Japan’s upset of Germany in Group E was the big result Wednesday in Qatar, where World Cup group play continued. The Japanese scored two second-half goals to stun the 2014 champions, 2-1. Spain, the 2010 champion, avoided a similar fate against Costa Rica in the other Group E game, winning, 7-0. Croatia, a 2018 finalist, began the day with a scoreless draw with Morocco in the Group F opener, and Belgium concluded the slate with a 1-0 victory in the other Group F game against Canada, which was making its first World Cup appearance since 1986.
World Cup in Qatar
World champions: Argentina has won the World Cup, defeating France in penalty kicks in a thrilling final in Lusail, Qatar, for its first world championship since 1986. Argentina was led by global soccer star Lionel Messi in what is expected to be his final World Cup appearance. France was bidding to become the first repeat champion since Brazil won consecutive trophies in 1958 and 1962.
Today’s WorldView: In the minds of many critics, especially in the West, Qatar’s World Cup will always be a tournament shrouded in controversy. But Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, wants people to take another view.
Perspective: “America is not a men’s soccer laughingstock right now. It’s onto something, and it’s more attuned to what’s working for the rest of the world rather than stubbornly forcing an American sports culture — without the benefit of best-of-the-best talent — into international competition.” Read Jerry Brewer on the U.S. men’s national team’s future.