The second round of FIFA World Cup 2022 saw some thrilling battles, tiebreakers, and goal-flourishing matches. Eight teams have reached the quarter-finals after crossing the barrier of the last sixteen. The Netherlands, Argentina, Croatia, Brazil, France, England, Morocco, and Portugal made it to the last eight after winning the pre-quarterfinals. After 56 matches of the World Cup, 24 teams have left. In the group stage, the underdogs, who are behind in strength and ability, have seen incredible victories; now, all but one match in the last sixteen have been won by all the favorite teams. Let’s take a look at the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup quarter-final overview.
World Cup 2022 Quarter Final Schedule
Table: FIFA World Cup 2022 Quarter Final Schedule
|Croatia vs Brazil||Friday, December 9, 9 PM|
|Netherlands vs Argentina||Saturday, December 10, 1 AM|
|Morocco vs Portugal||Saturday, December 10, 9 PM|
|England vs France||Sunday, December 11, 1 AM|
FIFA World Cup 2022 Quarter Final Matches Overview
There are no games on Wednesday and Thursday in the World Cup. Brazil will take on last year’s runner-up Croatia in the first quarter-final at 9:00 PM on Friday. After this match, the Netherlands vs Argentina match will start at 1 AM Saturday. Morocco vs Portugal and England vs France will take place the next day.
Croatia vs Brazil
Brazil, who won the World Cup five times, is one of the favorites this time. Last season’s runners-up Croatia will be their next challenge in their bid to improve their record. But this is not the first time. The two countries have faced each other twice before on the World Cup stage.
The statistics showed that overall, Brazil met Croatia four times, and Brazil won three of the four matches in total; a match was drawn. Although Brazil is ahead in terms of statistics and power, this world has been very unpredictable from the beginning.
The failure to finish in all three matches of the group stage burned Brazil. However, Vinicius has gained traction in the round of 16. The Real star has not only fooled South Korea with his great flashes of speed and dribbling but also scored a goal too.
So, Croatia will have to plan their strategy to stop Vini jr. Richarlison is also in full form. He had already proved his skill in the group stage by scoring two goals against Serbia. Now he has another goal to his game in the round of 16. And Croatia will likely have a plan for Richarlison.
Casemiro will once again lead the way in midfield. However, he became the man of the match by scoring the only winning goal against Switzerland. While Casemiro saves the midfield, don’t miss a chance to score if he gets the ball. So, he will be a silent threat to Croatia.
Neymar saw the goal in his return from injury in the last match. The Brazilian star scored the goal from the penalty spot in the 4-1 win against South Korea in the last sixteen. In 2014, he scored two goals in a 3-1 group-stage win over Croatia. So, this time will surely give his best.
On the other hand, Croatia only managed to score against Canada in this World Cup but failed to score any goals against Morocco and Belgium. The team had reached the last sixteen twice in the last five seasons before reaching the final at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Their best achievements are the semi-finals in 1998 and the World Cup final four years ago. This year they reached the quarter-final by beating Japan in Penalties.
So, the fans really haven’t gotten enough chance to see Croatian playmakers. But Croatians will have to play with maximum effort. The match will not be the quarter-final but the Qatar World Cup final for Croatia. Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, and Ivan Perisic will have to make a difference to stop Brazil.
Netherlands vs Argentina
Overall, Argentina and Netherlands met nine times in international football. In all 9 matches, the Dutch won 4 matches, 2 matches ended in a draw, and lost to Argentina 3 times. However, both countries are equal in World Cup statistics. Out of 5 World Cup meetings, Argentina won 2, lost 2, and drew 1. The Dutch also have 2 wins, 2 losses, and a draw.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands has not lost a single match in the World Cup in Qatar. The first match of the group stage was a 2-0 win over Senegal. Louis van Gaal’s boys split the point in the second match with a 1-1 draw with Ecuador and got a 2-0 win with Qatar in the third match. A 3-1 win over the USA in the pre-quarterfinals proved they are in no way behind in the title race.
Argentina, on the other hand, started their trip to Qatar with a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia. Then they won against Mexico and Poland by the same margin of 2-0 goals. Messi confirmed the quarter with a 2-1 victory against Australia in the last sixteen matches.
In this World Cup, Argentina’s attack is exactly the opposite of their defense. Being said that, Argentina has one of the poor defenses in the tournament. Therefore, a win against the Dutch won’t be easy if they can’t fix that flaw before the quarter-finals.
However, Argentina has bad news ahead of the quarter-final. Argentinian media “Clarin” and “Mundo Albiceleste” reported that Rodrigo Di Paul felt discomfort in the hamstring of his right leg. Hence, his start against the Netherlands is uncertain. De Paul has been the ultimate guard in the midfield.
However, intensive efforts are underway to rehabilitate The Paul. The good news is Di Maria will join the squad against the Netherlands. Nicolas Otamendi and Emiliano Martinez are the two most important players to watch for Argentina.
