The FIFA World Cup of Qatar group stage has been great, decent, and emotional for five LAFC players. The tournament began last week on Sunday, November 20, and all thirty-two national teams played their second group matches. Tomorrow group stage matchday three will be entertaining because it will determine which two teams will move to the next round and which two teams will be eliminated. So let’s look at Los Angeles FC players Sebas Mendez, Diego Palacios, Jose Cifuentes, Kellyn Acosta, and Gareth Bale nations and if they played for their country in the last two games.
Ecuador Cruising the Group Stage
Ecuador national football starts the group stage well after beating the host Qatar 2-0. Before the tournament, no one expected La Tri to start the World Cup with a victory. Enner Valencia had a disallowed goal in the opening minutes. But that did not stop Valencia from scoring. Ecuador’s top goalscorer scored two goals in the first match.
Five days later, Ecuador drew against Netherlands 1-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium. After a decent first half despite losing when Cody Gakpo scored a banger. Ecuador again had a disallowed goal before Valencia scored his third goal of the tournament. LAFC player Sebas Mendez played two full 90 minutes, but he will miss the game against Senegal for receiving one yellow card each game. Therefore, could that mean Jose Cifuentes starts tomorrow and makes an impact? In addition, Palacios has yet to get any minutes in the tank.
Ecuador has four points, and a win or draw versus the champions of Africa tomorrow sends them into the knock rounds. After that, La Tri could face either England, the United States, or Iran. On the other hand, a defeat to Senegal sends Ecuador out of the competition.
U.S.A and Bales Wales in Jeopardy,
The United States did not start the World Cup in style as they drew versus Wales 1-1 and England 0-0.
The Stars and Stripes dominated the first half but lacked an end product. Tim Weah finally got on the scoresheet after a pass over the top by Christian Pulisic. In the second half, Wales took over, looking to notch their first World Cup goal in 64 years. The moment arrived when former LAFC player Walker Zimmerman tackled Bale in the box. After the foul, Bale stepped up to take the penalty and scored his first World Cup goal. Ultimately, both teams had to share a point and continue to their next game.
Talking about the next game, the United States drew with England at the Al Bayt Stadium. This game was a massive test for the U.S., but they failed to execute despite being the more dominant side. Kellyn Acosta replaced Yunus Musah in the 74th minute; he did not make a difference over Wales. Also, he did not start or come on as a substitute against England.
Tomorrow is now or never for the United States as they face Iran. A loss or draw means no chance to advance to the round of 16 for the Stars and Stripes. Meanwhile, Wales needs a miracle over England following a defeat to Iran last Friday. Bale started the game versus Iran, but he could have had a better performance.
In the end, the LAFC supporters want to see their players perform on the biggest stage and see them succeed throughout the whole tournament.