Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon
Cameroon took on Switzerland to start the last day of MD-1. African teams Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia all failed to win or even score a single goal. Cameroon were determined to change the continent's fortunes against Europe representative Switzerland. Cameroon and Bayern Munich forward Maxim Choupo-Moting had a couple of chances during the first half as Cameroon were in control.
Switzerland remained calm at the start of the second half and absorbed Cameroon’s surge of attacks before mounting a counterattack to score in the 48th minute. Xherdan Shaqiri set up Breel Embolo (who is from Cameroonian origins) to score the match's only goal. Switzerland and Cameroon shared possession until the end of the match, each creating decent chances but without success.
Brazil 2-0 Serbia
Serbia made it to the World Cup by going unbeaten in their qualification group (which included Portugal), and they did not make the first half a walk in the park for tournament-favorites Brazil. While the Brazilians had several breakthroughs to score, the Serbian defences were not yet ready to concede.
As the curtains began to fall on the final 45 minutes of MD-1, Brazil’s all stars shifted into 5th gear until Richarlison finally translated Samba soccer into the first goal of the match. Eleven minutes later, Richarlison one-upped himself, scoring what is arguably the best goal of MD-1, and what could possibly prove to be the best goal of this entire tournament. I’ll let the footage speak for itself.
A couple of minutes later, all-stars (Neymar may be injured) made way for all-stars as Rodrygo, Gabriel Jesus, Antony and Martinelli came on to continue to dance the samba around the Serbian players until the final whistle.
Uruguay 0-0 South Korea
Uruguay and South Korea delivered probably the most entertaining goalless match in the history of football. There was almost no moment without excitement in this game that featured the return of masked Heung-Min Son.
On the other side, the quality of Uruguay’s players was at a top level and they were closest to scoring, with Diego Godin’s header the hitting the bottom of the post and Federico Valverde unleashing a rocket in the 90th minute.
Portugal 3-2 Ghana
At the end of the first half, the Portugal v Ghana match seemed poised to continue the trend towards clean sheets on MD-1. The first 45’ ended without goals, even though over 60% of possession belonged to Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.
Nothing changed in the first twenty minutes of the second half, but then like a dormant volcano the game erupted with goals. Ronaldo earned a penalty in the 65th minute which he converted himself, rattling the net to become the first player to score in five different World Cups.
Eight minutes later Danilo Pereira missed a crucial clearance, allowing Ghana’s captain Andre Ayew to score the leveler — the first African goal in this edition of the World Cup. Unlike Argentina and Germany, Portugal’s players were not panicked at having conceded, and calmly regained the lead with a well-placed shot by Joao Felix off of Bruno Fernandes’ assist in the 78th minute. Bruno played helper again just two minutes later, setting up substitute Rafael Leao to slide an easy one into the back of the net.
Perhaps inspired by Saudi Arabia and Japan, and hopeful for the possibility of a long added time, Osman Bukari forced Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa to pay for a mistake in 89th minute, scoring Ghana’s second to put the game back within reach.
During the 9 minutes of added time, Diogo Costa met yet another mistake, releasing the ball on the ground despite the presence of a Ghanaian player behind him. If not for his teammates’ timely intervention, Portugal could have missed out on the important three points.