Like Argentina, the Netherlands’ World Cup is filled with history. Although the team has not won any title yet, it has played in three finals and twice in the semi-finals. The Netherlands lost to Argentina in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals. Many people think that they will be ready to take that revenge.
Apparently, if we keep Messi aside, the Netherlands will be a more balanced team than Argentina. Also, Van Gaal is getting a fully fit squad in the next match. Cody Gakpo will be the trump card for the Netherlands, as he scored in three matches in this World Cup. So, Argentina will have to watch him out. Also, Memphis Depay may shine in this important match.
Morocco vs Portugal
Once again, Portugal reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo came a little closer to winning the elusive World Cup by playing the last possible World Cup. In the second round, they beat Switzerland by 6-1 to reach the quarters.
Read More: Arab fans in Qatar rally behind Morocco
On the other hand, Morocco surprised the whole world. The African Lions have not lost a single match in the World Cup so far. They reached the quarter-finals for the first time after topping the teams like Spain and Belgium. So it can be said the next step for Portugal is quite difficult. But Portugal is far ahead in terms of technique as well as fast football. So, the whole world is waiting for a very enjoyable match.
Portugal and Morocco have faced each other only twice before. They beat Portugal 3-1 in the 1986 World Cup. In the last 2018 World Cup, Portugal defeated Morocco by 1-0.
Many were worried after seeing Portugal lose their last group match against South Korea. It’s not like the huge display of power that Portugal showed against Ghana and Uruguay. As a result, there was a question mark about how they would perform against strong Switzerland because Switzerland gave a lot of momentum to teams like Brazil in the group stage. But Portugal made their attitude clear by scoring the first goal 17 minutes into the game, and they finished it off with 6 goals. And it was without Cristiano Ronaldo.
Goncalo Ramos, the 21-year-old new star of Portugal, surprised everyone in his first World Cup debut. He scored a hat-trick against Switzerland in the pre-quarter-final match on this day. Ramos has become a hero on Ronaldo’s stage. Apparently, Portugal has found a new shoulder to relay and surely, he will play his best against Morocco. And one of the great players, Ronaldo, is there too. So, Portugal will start the math with full force.
On the other hand, Morocco has Achraf Hakimi, one of the most effective wingbacks in modern football, playing for Paris Saint-Germain. Hakim Ziyech, another Moroccan star, will likely keep Portugal under pressure. Playing for Ajax and Chelsea, the playmaker has established himself in Europe. Morocco’s strategy against Spain shows that Morocco is aware of all the strengths and weaknesses of its opponents in this World Cup. Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who plays for Spanish club Sevilla FC, is another key player for Morocco.
England vs France
The two teams last met on the World Cup stage 40 years ago in the 1982 World Cup. England beat France 3-1. However, England is quite behind in recent confrontations. In the last six matches against each other, the English have managed to win only one match. On the other hand, France won four. Overall, France and England have met 31 times since 1923. Among them, England won 17 times and France 9 times.
England is playing great so far in this World Cup. The team scored 9 goals in the group stage and finished undefeated in the last sixteen. However, they did not have to fight against any strong team yet. And France might be a big obstacle for them.
Current England footballers are at the peak of their careers. However, many critics do not like England manager Gareth Southgate’s style of coaching. Many critics say he is defensive, and many think he is not wise. But has already proved himself. He took the team to the 2018 World Cup semi-final and Euro final. This time England is even far better. Jude Bellingham caught the attention of many. While many fans were not quite sure about Harry Maguire, but Maguire proved himself.
On the other hand, France faced several bad news before the World Cup. Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante were out of the tournament for sure long before the start of the World Cup. Then, news came a day before the start of the tournament that Karim Benzema would not be able to play. The Ballon d’Or winning star was injured. But these did not have any effect on the France team.
They booked their place in the quarter-finals with an easy win over Poland. Kylian Mbappe was the hero this time, who may keep his name in both Golden Ball and Golden Boot places as they scored five goals, the most in the tournament until the second round. He is also assisting.
Further, Antoine Griezmann is in great form. The midfield is filled with youngsters but has performed well so far. All in all, France is playing as a favorite this time. The two big European teams are going to face each other in the World Cup knockout match for the first time. And this is the highest voltage match so far in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. It is tough to predict the result, but France will get benefit from their strong team.
The Qatar World Cup has reached midway as two phases have already been completed. According to football pundits, Qatar World Cup 2022 is the most crowded and unpredictable World Cup in living memory; at least, the game on the field says so. Japan is beating Germany; Argentina is losing against Saudi Arabia. Cameroon returned home with fond memories of beating Brazil before being eliminated. And Morocco is now in the quarter-finals.
Read More: Neymar pays tribute to ailing Pele
What twist was not in this World Cup? What else is left? Well, maybe some surprises are waiting in the quarter-finals of FIFA World Cup 2022.