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FIFA World Cup 2022: What are the key takeaways from the round of 16?

With strong performances, giants like France, Brazil, Portugal, and England have qualified for the final eight.

Morocco players celebrate with their coach. (Image: Twitter/FIFA World Cup)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Dec 7, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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The lineup for the tournament’s quarterfinals has been decided after Portugal destroyed Switzerland 6-1 in the final Round of 16 match. Top teams like Germany and Belgium were already eliminated during the group stage, and Spain, the 2010 champion, was eliminated after losing to Morocco on penalties in the Round of 16. With strong performances, giants like France, Brazil, Portugal, and England have qualified for the final eight. In the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup, four teams will advance to the semi-finals after some thrilling matches.

Brazil and Croatia have met four times, with three losses and one tie. Brazil won both of these during the World Cup group stages, by scores of 1-0 in 2006 and 3-1 in 2014.

Nine times have passed between the Netherlands and Argentina, with four victories, one defeat, and three draws. Five of those occurred during the World Cup: the Argentines defeated the Netherlands 3-1 in the 1978 championship match after the Dutch defeated them 4-0 in the second group stage in 1974. Prior to two goalless draws in the 2006 group stage and their most recent meeting in the 2014 semi-finals, which the Argentines ultimately won on penalties, the Dutch won 2-1 in the 1998 quarter-finals.

Morocco is the first Arab nation to advance to this stage, the first to reach the quarterfinals, and only the fourth African nation to do so (the others being Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010). They’ve faced Portugal twice, winning once and losing the other time. Both of these games occurred in the World Cup’s group stages, with Portugal defeating Morocco 1-0 in 2018 and Morocco winning 3-1 in 1986.

England and France have faced off 31 times, with 17 victories, 5 ties, and 9 losses. England triumphed in both of these during World Cup matchups, 2-0 in the group stage in 1966 and 3-1 in the opening round of 1982.

Messi in scintillating form

Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead in the 35th minute with a low left foot finish to the left corner on his 1,000th career appearance. In the 57th minute, Julian lvarez increased the score to 2-0 by capitalising on a mistake made by Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan to finish low to the net past the stranded keeper. In the 77th minute, Australia scored a goal back when Craig Goodwin’s shot took a significant deflection off Enzo Fernández and went in the right corner of the goal. Messi was adjudged man of the match for his stunning performance and he will be looking to carry his form into the last eight.

Goncalo Ramos emerges as a threat

Goncalo Ramos made his first start for his country and assisted Raphael Guerreiro as they defeated Switzerland 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006. It wouldn’t be surprising if Fernando Santos started the young player against Morocco in the quarterfinal game after Ramos’ triplet made him an instant football star. He was initially chosen to replace regular striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who had played only a few minutes off the bench against Switzerland in the round of 16.

Morocco makes history

Spain and Morocco had played three full international matches, with Morocco losing two and drawing one. The most recent matchup, which took place in the 2018 World Cup group stage, ended in a 2-2 draw. Spain won both of the 1962 World Cup intercontinental play-off legs. After 120 minutes without a goal, Morocco won the penalty shootout and advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time ever. They became the first Arab nation to advance to this stage and only the fourth African nation overall to do so, joining Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010. Walid Regragui, their manager, achieved this milestone as the first Arab and the first African.



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