Football Index: World Cup Finals: Qatar 2022.
When FIFA executives met in Zurich to decide on who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals, Qatar was probably the biggest surprise to many outsiders.
The Qatar bid finished above those from Australia, Japan, South Korea and USA.
World Cup History - Qatar 2022 - The Twenty-Second World Cup
The 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar took place during the European winter for the first time.
All eight stadiums are within 25 miles of central Doha.
Group C: (1:2 vs Saudi Arabia) (2:0 vs Mexico) (2:0 vs Poland); Second Round (2:1 vs Australia); Quarter-finals (2:2 aet 4:3 pens vs Netherlands); Semi-finals (3:0 vs Croatia); 2022 World Cup Final (3:3 aet 4:2 pens vs France).
Group D: (1:4 vs France) (1:0 vs Tunisia) (1:0 vs Denmark); Second Round (1:2 vs Argentina).
Group F: (1:0 vs Canada) (0:2 vs Morocco) (0:0 vs Croatia).
Group G: (2:0 vs Serbia) (1:0 vs Switzerland) (0:1 vs Cameroon); Second Round (vs South Korea); Quarter-finals (1:1 aet 2:4 pens vs Croatia).
Group G: (0:1 vs Switzerland) (3:3 vs Serbia) (1:0 vs Brazil).
Group F: (0:1 vs Belgium) (1:4 vs Croatia) (1:2 vs Morocco).
Group E: (0:7 vs Span) (1:0 vs Japan) (2:4 vs Germany).
Group F: (0:0 vs Morocco) (4:1 vs Canada) (0:0 vs Belgium); Second Round (1:1 aet 3:1 pens vs Japan); Quarter-finals (1:1 aet 4:2 pens vs Brazil); Semi-finals (0:3 vs Argentina); Third Place Match (2:1 vs Morocco).
Group D: (0:0 vs Tunisia) (1:2 vs France) (0:1 vs Australia).
Group A: (2:0 vs Qatar) (1:1 vs Netherlands) (1:2 vs Senegal).
Group B: (6:2 vs Iran) (0:0 vs USA) (3:0 vs Wales); Second Round (3:0 vs Senegal); Quarter-finals (1:2 vs France).
Group D: (4:1 vs Australia) (2:1 vs Denmark) (0:1 vs Tunisia); Second Round (3:1 vs Poland); Quarter-finals (2:1 vs England); Semi-finals (2:0 vs Morocco); 2022 World Cup Final (3:3 aet 2:4 pens vs Argentina).
Group E: (1:2 vs Japan) (1:1 vs Spain) (4:2 vs Costa Rica).
Group H: (2:3 vs Portugal) (3:2 vs South Korea) (0:2 vs Uruguay).
Group B: (2:6 vs England) (2:0 vs Wales) (0:1 vs USA).
Group E: (2:1 vs Germany) (0:1 vs Costa Rica) (2:1 vs Spain); Second Round (1:1 aet 1:3 pens vs Croatia).
Group C: (0:0 vs Poland) (0:2 vs Argentina) (2:1 vs Saudi Arabia).
Group F: (0:0 vs Croatia) (2:0 vs Belgium) (2:1 vs Canada); Second Round (0:0 aet 3:0 pens vs Spain); Quarter-finals (1:0 vs Portugal); Semi-finals (0:2 vs France); Third Place Match (1:2 vs Croatia).
Group A: (2:0 vs Senegal) (1:1 vs Ecuador) (2:0 vs Qatar); Second Round (3:1 vs USA); Quarter-finals (2:2 aet 3:4 pens vs Argentina).
Group C: (0:0 vs Mexico) (2:0 vs Saudi Arabia) (0:2 vs Argentina); Second Round (1:3 vs France).
Group H: (3:2 vs Ghana) (2:0 vs Uruguay) ( 1:2 vs South Korea); Second Round (6:1 vs Switzerland); Quarter-finals (0:1 vs Morocco).
Group A: (0:2 vs Ecuador) (1:3 vs Senegal) (0:2 vs Netherlands).
