The World Cup group stage has come to an end and so too has the entire tournament as far as Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez is concerned.
Today at the World Cup
Finally, our boy Darwin produced a worthy performance, working hard, leading the line and being involved in winding up Ghanaian players. Alas, it was to no avail.
- Uruguay finally found their shooting boots and put Ghana to the sword, winning 2-0 to move into second in the group…until the last few minutes
- Then the South Americans’ place was taken in dramatic fashion by South Korea, who came from behind to sneak an injury time winner against Portugal to go through
- Brazil changed a whole load of players and stuttered to a defeat to Cameroon in their final game, still top of Group G
- And in the one which really mattered, a madcap first half saw Serbia and Switzerland trade strikes twice before Breel Embolo won the points and the progress for the Swiss
Darwin Nunez started all three games for La Celeste, but he was subbed off – along with ex-Red Luis Suarez – for the last few minutes when Uruguay suddenly learned they needed another goal to progress.
It wouldn’t come, so his first World Cup experience ends early, but at least he put in a more vibrant and effective performance this time around after two quiet outings. No goals, however.
Another former Liverpool player was excellent, in centre-back Sebastian Coates.
Son Heung-min has often played the hero at international level but he was the provider this time for South Korea’s very late victory. Three Asian nations into the last 16, a remarkable achievement for the region.
For Brazil, the only notable matters to point out from a Reds perspective is that Fabinho finally saw some action, starting the game, while Alisson was rested in goal. Props to Cameroon though, who would have gone through had the other game finished in a draw.
The real madness of the night came as Serbia fell behind, took the lead, let it slip before the break and lost the game immediately after. For such a powerful side, finishing bottom is a massive disappointment.
Xherdan Shaqiri scored his customary World Cup goal and the Swiss are into the last 16 again. If he plays in that game he’ll be the joint-second all-time most capped player in national team history.
Enzo Fernandez is one of the (many, many) names apparently in the frame as a Liverpool midfield target in 2023.
And he’s even available in January, reports Portuguese media – as long as sides are willing to pay Benfica his release clause.
That stands at a monstrous €120m (£103m), and while we’ve heard the release clause argument a few million times before, it rarely seems to be paid in the end.
Still, Record do say that Benfica believe him to be the player who will set a new high fee for an Argentinian player, which while niche, is very high – currently €90m for Gonzalo Higuain.
Liverpool, the Spanish pair, the Manchester pair and others are all noted as the “sharks” hoping to sign him just months after he moved from River Plate to Portugal.
Latest Liverpool FC news
- Trent Alexander-Arnold has admitted he’s gutted for Sadio Mane to not be involved in Senegal’s knockout game, even though it boosts England’s chances of progression
- Jurgen Klopp‘s agent has smashed any speculation that the boss might leave Anfield right out of the park. No chance he departs without fulfilling his contract, and that’s that
- And talented young Reds forward Kaide Gordon is finally ready to get back out on the grass after being sidelined for months with injury, as he steps up his comeback
Something you may have missed…
The thing about this World Cup is that inanimate objects are increasingly bad and must be destroyed.
El que se fue tranquilo con el VAR fue Cavani pic.twitter.com/Gi27gOOP0Z
— FeFe (@FeFeTheOriginal) December 2, 2022
Lukaku to join Misfits 004? ? pic.twitter.com/tUrHjTQ9hb
— ksi (@KSI) December 1, 2022
Saturday’s matches and LFC aspects
- 3pm: Netherlands vs USA
- 7pm: Argentina vs Australia
That’s it, the group stage is over! From now it’s all or nothing every single 90 minutes.
First up is Virgil van Dijk, leading his somewhat undercooked Oranje into battle against USA. It should be a very intriguing game – then it’s potentially the aforementioned Enzo back in action against the Socceroos.
How are those pre-tournament predictions panning out?!