Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by
I always feel a bit anxious when I arrive at this time of day and I haven’t had any team news to tell you. What I can tell you is that Argentina’s Nicolás Tagliafico previously had this to say about tomorrow’s semi-final prospects with Croatia:
We need to find a way not to suffer so much in our games. We are not machines, we feel emotions. This match is something crucial for us.
Messi is our captain, our leader. He motivates and pushes us. When we’re on the field, we know we have him on our side.
Don’t forget that there will be another World Cup next year, because the women’s tournament will take place in Australia and New Zealand. PA Sport reports that England have announced they will be staying in New South Wales for the tournament.
Sarina Wiegman’s team will remain in Terrigal, north of Sydney, and train at Central Coast Stadium as participating nations will use dedicated team base camps for the first time during the Women’s World Cup.
The Lionesses have been drawn in Group D along with Denmark and China, with a fourth team to be decided through the play-offs. The tournament opens on July 20, with England’s first game against the play-off winners on July 22.
Tom Lutz reports that the US reportedly considered sending Gio Reyna home during the World Cup in Qatar:
According to multiple reports, American midfielder Gio Reyna was nearly sent home from Qatar for a perceived lack of effort during the team’s preparations for their World Cup opener against Wales.
The Athletic reported that Reyna “walked around” while the rest of the team trained intensively in one session a few days before the Wales game, the US’s first game at a World Cup since 2014. It was not clear whether the 20-year-old’s performance was due to injury or disappointment that he was unlikely to start against Wales. The Athletic said senior American players spoke to Reyna about the situation several times before he finally apologized to his teammates, and the matter was considered resolved.
US coach Gregg Berhalter was criticized by some fans for not starting the game in Wales with Reyna, who has impressed during his time at Borussia Dortmund. At the time, Berhalter said Reyna was suffering from “a little bit of stuffiness”.
Read more here: The US reportedly considered sending Gio Reyna home during the World Cup in Qatar
Lovro Peraić writes to me to complain that Croatia is getting a bit of rum from it and not being treated with the respect their record deserves.
Why is it that the still ‘reigning’ silver medalists and the four participants in next summer’s Nations League final (via 6 points from Denmark and 4 points from France) are so poorly rated by everyone? This is a team led by one of the best midfield trios the game has ever seen (Brozović was the best midfielder in Serie A last season, Kovačić is a multiple Champions League winner with Real Madrid and Chelsea, and Luka Modrić is… well, Luka Modrić) who is complemented by arguably the most promising young centre-back in the world. And then there’s Ivan Perišić, another Champions League winner who scored in a World Cup semi-final and final. Yes, this team has its flaws, but so does every team in this World Cup. This small and young country has already won two medals in five of the six possible World Cups [since they first appeared], and with this semi-final Croatia is on track to become one of the most successful teams of the 21st century to become. Still, the elimination of (a not so special) Brazil was seen as a miracle and again, this team is seen as a big underdog against Argentina.
Personally, I think one of the joys of this World Cup final four is that I honestly can’t tell you what I expect from the final. You can argue for any possible permutation of semifinal winners.
Here’s a nice cartoon rendition of that winning goal from Olivier Giroud on Saturday night. Deflection of Harry Maguire’s shoulder not shown.
Argentina is out for media jobs today. It seems that it is coach Lionel Scaloni and Lyon defender Nicolás Tagliafico who have pushed microphones in front of them today. I will have some quotes in due course.
I like Harry & Megan. Meanwhile, Hannah Jane Parkinson landed the absolute dream performance of a review of the best World Cup predictors:
It was one thing that was certain. Unanimous. England would go on to beat France to reach their second consecutive World Cup semi-final. The meerkats at a Sussex zoo explained it by scrambling into a bucket decorated with an English flag of whatever it is that meerkats eat. No meerkat trusted Olivier Giroud, there was no foresight when Aurélien Tchouaméni fired a low long shot into the corner of Jordan Pickford’s goal. We should have known. World Cup Psychics have burned us before, their competence often hovering somewhere around Derek Acorah’s level.