Group C: (2:1 Argentina) (0:2 vs Poland) (1:2 vs Mexico).
Group A: (0:2 vs Netherlands) (3:1 vs Qatar) ( 2:1 vs Ecuador); Second Round (0:3 vs England).
Group G: (0:2 vs Brazil) (3:3 vs Cameroon) (2:3 vs Switzerland).
Group H: (0:0 vs Uruguay) (2:3 vs Ghana) (2:1 vs Portugal); Second Round (vs Brazil).
Group E: (7:0 vs Costa Rica) (1:1 vs Germany) (1:2 vs Japan); Second Round ((0:0 aet 0:3 pens vs Morocco).
Group G: (1:0 vs Cameroon) (0:1 vs Brazil) (3:2 vs Serbia); Second Round (1:6 vs Portugal).
Group D: (0:0 vs Denmark) (0:1 vs Australia) (1:0 vs France).
Group H: (0:0 vs South Korea) (0:2 vs Portugal) (2:0 vs Ghana).
Group B: (1:1 vs Wales) (0:0 vs England) (1:0 vs Iran); Second Round (1:3 vs Netherlands).
Group B: (1:1 vs USA) (0:2 vs Iran) (0:3 vs England).
Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Croatia; England; France; Japan; Morocco; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Senegal; South Korea; Spain; Switzerland; USA.
Kick off times (Central European Time)
Saturday, 3rd December
Netherlands vs USA
Khalifa International Stadium
Attack and counter attack was the overall theme for the first forty-five minutes of the first Second Round game in the Khalifa International Stadium at Qatar 2022.
After falling behind to a Memphis Depay goal in the tenth minute, the Americans weren't shy to give it a go and get back on level terms before the break.
Unfortunately, this played into Dutch hands as Daley Blind doubled the advantage seconds before the half-time team talk.
Total Football was back.
USA continued to search for a goal after the break.
With plenty of passion and a lucky flick, the Americans were back in the game, with a quarter of an hour still to play.
The game was turning into a classic; as another goal for the Dutch followed, just five minutes later.
Could this finally be the year for the Never won the World Cup Land?
Netherlands 3 - USA 1
Argentina vs Australia
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
It's the AA match in the ABA Stadium; Argentina vs Australia in the Ahmad Bin Ali.
With no real direction and no sense of urgency it looked like we were in for a long evening of stalemate, extra-time nothingness and nail-biting penalty misses.
That was until Lionel Messi - playing his thousandth match - sent a grass-cutter through the outstretched leg of an Australian defender and the stretching arm of a bemused Mathew Ryan, in the 35th minute. Australia tried to keep it tight but couldn't do it right. Switch off and Messi switches on.
A more pressing Argentina doubled their advantage in the 57th minute when Julián Álvarez pounced on a mistake by the seemingly sleep-walking Matt Ryan.
Sometimes you need a little bit of luck, and Australia got just that with thirteen minutes to go. Craig Goodwin will take the deflection any day of the week.
A crucial Lisandro Martinez tackle blocked Aziz Behich's attempt to equalise shortly after.
Then it was the turn of Emiliano Martínez to deny Australia right at the very end. A much better second-half by far.
Argentina 2 - Australia 1
Sunday, 4th December
Al Thumama Stadium.
Scoring his 52nd goal, Olivier Giroud became France's leading goalscorer when he took the initiative against Poland, just before half-time.
Sometimes you just have to keep plugging away and believe that the opening will come.
France did that to good effect with a free-flowing move that caught Poland square; Kylian Mbappé showing his class yet again to add the haute couture finishing touch.
Kylian Mbappé just scores for fun and makes goals out of almost nothing. Totally in a class of his own.
Robert Lewandowski scored a consolation penalty, at the second attempt, after alnost 100 minutes on the clock.
France 3 - Poland 1
England vs Senegal
Al Bayt Stadium.
As the game slipped slowly towards half-time, it looked like Senegal could have felt they had the edge.
