Football World Cup 2022 – the story so far (4)
I commented in my previous Football World Cup 2022 – the story so far post (see here), following the end of the Round of 16, that I had not expected to post until after the Final, but there was so much blog-worthy material and thus I relented. The same sentiment applies concerning the Quarter Finals, just ended.
Brazil 1 Croatia 1 (AET)
But Croatia winning the penalty shoot-out. Deciding between sexy Brazil who has done more than any this World Cup to demonstrate the beautiful game is beautiful and non-sexy but dependable Croatia as to who we think will win and who we want to win was a non brainer. But it was not to be. Croatia absorbed all a below par Brazil threw at them, deservedly winning the penalty shoot-out.
Netherlands 2 Argentina 2 (AET)
But Argentina winning the penalty shoot-out. As predicted, it was a battle between two contrasting styles of play and the battle was off the ball in an ill-tempered game when unlike previous games a large number of yellow cards were given. With minutes left in normal time, it looked as Argentina would win it, and deservedly so, but then two excellent Netherland goals and the rest is history.
Morocco 1 Portugal 0
The second shock of these quarter finals with the teams I most fancied (Brazil and Portugal) out. And all credit to Morocco for a superb team all round performance in all areas, matching and surpassing all what Portugal had to offer, and without any I would call a super star (which is how it should be). Wouldn’t it be lovely if Morocco became Africa’s first World Cup winners – it is possible!
France 2 England 1
It was a game between two well matched sides that delivered a more than decent game of football. England will feel disappointed having missed a late penalty opportunity to equalize in normal time. I think the manager, Gareth Southgate, should stay as manager, despite his wokeness. England’s young guns should hold their heads high – good attitudes and phenomenal talent, boding well for the future.
We are now have a mouth-watering prospect of a semi final between France and Morocco, to follow an intriguing one between slightly disappointing Argentina and the other dark horse, Croatia, of this fascinating World Cup. I would love to see a Morocco and Croatia final and I suspect more surprises are in store, and also excitement.