Read more about Mani the Parakeet, Achilles the Cat and Taiyo the Otter here: The Psychic Animals of the World Cup
Morocco’s social media manager is confident to add something to their World Cup scrapbook. And why wouldn’t they be? They have played more than six and a half hours of football against Croatia, Belgium, Spain and Portugal without conceding a goal against a European side in Qatar.
While facing the media this morning in Qatar, Jürgen Klinsmann was full of praise for England. PA Media reports that he told the press:
I think overall it was a very positive presentation from the England side in this whole tournament. This match, France against England, came just too soon. It should have been a semi-final or the final.
Only one team has to go home and unfortunately that was England, from an English perspective – but I think overall they played a really good tournament.
It is still a growing team. I think with this team it can get even better in the coming years. They are certainly not on the limit in terms of age.
So they have a lot, a lot of talent coming through, getting better, getting more experience. So they’ve now had three very positive tournaments with the one in Russia, obviously the European Championship where they went to the final.
Now I think this was a very positive tournament, even though it already ended in the quarter-finals. So there is more coming from this side of England in my opinion.
Klinsmann also had some thoughts on Harry Kane’s missed penalty, saying:
I’ve been arguing for the past few days and saying, ‘You know what, from the moment he blows the whistle for the penalty to the moment he gets a chance to actually take the penalty, far, far too much time goes by’ and it works in your brain
Obviously I’m a huge Harry Kane fan and if Harry had the chance, maybe just put the ball down and shoot, no problem, but the whole VAR situation, double checking, was it a penalty?
Time goes by and then of course you start thinking – overthinking – and you get to a point where you don’t take the penalty the way you would have, maybe just after the whistle.
Away from the World Cup, and Suzanne Wrack, Sophie Downey and Sarah Rendell have all the talking points of this weekend’s domestic Women’s Super League action in England.
Moving the World Cup to the European winter has not only disrupted domestic club football, but also made the international calendar a bit strange. The European teams that failed in the quarter-finals now have three months to think about it before they qualify directly for Euro 2024. The first day of competition will run from March 23 to March 25, 2023. Will coaches stay? Will top figures retire from international football?
Two of the teams eliminated over the weekend face huge challenges. The Netherlands opens the campaign in Group A against France on March 24 at the Stade de France. The day before, England’s next game is away to Italy at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Naples. At least Portugal has a relatively easy game to get them going, home to Liechtenstein on the same night.
Jürgen Klinsmann discussed the contrast between Brazil and Argentina’s penalty kick strategies at the technical study group briefing in Al Rayyan about which I was a bit disdainful earlier. Reuters quotes him as saying:
We were crazy, it was a real drama. We tried to discuss the difference between the drama of the Brazil match and the Argentina v Netherlands match and we came up with some ideas.
After the equalizer in the 117th minute, Brazil did not have time to switch. From the disappointment of conceding a last-minute goal to the penalty shootout, there was no time to settle down and take a positive approach to the shootout.
For Brazil, maybe they should have put their best shooter first, set the tone with the best penalty taker you have and then go down the rankings.
At Argentina they got extra playing time, despite the shock of the Weghorst equalizer in the last minute. They still had 30 minutes to play. At the end of the game, they were much clearer going into the penalty shootout.
Strikingly, talisman Lionel Messi stepped up and scored Argentina’s first penalty, with Brazil already knocked out before Neymar’s turn to take one.
Tom White of PA Sport’s data journalism unit has gone through the numbers on Harry Kane and his missed penalties to show that Saturday’s aberration was pretty much a once-in-a-blue-moon event.
It is the fourth time Kane has taken two penalties in the same game against England and his first miss in those games. Three times on his way to his England record 53 goals, Kane scored two penalties in a game as part of a hat-trick.
The first of these, against Panama, helped him win the Golden Boot at the last World Cup, as he scored a total of six times in England’s run-up to the semi-finals.
He repeated the feat in a 4-0 European Championship qualifying win over Bulgaria the following year and again, scoring four goals in total, as England beat San Marino 10-0 in their current World Cup qualifying campaign last November.