Indeed, they did; until a swift break down the left saw the ball pulled across low into the Senegal area and Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson gave England a lead they might not have deserved.
The Senegal players obviously felt the same and couldn't believe the situation they were in. So much so that they struggled to start the ignition and release the hand-brake.
In the last action of the half, England captain Harry Kane finished off another swift England attack from the edge of the box, to get off the mark in the Quatar 2022 World Cup Finals.
Nerves were settled after Bukayo Saka made light work of England's third goal, shortly before the hour.
England 3 - Senegal 0
Monday, 5th December
Japan vs Croatia
Al Janoub Stadium.
A well worked corner on the right resulted in a muchl-deserved lead for Japan just before the break.
Croatia levelled ten minutes after half-time. An important header from Ivan Perisic; to take the game to extra-time and penalties.
Japan 1 - Croatia 1 (aet) (1:3 penalties)
Croatia won on penalties; Dominik Livakovic saving three.
Brazil vs South Korea
South Korea were given an education in the art of football at the Stadium 974.
With Pele watching from his hospital bed, Brazil put on a four-goal, first-half extravaganza to remind the Brazilian legend of the good old days.
Brazil 4 - South Korea 1
Tuesday, 6th December
Morocco vs vs Spain
Education City Stadium.
No goals in ninety minutes.
No goals in extra-time.
No goals for Spain in the penalties either.
Well: the first. from Pablo. Sarabia hit the post; the second from Carlos Soler was saved and so was the third; from the experienced Sergio Busquets.
Morocco take the prize; a place in the quarter-finals.
Morocco 0 - Spain 0 (aet) (3:0 penalties)
Portugal vs Switzerland
Portugal finally realised that football is a team game and left Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench.
His replacement, twenty-one year-old Goncalo Ramos, scored three to demolish any Swiss hopes of getting through to extra-time and penalties.
Portugal 6 - Switerland 1
Friday, 9th December
Education City Stadium.
A lively start from Croatia and Brazil gave the first quarter-final at Qatar 2022 a promising feel to it; a great feast of attack and counter-attacking football for the appreciative fans.
No playing around with the ball at the back, just get the supporters on the edge of their seats.
Without a goal to show for all the action in the first forty-five minutes though, the second-half continued in much the same vein.
Substitutes from both sides couldn't break the deadlock either.
Not for want of trying. Both sides fought for every ball, pushed for every chance, robbed each other of half-chances and didn't take their foot off the pedal once.
It would be unfair to say that Brazil had the edge; but they probably did.
Brazil were frustrated, not by the negativity of Croatia but by Croatia's total ambition and perseverance.
No dance routines for Brazil this time out; and a second game of extra-time for Croatia at the Qatar 2022 World Cup Finals.
Croatia had the best chance towards the end of the first period of extra-time.
Then tragedy struck for Croatia, as Neymar came to life and managed to hold off his defender before rounding Dominik Livakovic to level the record 77 number of goals scored for Brazil, with Pele, at the end of the first period of extra-time.
Croatia deserved their equaliser with a break down the left; a low cross into the middle finished off with a deflected left-foot shot from Bruno Petkovic.
And on to Penalties.
Croatia's Dominik Livakovic saved Brazil's first penalty and Marquinhos hit the post with their fourth one.
Having gone first, Croatia scored all four of their penalties. Neymar didn't get the chance to take a penalty at all.
Croatia 1 - Brazil 1 (aet) (4:2 penalties)
Nothing like the same intesity was shown at the start of the second quarter-final.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 35th minute when Lionel Messi's left foot through ball was gratefully received by Nahuel Molina.
A sublime spot kick from Lionel Messi doubled Argentina's lead and looked like enough to seal a place in the semi-final for Argentina, against Croatia.
Netherlands brought on the big men and looked for long balls and crosses to get back in the game.
A powerful header from Dutch substitute, Wout Weghorst, seven minutes from time gave Netherlands a glimmer of hope.
De Jong almost equalised with minutes to go. Argentina started to look worried.
