Brazil may be one of the favourites to wn the tournament, but they were put through the wringer by a defensively strong Serbia in the closing match of day five. Richarlison proved to be Brazil’s hero, scoring two goals - including a stunning bicycle kick - to take the 2-0 win.
There was high drama earlier in the day as Portugal defeated Ghana 3-2 in an action-packed finale to their match. Meanwhile, Switzerland recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Cameroon in Group G, while Uruguay and South Korea was another goalless draw.
Follow the latest in our live blog, including reports from our football reporter Rahman Osman in Qatar...
World Cup 2022 - news and reaction
What does day five have in store?
We see another eight nations get their World Cup campaigns under way today, so we’ll have a better idea of where every team is.
So far, among the favourites, England, France and Spain have started strongly, while Argentina and Germany have faltered badly.
One of the outright favourites to win the World Cup, Brazil, take on Serbia tonight, so we’ll see how they cope with the pressure.
A certain Cristiano Ronaldo will also be in action when Portugal take on Ghana. His team-mate Bruno Fernandes has already said Portugal are 100% focused on the tournament, but the question remains whether an ageing Ronaldo will be a help or hindrance to them this time.
Germany avoid punishment over gesture
Germany’s players will not face any disciplinary action from FIFA after taking the OneLove armband protest to a new level as their players covered their mouths during a team photo at the World Cup.
The move marked another day of tension between the seven European nations who supported the OneLove campaign and FIFA, with the group – which includes the English and Welsh FAs – exploring their legal options over the matter.
Speaking about the ‘covered mouths’ gesture after his side’s 2-1 defeat to Japan, Germany coach Hansi Flick said: “It was a sign, a message that we wanted to send out. We wanted to convey the message that FIFA is silencing us.”
The German gesture could have prompted disciplinary action from FIFA under Article 11 of its disciplinary code. It states that anyone “using a sports event for demonstrations of a non-sporting nature” may be sanctioned.
FIFA has yet to comment on what the German team did, but it is understood there will be no formal disciplinary action from the governing body.
A tweet from the German federation read: “We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.
“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”
There is a risk though of the German gesture being an isolated one.
Switzerland are also part of the OneLove group, but their captain Granit Xhaka indicated his team would not stage a similar protest ahead of their opening match against Cameroon on Thursday.
Wales fans banned from drinking
A World Cup party has been cancelled after Qatari authorities “imposed” changes to restrict alcohol sales, organisers said. Fan charity Gol Cymru was looking to build on the success of its parties held either side of Wales’ opening World Cup game against the USA with a second round of events for Friday’s fixture with Iran.
But they said they were told at the last minute of new conditions preventing alcohol sales before 12pm, leading to them cancelling their pre-match event at the InterContinental Doha hotel, in the West Bay area of the city.
The Wales Football Supporters’ Association’s fan embassy later noted Friday is a holy day and “no alcohol before midday” is allowed.
Wales’ crunch group B fixture against Iran kicks off at 1pm Qatari time, 10am in the UK, at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.
ITV pundit reveals family tragedy forced her to leave World Cup coverage
An ITV pundit has revealed that she was forced off air during a World Cup match after learning that her mother had died.
Nadia Nadim, a former Manchester City forward, was part of the broadcaster’s coverage for the goalless draw between Denmark and Tunisia on Tuesday (22 November) afternoon. But the 34-year-old Denmark international was absent from the panel at the final whistle, with host Mark Pougatch telling viewers that she had been forced to leave.
On Wednesday, Nadim revealed that she had been forced to leave the game after discovering that her mother had died after a road accident. She said: “Words cannot describe what I’m feeling.”
The politics of Brazil’s yellow shirt
Brazil will wear their iconic yellow shirt when they play Serbia tonight.
While it is synonymous with the nation’s footballing glory, an unlikely connection has been made to Brazil’s outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro. So why is the canary yellow shirt connected to the former president, and could the connection to the far-right politician turn the national team off it altogether?
Here’s an explainer on the politics behind the yellow shirt.
Switzerland win their opener
Switzerland have edged a 1-0 win over Cameroon in their opening Group G game, through a goal from Monaco striker Breel Embolo.
It puts the Swiss in a strong position in their tough group that also includes Brazil and Serbia, who play tonight.
Another day, another goalless draw at the World Cup - that's four already and we're only on day five!
Neither Uruguay or South Korea were able to break the deadlock in their Group G encounter, after Switzerland raced to the top of the group earlier today with a 1-0 win over Cameroon.
Next up, all eyes will be on now free agent Cristiano Ronaldo as Portugal face Ghana in their opener, before Brazil and Serbia round off the day's action in tonight's 7pm kick-off.
In the meantime...
We’re now at the halfway stage of today’s football fiesta, and it’s almost time for the latest instalment of ‘The Cristiano Ronaldo Show’, mercifully sans Piers Morgan on this ocassion.
In the meantime, our writer Rahman Osman is in Qatar providing coverage of the World Cup for NationalWorld.
Check out his latest diary entry, where he takes to Qatar’s underground to ride the rails.
What a finale to Portugal v Ghana
In perhaps the most entertaining match of the Qatar World Cup so far, Portugal have emerged victorious with a 3-2 win over Ghana.
The first half was unremarkable but the second half (and 10 minutes of injury time) was crazy, with goals, bust-ups and a goalkeeping blunder that almost gave the Black Stars an equaliser at the death.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty also means he’s the first ever player to score at five World Cups. No matter your views on the controversial superstar, that’s some achievement.
Richarlison saves Brazil’s night
Brazil were hoping to get off to a flying start in their World Cup campaign, and they have Richarlison to thank for their 2-0 win over Serbia.
A hot favourite to take home the trophy, Brazil were stumped in the first half as they faced with a defensively strong Serbia. Good interceptions and blocks stopped any probing Brazilian shots.
Serbia themselves had some good attempts at goal, however none landed for the team in the way they would have wanted.
It wasn’t until the second half that young star Richarlison fired home two excellent goals.
The first came in the 62nd minute, as Richarlison capatliased on a rebounded Vinicius Jnr shot.
However, arguably the moment of the match and possibly the goal of the tournament so far, came in the 73rd minute. Richarlison was taken by surprise with a sudden cross in by Vinicius Jnr, but handled it beautifully as he transitioned into the perfect overhead bicycle kick.
Richarlison’s heroics have given his team a win against a decent Serbia side to kick off their World Cup campaign, but can they go all the way and lift the trophy?