Kane is the only player to have taken two penalties more than once in an England international, not counting shootouts.
Some observers suggested Kane should have let someone else take the second penalty, but such a move has failed England in the past.
Only twice have England had two penalties taken in a match by different players, in friendlies against Brazil in 1956 and Romania last year. Marcus Rashford scored the first against Romania, but Jordan Henderson missed the second, while John Atyeo and Roger Byrne both missed in the 4–2 win over Brazil.
Kane is the third England player to both score and miss a penalty in the same game, after Sir Bobby Charlton in 1960 and Allan Clarke in 1971.
Only Kane himself knows of course, but personally I can’t help feeling that the fact that he faced his own club captain in goal in the form of Hugo Lloris – who must have seen him take many penalties – played a role . his thoughts.
I just watched the highlights package from the opening match in Group F on November 23 – Morocco and Croatia’s nil-nil draw. I’m not sure if a single person in the world said at the end of that game, “There are definitely two of your semi-finalists,” but there are some great saves in there. Here you can refresh your memory.
This technical study group meeting looks a bit like “death by PowerPoint” from a distance.
The EU’s foreign policy chief said on Monday allegations of bribery by World Cup hosts Qatar to polish its image with the European Parliament were “worrying” after Belgian prosecutors charged four suspects with corruption.
Agence France-Presse reports this morning that the allegations of bribery have rocked the EU legislature and led to calls to scrutinize the bloc’s institutions to root out foreign influence.
“There is a process going on. The news is certainly very worrying, very, very worrying,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. Borrell said no officials from the bloc’s diplomatic service or overseas missions were implicated in the allegations.
“The police and judiciary are in action. We need to monitor these actions,” Borrell said, adding that he couldn’t go beyond the “court statements.”
“These are very, very, very serious allegations,” he said.
AFP also reports that Greek authorities on Monday froze the assets of European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili after the Greek MEP was arrested on corruption charges over her alleged involvement in a Qatar-related corruption scandal.
The measure, which also applies to her family members, includes “bank accounts, vaults, companies and other financial assets,” said the head of Greece’s anti-money laundering authority Haralambos Vourliotis.
Greek banks and government departments have already been informed of the decision, the authority said. The 44-year-old former TV presenter was charged with corruption in Brussels on Sunday.
That technical study group media briefing started in Doha – the panel includes Jürgen Klinsmann, Pascal Zuberbuehler, Faryd Mondragon, Sunday Oliseh, Alberto Zaccheroni and Du-Ri Cha. I will bring you all the important quotes.
Do you know what this World Cup needs? Another ball. At least that’s what FIFA and Adidas think as they unveiled the Al Hilm, the official match ball of the semi-finals and final. Kaka and Iker Casillas were forced to get by with it at the launch in Doha.
The exciting announcement tells us that:
Al Hilm translates as “The Dream” in Arabic and has a unique graphic design, which sets it apart from the Al Rihla used in the tournament so far. Al Hilm will be the official ball for the semi-finals and final. Like Al Rihla, Al Hilm will feature “Connected Ball” technology, which has proven to be a huge success in making semi-automatic offside decisions faster and more accurate.
The press release does not specify which ball will be in use for third, presumably because no one cares.
Omar Momani has drawn his favorite bits from the World Cup – including England on their way home – and today he has a very serene-looking CR7.
I’m not saying today is a slow news day in Qatar, but the latest pictures coming over the newswires are some empty seats. We expect a press briefing from the technical study group later. I would place a small bet on them and say this has been the most skillful and outstanding tournament ever.
I did mention that a little club football news might seep in. Chelsea striker Armando Broja suffered a knee injury during the London club’s 1-0 friendly defeat to Aston Villa at the weekend, adding to manager Graham Potter’s troubles in attack ahead of the Premier League restart.
Reuters reports that Potter told the club’s website: “It doesn’t look positive at the moment, but it’s too early to say. Fingers crossed, but it’s a tough one.”
Chelsea will take on Bournemouth on December 27, when the Premier League resumes.