Then the Dutch did the unbelievable, in the very last minute of the ten extra minutes added on to extra-time, due to heated encounters from the sidelines, an inspirational free-kick by Teun Koopmeiners was rolled into the Argentinian penalty area; for Wout Weghorst to slip the ball past a stunned Lautaro Martínez.
After all the excitement in the final minutes of normal time, the return to a passing game was like watching milk turn to cheese.
Lionel Messi started to look tired. What was Argentina without an engine in the engine room?
Then the intensity returned to Argentina's game with five minutes left and Enzo Fernández saw his shot hit the post just before the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
Emiliano Martínez saved Virgil van Dijk's lead attempt.
Messi made no mistake.
Then Martínez saved again; from Steven Berghuis.
Lautaro Martínez made it two for Argentina. The scene was set.
Netherlands 2 - Argentina 2 (aet) (3:4 penalties)
Saturday, 10th December
Al Thumama Stadium.
Cristiano Ronaldo was again on the bench for Portugal, at the start.
After forty minutes of whistling encouragement from the Moroccan fans, Morocco finally registered the goal they so desired; Youssef En-Nesyri leaping above Costa's flapping hands to head in a high ball from the left.
Bruno Fernandes could have leveled for Portugal, just before the break, had his cross shot from the right of the area dipped enough instead of glancing off the crossbar.
In an attempt to get back on level terms and stay in the tournament, Portugal made a double substitution in the 51st minute; Cristiano Ronaldo and João Cancelo on for Rúben Neves and Raphaël Guerreiro.
Hat-trick hero against Switzerland, Goncalo Ramos, had been pretty quiet for the first hour.
A big save by Yassine Bounou to thwart João Félix in the 82nd minute kept the North African dream alive.
Then a block save from a determined Ronaldo in the 90th just about sealed it. But with ten minutes added on, anything could still happen.
Two yellow cards in the space of a few minutes for Moroccan substitute, Walid Cheddira, added yet another twist to what was turning out to be a real helter-skelter tournament in another 'injury time' moment of pain.
Yet Morocco continued to attack; determined to succeed.
Ronaldo finally left the field in tears. Congratulations Morocco.
Morocco 1 - Portugal 0
Al Bayt Stadium.
England and France last met at a World Cup Finals when Bryan Robson's England played Michel Platini's France in Bilbao on the sixteenth of June, at Spain 82.
Bryan Robson hooked England in front, with just 27 seconds of their opening game at the tournament played, after Terry Butcher flicked on Steve Coppell's long throw-in from the right.
That was forty years ago. I was at the game but these players were not even born. Now the world is at their feet.
But they have to beat the World Champions first and that wouldn't be easy, especially at a goal down at half-time.
Aurélien Tchouaméni had given France the lead in the 17th minute.
Harry Kane was later denied by his Tottenham team mate, here playing in goal for France.
So it would now all rest on Gareth Southgate's team talk to turn things around.
A solid start down the left for England, and Hugo Lloris was made to work to keep England out and help prove that he wasn't France's weakest link.
The sustained pressure paid off when Bukayo Saka managed to draw a penalty for England.
Harry Kane thought twice, struck the spot-kick firmly past his club goalkeeper, equalled Wayne Rooney's England goalscoring record and brought the fourth quarter-final back to life.
Jordan Pickford made a crucial save from Olivier Giroud in the 77th minute.
A minute later and France's record scorer was back, to head in Antoine Griezeman's cross from the left.
The referee was called to look at the VAR and a penalty was given to England for a barge in the back of Mason Mount.
The pressure of a second penalty against his club goalkeeper might been too much for Harry Kane; as he blasted the ball high, with six minutes left to play.
Even with eight minutes added on, the gulf seemed too wide for England.
With England's last chance, Marcus Rashford's free-kick just missed the target.
England 1 - France 2
Tuesday, 13th December
Argentina vs Croatia
After taking the lead through a Lionel Messi penalty, in the 34th minute, two more goals from Julián Álvarez made sure there was no way back for Croatia.
Wednesday, 14th December
France vs Morocco
Al Bayt Stadium.
