The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has been a rollercoaster ride. It has been a tournament full of upsets and upside-down results in matches. The quarterfinals of this year’s global showpiece are no different.
The quarterfinals included giants Brazil, Argentina, England, France, and Portugal. It also had black horses in Morocco and Croatia. Yes, Croatia was the runner-up of 2018 FIFA, but no one expected Luka Modric’s team to reach the quarterfinals this time round; after all, they did get thrashed by France back then.
FIFA 2022 Quarterfinal results
Brazil 1-1 Croatia; Croatia wins 4-2 on penalties
The quarterfinals kicked off with Brazil facing off Croatia. Brazil had been the fan favorite worldwide to win the tournament this year; hence, Neymar’s team was expected to win the match.
But as the saying goes, a good attack wins you games, but a great defense will win you tournaments. Croatia managed to hold on to an attack comprising Neymar, Vinicus Jr, and Richardson. They stood like an iron wall and forced the match into extra 30 minutes.
Neymar had scored a goal in extra time, igniting hope for Brazil, but Croatia made a comeback and equalized the game, ending the match in a draw and pushing for a penalty shootout. Croatia’s Livankovic stood as the hero after Croatia won against Brazil on penalties.
Argentina 2-2 Netherlands; Argentina wins 4-3 on penalties
This was followed by a heated Argentina against the Netherlands match, which ended up a draw even after Messi scored and was unfruitful in the extra 30 minutes of time provided. Hence, after 120 minutes of playtime, it was pushed for penalties.
The first penalty for the Argentine front was taken by Messi successfully, and following his lead, the Argentine front won against the European side to jump into the semi-finals. The match became so heated that it recorded 17 yellow cards throughout the game.
Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Morocco had been the dark horse of this tournament ever since the group stage results came out, and they were clashing with Portugal in their battle for the semi-finals. Cristiano Ronaldo was benched for the second time in this faceoff after getting dropped off in their match against Switzerland.
But his absence was soon felt after Morocco took an early lead, followed by a defense-first approach, and stood like an iron wall. After all, the match was made for a veteran forward like Cristiano. Morocco had remained undefeated throughout the tournament and drawing only once. They have also not conceded a single goal by any opposing team.
Their only conceded goal was an own goal. And so, Ronaldo danced his last match in a World Cup, being substituted in the second half, he failed to make much difference and impact. He was seen walking out of the pitch alone with tears in his eyes after losing 1-0 to the underdogs in Morocco.
France 2-1 England; Kane misses penalty
The final match of the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup was a clash of giants. It was Kane’s England against the defending champions, France. Both teams were equally matched in the action-packed match, but one was not like the other.
Despite similar stats, one dominated the attack and pushed forward, while the other played on counters and was forced to defend. Despite having an all-out attack promise and anti-Mbappe plan, the English team forgot that France had many outstanding strikers.
With the final goal from Oliver Giroud and two assists from Griezmann, France lodged a victory of 2-1 against England, for who Harry Kane could only score one out of the two penalties awarded, missing the other in such a crucial match.
FIFA 2022 Semifinal fixtures
The semi-finals are set to play between Messi-led Argentina against Modric’s Croatia in Lusail Stadium this Wednesday, along with the second semi-final unfolding in the Al Bayt Stadium between the defending champion, France, against the underdog team of Morocco on Thursday.