I promise I won’t keep harping on about the England game at the weekend*, but one of the strangest bits of commentary on ITV in the UK was certainly when Sam Whatshisface said something along the lines of “England are facing an exit from an earlier stage than expected” after pointing out that England had only won three of their previous nine World Cup quarter-finals. Surely that means the quarter-finals is exactly when they are expected to leave? But facts can prove anything these days, think I…
Jonathan Liew is in Doha for the Guardian, and today he writes for us about the wailing and gnashing of teeth about England…or rather…the welcome lack of it:
There are no easy targets here, no effigies to burn. Indeed, the general consensus is that England played well. Which is nice. It’s nice that England played well. England have been playing well for a few years now. And yet the result was the same that Roy Hodgson’s side achieved in 2012, the same as three Sven-Göran Eriksson sides, the same as Diego Maradona’s Argentina in 2010 and Germany in 1994. Which leads to a sharp and open question: does one of the above really important?
Essentially, this is about what kind of footballing nation England wants to be today. How much does England really need to win one of these tournaments? How should we want to measure success and failure? Where should we focus our expectations?
I’m using the first person here because these are really questions that we all need to answer: not just players and coaches and administrators and the media, but fans and the public. There is a general view that seems to be that this time we can spare ourselves the finger-pointing and vindictiveness, put aside the lust for purification and new blood and just applaud a great performance by a great team against slightly better opponents. This is probably progress in itself. Top eight in the world: This is not a bad thing. Maybe this is enough. Maybe this is fine.
Read more here: Jonathan Liew – England ticked the boxes, but did they need this World Cup enough to win?
It is not only the Moroccan team that has been one of the stories of this tournament like no other in Qatar, but also their fans. Overnight Reuters has reported that Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc will operate 30 special flights to transport even more fans from Casablanca to Doha for Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final against France.
Passengers on the discounted return flights will be added to the thousands of Moroccans already attending the match, and the flights would depart on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Amine El Amri is a sports journalist working for Le Matin in Morocco. Writing for The Guardian today, the Atlas lions in Morocco are roaring again and an entire nation is roaring with them:
For me, the Moroccan trip in Qatar is a renewal of the sense of pride among the people of my country. When referee Facundo Tello blew the final whistle to ensure Morocco had beaten Portugal in the quarter-finals, there were eight players on the field who grew up in Morocco and learned their football in the country’s academies and clubs.
It showed that the talk about the difference between those born and educated abroad and those who are not was simply not true. The players were all one and they were all legendary. This also sends a strong message to everyone in the kingdom that no matter what obstacles and difficulties you face, if you put your heart and soul into your dreams, they just might come true.
And that message is of course much more important than any sporting achievement, including a World Cup semi-final. When I first started as a journalist a little over 10 years ago, my goal was to share my passion with a wider audience to show how much football, and sport in general, can change the lives of not only the active stakeholders, but literally everyone.
Read more here: Amine El Amri – Morocco’s Atlas Lions roar again and an entire nation roars with them
Hello. It’s a non-football day in Qatar, and I think we’re about equidistant from the wailing and gnashing of teeth over England starting on Saturday night, and we can sit down and enjoy Croatia v Argentina at 7pm GMT on Tuesday night.
Today we should have some media appearances from some of your semi-finalists, continued wailing and gnashing of teeth, not only from England but also from Portugal, the Netherlands and Brazil, and presumably the gossip about club football will resurface. And maybe even more cat news.
Follow me here for all the news and build up throughout the day, and message me at [email protected] with whatever is on your mind.
WHO teams qualified in 2022 in World Cup?
Croatia, Argentina, Morocco and France have qualified for the first semi-final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Check out the schedule and details of the live stream here. The semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup kick off on Wednesday, December 14 (according to IST), with Argentina led by Lionel Messi taking on Croatia in the first leg.
Which 13 teams are qualified for the 2022 World Cup? The Netherlands, Senegal, England, USA, France, Australia, Argentina, Poland, Morocco, Croatia, Japan, Spain, Brazil, Switzerland, South Korea and Portugal have qualified for the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
What are the qualifying groups for World Cup 2022?