France make it back-to-back World Cup Finalists after ending the African dream.
Saturday, 17th December
Croaria vs Morocco
Khalifa International Stadium.
Sunday, 18th December
Argentina vs France
(3:3 aet 4:2 penalties) -
From the start, Argentina looked like they wanted the World Cup more.
A dubious penalty decision got them off and running then Angel Di Maria, Argentina's best player in the first-half, added a second.
With Angel di Maria taken off, just after the hour, Argentina's threat on the left was greatly reduced.
It took a penalty in the 80th minute to bring France back to life, Mbappe could believe again and equalised just a minute later.
A vital save from Hugo Lloris prevented Lionel Messi giving Argentina the trophy in the final minute of time added on.
The Argentina bench wept in the 108th minute, when they thought Lionel Messi had given them a final victory, but ten minutes later the whole of Argentina were in tears as Kylian Mbappé levelled from the spot; to claim his World Cup final hat-trick.
Probably the best World Cup Final ever, with the winner decided on penalties.
How many appearances each country has made in the World Cup Finals.
World Cup Finals
Uruguay trailed Argentina at half-time (1:2) but replied with three goals in the second half; to win the first ever World Cup Final (4-2) on July 30th, 1930.
Italy were one of the countries who missed out on the vote to host the first World Cup but managed to win the prestigious golden trophy for the home fans.
The third World Cup was held in Europe for a second time, although Germany had annexed Austria, and Spain was in civil turmoil.
Although no cup-final as such, Uruguay and Brazil went into their final game with the winner guaranteed to be champions; a draw would be enough for Brazil.
The fifth World Cup tournament produced a record number of goals, including a 7:5 encounter between Austria and Switzerland in Lausanne.
Brazil presented a 17 year-old Pele to the world; who went on to claim a hat-trick in Brazil's 5:2 semi-final win over France and bag another two in the final.
Czechoslovakia overcame Hungary in the quarter-finals and Yugoslavia in the semis, while Brazil took care of England and the host nation, Chile.
Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick, in the final against West Germany, as England triumphed in a thrilling game watched by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
1970 belonged to Pelé, who earned his third World Cup winners' medal when Brazil got their hands on the Jules Rimet Cup.... for keeps.
W. Germany 1974:
Johan Cruyff was the player of the tournament as total football became the buzzword of the day, even though Holland lost to West Germany in the 1974 final.
Holland contested the 1978 World Cup Final, in Argentina, for the second time in a row. As in West Germany, they again finished runners-up; to the hosts.
The Spain 82 World Cup finals increased to 24 teams and the format was changed to have two group stages, with four second-round groups of three.
In 1986, Mexico became the first nation to stage the World Cup Finals for a second time; having only staged the competition sixteen years previously.
In 1990, Italy became the World Cup of stalemates. Both semi-finals were drawn out through penalty kicks. In the final itself, the only goal came from the spot.
Once Team US had played a few games most of the nation began to understand they were hosting the greatest show on earth and how the game was played.
France became the sixth nation to win the World Cup on home soil. Thirty-two teams competed in the 16th World Cup; better known as France 98.
The 17th World Cup, held in Korea and Japan, was the first World Cup finals to be shared by two hosts and the first to be held in Asia.
The 2006 World Cup Finals ran from 9th June to 9th July; the opening match in Munich and the final in Berlin. Munich and Dortmund hosted the semi-finals.Full coverage of the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany with background information on all 32 teams.
South Africa 2010:
Eighty years after the First World Cup Finals in Uruguay, the world's most prestigious football competition was finally hosted on the African continent.
Five times World Cup Champions, Brazil, get a second chance to hold the prestigious World Cup Finals; 64 years after they last hosted the tournament.
VAR made its World Cup debut and set out to change the course of a game with some crucial rule infringement watching and vital on the spot decisions.
When FIFA executives met in Zurich to decide on who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals, Qatar was probably the biggest surprise to many.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup Finals will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States. The United Bid won the hosting rights ahead of Morocco.
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