Talking points: FIFA WC 2022 part 5
Welcome back to my blog, and today I will be talking about all the matches that have taken place these past few days. Trying to review each match has been slightly challenging due to two matches being played at one time, but I’ve tried my best. Let’s get started.
Netherlands 2 Qatar 0
For the following 4 matches, I was able to watch both matches with the same kick-off at the same time due to the blessing of being able to be at the FIFA Fan Festival in Doha’s Corniche. All 4 were played on pretty large screens, so I was able to catch each match’s significant moments which makes it slightly easier for me to review on the match. Netherlands were clearly in control of this match, and despite Qatar’s attempts to fight back, the Oranje cruised to a first place finish as well as a date with the USA for the Ro16. While the USA are a nation on the rise, they are definitely a far more palatable opponent than England, so good job to Netherlands for persevering and getting the three points.
Senegal 2 Ecuador 1
This was slightly disappointing, as I had been rooting for Ecuador to go through. Senegal have been surprisingly resilient despite the loss of Sadio Mane, which unfortunately makes me look a total fool given my prediction that they would finish 3rd. However, it was a deserved win for the African nation, and redemption for being knocked out on fair play record in 2018. Both goals were decent and deserved, and Ecuador could do nothing to stop them. In the end, Senegal had more fight and determination, which led to Ecuador’s elimination.
USA 1 Iran 0
This was a battle of defensive resilience and mental fortitude, rather than a battle of footballing talent. A moment of brilliance from Christian Pulisic & Co. was overshadowed by his tragic injury, which puts the USA on the backfoot for their clash against Netherlands. The fact they made it out ahead of a tatically astute Iran itself is something to celebrate, but their star player’s injury makes it hard to do so. Iran, meanwhile, will feel slightly cheated out of their Ro16 spot given they have played better than the USA in all matches except against England.
England 3 Wales 0
England were back to their glorious best in this match, as they trashed neighbours Wales 3 goals to none in what was a thrilling match. Watching Marcus Rashford this match was a joy, and seeing him score that free kick was an iconic moment for me. Simply world-class, and nothing anyone says can change my mind. This is what he is capable of, and hopefully a positive World Cup can boost his club form. Phil Foden’s goal was a great one as well, and he should be starting for the rest of the tournament. The changes in the side were well thought-out by Southgate, and England deserved to finish first. Wales, meanwhile, were a mess. They were meek and toothless against a revitalised England defence, and their tournament came to a ruthless end with this defeat.
Australia 1 Denmark 0
I’m not commenting on the previous match, as Didier Deschamps clearly did not care about the result, playing Camavinga at left-back as well as Guenduozi on the left wing for a while. No idea why he played France’s B team for this match, but let’s move on. Australia fully deserved this win, and they were electric throughout the night. Denmark have been a shadow of themselves this tournament, and my prediction of them finishing first is something I have come to regret now. The Aussies were spectacular, and kept Denmark at bay with ease. They will probably get knocked out by Argentina, but getting out of the group stage itself is a great achievement. Hats off to you, Australia!
Argentina 2 Poland 0
Poland were dreadful. Argentina ran rounds around the Poles, and the Polish are lucky they’ve gone through. The ironic thing is this group has been decided by Saudi Arabia. Their goal ensured Mexico were out. Argentina were pretty decent through out this match, and deserve top spot. Messi missed a penalty though, so some may be worried on his confidence levels and ability for the knockouts, but I feel he will come clutch in the latter stages.
Mexico 2 Saudi Arabia 1
What a sad tale for Mexico. They were at their very best this game, and should have been that way for all 3 matches. They left too much to do too late, which is why they’ve been knocked out. That Saudi Arabia goal further confined them to a sorrow fate, and in the end, Poland have truly lucked out in qualification.
That’s all for this article, do look out for my next article coming out very soon. Hopefully I return to posting daily for the knockouts, but for now I will probably review the matches in this style. Do let me know what else I can focus on in these articles, and till next time, adios!