FIFA World Cup 2022 Groups Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal and Netherlands. England, Iran, USA, Wales. Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland. France, Australia, Denmark and Tunisia.
How many teams qualify from each group for World Cup 2022?
The 32 teams are divided into eight groups of four. In the opening phase, each team plays once against all other teams in its group. The top two finishers in each group advance to the round of 16. After that, the World Cup is a straight knockout tournament.
Which teams can still qualify for FIFA 2022?
|Team||Method of qualification||Date of qualification|
|Brazil||CONMEBOL winners||November 11, 2021|
|France||UEFA Group D winners||November 13, 2021|
|Belgium||UEFA Group E winners||November 13, 2021|
|Serbia||UEFA Group A winners||November 14, 2021|
Who qualifies from each World Cup group?
The top two teams from each group qualified for the World Cup and the two third-placed teams advanced to the fourth round. Fourth Round: A third-seeded team in each Third Round group played each other in a single match, the winners advanced to the Inter-Confederation Playoffs.
Will England qualify for the World Cup 2022?
|Qualification||Qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup|
What teams are in the World Cup still?
Complete list of 2022 World Cup teams
Who is out of 2022 World Cup? England were knocked out of the tournament after a 2–1 defeat to France. Goals from Oliver Giroud and Aurelien Tchouameni gave France victory, with England’s Harry Kane missing the chance for an equalizer and sending his penalty kick wildly over the crossbar six minutes from time.
Which 4 teams are in semi final?
The stage for the semi-finals has been set. Four teams, France, Argentina, Croatia and Morocco, will compete against each other to advance to the final round of this tournament.
How many teams are left in World Cup?
The semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup have arrived. After an exciting round of 16 and quarter-finals, we enter the business end of the tournament with four teams remaining.
How many teams are in the semi final World Cup 2022?
FIFA World Cup 2022 is steadily approaching its climax, with the semi-finals about to begin. France, Croatia, Argentina and Morocco are the four teams that will play in the semi-finals. The quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup had a thrilling end as it was a rollercoaster ride for many teams.
How many teams remaining in the World Cup 2022?
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is approaching its decisive phase. Of the 32 teams that started the global football tournament in Qatar, only four remain after the quarter-finals. Who will they be? The winners of the quarter-finals will advance to the semi-finals, which will be played on December 13 and 14.
Has Portugal qualified for the World Cup?
Portugal have qualified for the final stage of the FIFA World Cup eight times: in 1966, 1986, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022. Their best performance, as of 2022, is third place in 1966; they also finished fourth in 2006.
Which teams qualified for semi-final 2022?
Argentina, Croatia, France and Morocco are the four teams that have qualified for the semi-finals. The World Cup will resume when Argentina take on Croatia in the semi-finals on December 14.
Which 4 teams will be in the semifinals? The stage for the semi-finals has been set. Four teams, France, Argentina, Croatia and Morocco, will compete against each other to advance to the final round of this tournament.
Which football team qualified for semi final?
Argentina, Croatia, France and Morocco are the four teams that have qualified for the semi-finals of the major tournament.
Which teams qualified for semi final 2022?
FIFA World Cup 2022 is steadily approaching its climax, with the semi-finals about to begin. France, Croatia, Argentina and Morocco are the four teams that will play in the semi-finals.
Which teams are out of FIFA World Cup 2022?
Ghana defeated South Korea 3–2 in a thrilling win, but defeats to Portugal and Uruguay saw them excluded from the tournament. Australia were knocked out of the World Cup after a 2–1 defeat to Argentina in the last 16, with goals from Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez securing victory for the South Americans.
Which team qualified for semi final World Cup 2022?
France, Croatia, Argentina and Morocco are the four teams that will play in the semi-finals. The quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup had a thrilling end as it was a rollercoaster ride for many teams.
Who has qualified for the 2022 World Cup playoffs?
The six seeded teams are Portugal, Scotland, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Wales. The unseeded teams are Turkey, Poland, North Macedonia and Ukraine, as well as Austria and the Czech Republic through the Nations League path.