difference (the first tiebreaker). But South Korea had scored two more goals than Uruguay (the second tiebreaker) and was in pole position to take second place.
Word filtered of South Korea’s late goal in the Uruguayan bench, and what ensued was nine minutes and 38 seconds of extra time that was pure madness – and maybe the most entertaining and thrilling nine minutes and 38 seconds of this World Cup. Needing to score one more time in order to advance ahead of South Korea on goal difference, Uruguay poured forward in search of a goal.
With veteran striker Luis Suárez on the bench after being subbed out, Maximiliano Gomez and Sebastian Coates both missed late scoring chances, while Edinson Cavani was denied a penalty claim. Goalkeeper Sergio Rochet was also called upon to make a number of big saves, as Ghana pressed for a goal after Uruguay left itself open to counter-attacks.
The South Korea-Portugal game ended first, and captain Son Heung-min gathered his teammates in a huddle on the field and watched coverage of the end of the other Group H on someone’s cell phone. When the final whistle blew, Suárez could be seen on the sidelines crying while the South Koreans celebrated.
GOAL OF THE DAY
With the game in stoppage time and South Korea on the brink of elimination, Son Heung-min quickly broke forward up the field after a Portugal corner kick before feeding a pass inside the penalty area to Hwang Hee-chan who beat goalkeeper Diogo Costa with a low shot.
MOMENT OF THE DAY
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It is sadness and disappointment that we feeI. I was lucky enough to play my fourth World Cup, and I was thinking about my four-year-old son, who is leaving with the image of sadness. It’s difficult, but it’s up to me to face the situation.” – Uruguay’s Luis Suárez
SIX PACK OF STATS
• Four of South Korea’s last seven goals at the men’s World Cup have been scored in the 90th minute or later of the second half.
• Giorgian de Arrascaeta is the third Uruguayan to score two goals in the first-half of a World Cup match, after Juan Peregrino Anselmo vs. Yugoslavia in 1930 and Oscar Miguez vs. Bolivia in 1950.
• Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri is one of three players to score at each of the last three men’s World Cup tournaments. The others are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
• Serbia and Switzerland were tied 2-2 after 45 minutes on Friday. This marked the first time since England vs. Argentina in 1998 that both teams in a men’s match scored at least two goals before half time.
• At 39 years and 210 days, Daniel Alves is the oldest player to ever appear in a World Cup game for the Brazilian men’s team.
• This is the first time at the men’s World Cup since 2002 that only two South American nations qualified for the round of 16.
Stats courtesy of Opta
THREE STARS OF THE DAY
1) Giorgian de Arrascaeta (Uruguay): Bagged a first half brace in Uruguay’s first win in Qatar, but it wasn’t enough to send his country through to the knockout round.
2) Son Heung-min (South Korea): Capped off a workman-like performance with that fantastic solo run to set up Hwang Hee-chan’s winning goal in injury time.
3) Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland): He scored his fifth career World Cup goal and help set up another goal as the Swiss advanced to the round of 16.
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Novak Djokovic’s father won’t attend Australian Open semi-final after Russia flag controversy
Novak Djokovic’s father Srdjan said on Friday he would not attend his son’s Australian Open semi-final and would instead “watch from home,” after a video emerged showing him posing at Melbourne Park with fans holding Russian flags.
The video caused controversy in Australia, leading to the country’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday reiterating Australian support for Ukraine and criticizing supporters of Russia’s invasion.
“I am here to support my son only. I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption,” Srdjan Djokovic said in an e-mailed statement.
“So there is no disruption to tonight’s semi-final for my son or for the other player, I have chosen to watch from home.”
Novak Djokovic declined to comment.
“I will make this point, that Australia stands with the people of Ukraine,” Albanese told a news conference after a reporter asked if Srdjan Djokovic should be deported after he was seen posing for pictures with fans holding Russian flags.
“That is Australia’s position and Australia is unequivocal in our support for the rule of international law.
“We do not want to see any support given to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that is having a devastating impact on the people of Ukraine.”
Albanese did not respond directly to the question about whether Srdjan Djokovic should be deported.
Police questioned four fans seen with “inappropriate flags and symbols” after a quarter-final match on Wednesday between Russia’s Andrey Rublev and favourite Djokovic, organizers Tennis Australia said.
The Serbian player, who was at the centre of a storm of controversy over his COVID-19 vaccination status at last year’s Australian Open, has not commented on the incident and his spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A video emerged on social media showed a fan on the steps of Rod Laver Arena holding up a Russian flag with the image of President Vladimir Putin on it.
Photos also showed one fan with a large “Z” on his shirt. Russian forces have used the letter as an identifying symbol on their vehicles in Ukraine following their invasion. Some supporters of the invasion have also used the sign.
Srdjan Djokovic was seen in some posts posing with the Russian supporters.
Australian Open organizers on Thursday issued a reminder to players and their entourages about their policy on flags after the video of Djokovic’s father emerged.
On Friday, Tennis Australia said they “continue to strive for the safety of fans at the event and reiterate our position banning flags from Belarus and Russia.”
Russian and Belarusian athletes are able to compete as individual athletes without national affiliation at the Australian Open, though their flags are banned from the tournament grounds after a complaint by Ukraine’s ambassador last week.
Djokovic was deported on the eve of the tournament last year for not being vaccinated against COVID-19 and received a three-year Australian travel ban.
That ban was rescinded in November, allowing him to compete this year.
Djokovic will continue his bid for a record-extending 10th Australian Open title and 22nd Grand Slam crown to match Rafa Nadal when he takes on unseeded American Tommy Paul in their semi-final later on Friday.
Falcons hire defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen from Saints
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons found their new defensive coordinator from an NFC South rival’s coaching staff on Friday by hiring Ryan Nielsen, the former New Orleans Saints co-defensive coordinator.
Nielsen replaces Dean Pees, 73, who retired on Jan. 9 following two seasons in charge of the defense on coach Arthur Smith’s staff.
The Falcons also announced three defensive assistants will not return next season: defensive line coach Gary Emanuel, outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino and secondary coach Jon Hoke.
Nielsen will be reunited with Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot, who worked 18 years with the Saints before he was hired by Atlanta in 2021.
Nielsen, 43, interviewed with the Falcons on Tuesday. He had worked on the Saints’ staff since 2017 and was the defensive line coach this season.
Nielsen’s success with the Saints’ pass rush may have impressed Fontenot. The Falcons ranked 31st with only 21 sacks this season after having the league’s fewest sacks in 2021. Atlanta ranked 27th in total defense, allowing 362.1 yards per game while finishing 7-10.
The Saints have recorded 282 sacks since Nielsen joined the staff in 2017, the second-most in the league during that span. New Orleans finished in the top 10 in sacks in five of the six seasons. The Saints finished in the top four in rushing defence in four of the last five years.
In Nielsen’s six seasons working with the Saints’ defensive line, Cameron Jordan became the first New Orleans defensive lineman to be named a first-team All-Pro. Jordan also earned two second-team All-Pro honors and was named to five Pro Bowls.
Nielson was a defensive assistant and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina State from 2013-16. He also coached at Northern Illinois, Tennessee-Martin, Central Connecticut State, Mississippi, Idaho and Southern California.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
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