World Cup Recap 2022

Oscar Almaraz, Staff Writer

The FIFA World Cup happens every four years and this time they made us wait four and a half. Due to Qatar’s extremely hot weather, the world cup happened during winter instead of the usual summer. With the long wait, and the biggest tournament in all of football happening while students are in school, the excitement was through the roof. Students were watching the games on their chromebooks, teachers putting the games on the smartboard because this is the time when non-football fans turn into football fans for a month. The tournament started on November 20 with the 32 national teams that qualified for the World Cup group stages, battling it out to advance to the top 16.


In group A, Qatar became the first host nation in World Cup history to lose the opening match, and along with Ecuador who had a very good performance with player Enner Valencia, they got eliminated from the group stage. Netherlands and Senegal advanced along with England and the USA who beat Wales and Iran in a competitive group B. In group C Messi had a bad start losing 1-2 to Saudi Arabia, but in the end Argentina and Poland advanced eliminating Saudi Arabia and Mexico. In group D, previous world champions France broke the world cup defending champions curse eliminating Tunisia and Denmark and advancing along with Australia. Both group E and F had upsets as Japan from group E advanced with Spain eliminating Germany and Costa Rica (who started off with a 0-7 loss against Spain). Morocco from group F over delivered, and their amazing run started with them winning the group with Croatia in second place eliminating Belgian and Canada. In group G, the favorites to win the whole thing, Brazil, qualified along with Switzerland beating Cameroon and Serbia. Finally in the last group H, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal beat Uruguay and Ghana but lost to underdogs South Korea who managed to qualify along with Portugal.


The rounds of 16 started off with Netherlands beating USA and Argentina defeating Australia who gave them a good fight, almost tying the game at the end. The next day France beat Poland 3-1, and England beat Senegal 3-0. Croatia and Japan had a very close game that went to penalties but in the end Croatia took the win. On that same day Brazil destroyed South Korea winning 4-1. Morocco shocked everyone, defeating Spain in penalties, and Portugal obliterated Switzerland 6-1.


       The quarter finals were looking like great matches and they did not disappoint. Argentina repeated history as yet again they beat Netherlands in penalties just like in 2014. The game was heated and filled with drama, Netherlands made a comeback at the end of the game but Argentina’s goalie Emiliano Martinez would be the hero during the penalty shootout. The favorites to win Brazil, tied with Croatia and yet again Croatia came out on top in the penalties. Brazil’s team was devastated, everyone was shocked, and we missed out on that Argentina vs Brazil semi-final. England lost to France with Harry Kane missing his second penalty of the match that could’ve tied things up, and Morocco continued to surprise everyone ending Cristiano Ronaldo’s world cup dream. 


In the semi-finals Argentina got a comfortable win against Croatia, beating them 3-0 and earning a spot in the final after that 2014 loss. France ended Morocco’s amazing world cup run, beating them 2-0 and advancing to the final for the second consecutive time. In the 3rd place game, Croatia defeated Morocco 2-1 ending their world cup as 3rd place winners after their 2018 2nd place ending. Morocco came in 4th place, proving to the world how good they are and winning people’s hearts. 


Finally it was time for the final, Mbappe vs Messi, France vs Argentina. France was looking to defend their reign, and Argentina was looking to win it again after 36 years. Both countries were looking to add that 3rd start to their jersey. Argentina was dominating the first two thirds of the game, a goal from Messi followed by a goal by Di Maria. It looked like it was going to be an easy win for Argentina, but at around the 79th minute Mbappe scored a penalty that lifted France’s spirits. Mbappe would score again not even two minutes later tying the game, making it go to extra time. In the extra time both teams would score again ending it with a 3-3 score. “This is the best game of football I’ve ever watched. Every emotion displayed and felt for 120 minutes,” said Twitter user Sunil Chhetri, perfectly describing the game.  That meant the world cup final would end in a penalty shoot out. Every Argentinian player scored their penalty and Emiliano Martinez would again save a penalty and win it for his country. Messi in his last world cup, manages to win it and strengthen his goat status.