Japan beat four-time champions Germany 2-1 to add their names to the shocking World Cup shortlist, a day after Saudi Arabia beat Argentina.
A 7-0 win over Costa Rica, 2018 finalists Croatia were beaten 0-0 by Morocco and Belgium also got off to a tough start with a 1-0 win over Canada.
There was good news for England though, as captain Harry Kane looked fit for Friday’s Group B clash with the United States after training with the rest of the squad.
Here, the PA news agency reviews the main topics of the fourth day of the competition.
Japan beat Germany in historic upset
Japan coach Anki Mori described his side’s 2-1 victory over Germany in the Group E opener as the greatest achievement in Japanese football history.
Germany took the lead in the second half through Ilkay Gundogan’s 33rd-minute penalty, but Japanese substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano, who were in Germany for Freiburg and Bochum respectively, caused a huge upset with their late goals.
Asked afterwards if he thought it was the greatest achievement in Japanese football history, Moriyasu told a news conference: “Yes, I believe it is a historic moment, a historic victory to say the least. .”
Spain’s top seven
Spain beat Costa Rica 7-0 in their Group E opener for their biggest ever World Cup victory.
Penalties from Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Ferran Torres gave Spain a 3-0 lead in 31 minutes before Torres scored his second to add Peacekeeping substitutes Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morato completed the rout.
Spain ripped off their biggest previous World Cup victory, raising expectations that the 2010 champions will once again challenge for major prizes.
big gun falters
Belgium’s star-studded squad looked set to go further in the Championship, but they struggled in their Group F opener against Canada as Mitch Batshuayi’s goal before half-time gave them a narrow lead win.
Canada missed a first-half penalty – Alfonso Davies’ weak shot was saved – two other appeals were contested and had 22 shots at the Ahmed Ben Ali Stadium .
Croatia’s attempt to emulate what they did at the World Cup four years ago also began with a frustrating Group F stalemate against Morocco.
Kane Fitness Boost
Harry Kane gave England a huge boost as he trained with the rest of the squad on Wednesday in preparation for Friday’s Group B clash with the United States.
Kane’s fitness has been in doubt after he injured his ankle in Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran, but the England captain, who is due to undergo a scan, appears fit and is expected to train again on Thursday.
Harry Maguire, who also trained on Wednesday, was unwell against Iran but James Maddison was again sidelined while recovering from a knee injury.
germany avoids sanctions
Germany will not be disciplined by FIFA for covering their mouths in a photo before their game against Japan, the Pennsylvania Press has learned.
Tensions between the seven European countries behind the OneLove movement and FIFA continued to simmer, with the federation refusing to comment on whether England would follow Germany’s stance ahead of their match against the United States.
The FA is working with its Danish and German counterparts to explore its legal options in the matter after FIFA threatened to yellow-card captains who plan to wear OneLove armbands at games to promote diversity and inclusion.
picture of the day
who is the next?
Group G: Switzerland v Cameroon (1000, ITV1)
Group H: Uruguay v South Korea (1300, BBC1)
Group H: Portugal v Ghana (1600, ITV1)
Group G: Brazil v Serbia (1900, BBC1)