The controversial FIFA winter football spectacle in the desert finally kicked off last Sunday afternoon with hosts Qatar losing 2-0 to Ecuador.
The other Group A match played on Monday had underwhelming Holland beat Senegal 2-0 with two late goals. Euphoric England thrashed underdogs Iran 6-2 to open Group B proceedings as Wales and the USA fought out a 1-1 draw.
Tuesday’s action saw unconsidered Saudi Arabia cause one of the biggest upsets in tournament history by overturning Lionel Messi-led title co-favourites Argentina 2-1 while Mexico and Poland shared a goalless stalemate in the other Group C match.
Reigning world champions France did not appear to miss injured Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema in recording a comfortable 4-1 win over Australia. Also in Group D, the Tunisia v Denmark tie failed to produce a goal.
On Wednesday, Germany, Spain (both Group E), Belgium and Croatia (Group F) entered the fray (played after the Resident went to press) before Thursday eagerly awaited debuts for Portugal (v Ghana) and Brazil (v Serbia).
By SKIP BANDELE