Qatar’s men’s FIFA World Cup kicked off

    The GIST: ICYMI, Qatar’s men’s FIFA World Cup kicked off yesterday with a lavish opening ceremony featuring emcee Morgan Freeman, K-pop star Jungkook and soldiers on camels. Our takeaway? Money can buy you an all-star opening act, but it can’t buy you a winning soccer team…

    Day 1 recap: No. 50 Qatar opened the tournament with a 2–0 loss to No. 44 Ecuador in their first-ever World Cup appearance — the first time a host has ever lost an opening match in men’s World Cup history. How fitting.

    • Dark horse Ecuador fought back after their tournament-opening goal was surprisingly called back. Captain Enner Valencia (who once faked an injury to avoid arrest over unpaid child support) scored a brace to put Ecuador at the top of Group A (for now).

    Day 2 preview: Grab a hot cuppa and settle in for No. 5 England vs. No. 20 Iran today at 8 a.m. ET, followed by No. 8 Netherlands vs. dancing kings No. 18 Senegal at 11 a.m. ET.

    • Then it’s finally time for the No. 16 USMNT’s return to the World Cup against No. 19 Wales at 2 p.m. ET. After missing the 2018 edition, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

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