WORLD CUP WATCH

Published September 25, 2022

MIAMI GARDENS (Florida): Argentina’s Lionel Messi (L) shoots on goal during the international friendly against Honduras at the Hard Rock Stadium on Friday. Messi’s expertly-taken double helped seal a comprehensive 3-0 win for Argentina as the World Cup-bound team continued to fine-tune its game ahead of the upcoming international tournament in Qatar. The Argentina captain scored a goal in each half, his opener doubling the lead given to Lionel Scaloni’s team by Lautaro Martinez early on. Argentina haven’t lost in 34 matches heading into Tuesday’s game against Jamaica in New York. Two-time World Cup champions Argentina are among the favourites to win it all in Qatar and play their first group stage match against Saudi Arabia on Nov 22.—AFP

LE HARVE: Brazil’s Richarlison (L) vies for the ball with Ghana’s Andre Ayew during their international friendly at the Oceane Stadium on Friday. Richarlison struck twice as Brazil showcased their World Cup credentials by putting on an attacking masterclass in a 3-0 victory. Marquinhos headed Brazil in front from a corner and Richarlison doubled the lead before the half-hour. The Tottenham Hotspur striker nodded in a third on 40 minutes. Brazil’s first-half performance gave fans plenty of reason to be excited by a young team heading into the World Cup when they will bid for a record-extending sixth title. Brazil play Tunisia in Paris on Tuesday, their last game before their World Cup Group ‘G’ opener against Serbia on Nov 24. Fellow World Cup contestants Ghana, meanwhile, head to Spain to face Nicaragua.—AFP

MURCIA (Spain): Ecuador’s Moises Caicedo (L) vies for the ball with Saudi Arabia’s Salem Al-Dawsari during their international friendly at the Estadio Nueva Condomina on Friday. The match between the two World Cup finalists ended in a goalless draw.—Reuters

BARCELONA: Morocco’s Sofiane Boufal shoots to score from a penalty kick during their international friendly against Chile at the Cornella-El Prat Stadium on Friday. Boufal’s penalty and a debut goal from Abdelhamid Sabiri gave new Morocco coach Walid Regragui a 2-0 win in the first of two warm-up games in Spain for the World Cup-bound side, who next meet Paraguay in Seville on Tuesday.—AFP

VIENNA: Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb makes a save during the international friendly against Canada at Estadio Franz Horr on Friday. First-half goals from Cyle Larin and Jonathan David helped World Cup-bound Canada to a comfortable 2-0 win over the tournament hosts. Canada, who last appeared at the World Cup in 1986, play Uruguay in a friendly on Tuesday and Qatar next face Chile.—Reuters

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2022

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