The World Cup in Qatar has passed its main part - 48 group stage matches have been completed, all playoff participants have been determined, and even the first matches have been played. Today, users will find out a summary of all groups at the 2022 World Cup: who was the best and who surprised?
Group A: confident Netherlands and frankly weak hosts of the 2022 World Cup
Van Gaal’s Netherlands were considered the clear favorites of Group A before the start of the tournament, and they fully justified this status by allowing themselves an unsuccessful match only against Ecuador, inflicting only 2 shots on goal. Van Gaal traditionally surprised by putting debutant Noppert on goal, but otherwise the classic 3-5-2 formation and play through the flanks remained the hallmark of the oranges. I was pleasantly surprised by the young Gakpo, who quietly became the leader of the national team, pushing Depay.
The Qatar national team is the main loser of the World Cup, the team for 3 matches could not show anything for which it should be praised. Terrible defense game, lack of lined up game in attack and generally a rather weak plan against obviously strong opponents. After the end of the 2022 World Cup, no one will remember the host team, except that they set an anti-record for performances at the home world championship. Senegal without Mane was predictably good at power football and was able to reach the playoffs - they frankly failed only in the first match against the Netherlands, otherwise Koulibaly and company showed interesting football, managing to put the squeeze on Ecuador in the decisive match due to the captain and leader goal.
Ecuador also deserved to leave the group, but apart from Valencia, few people stood out in the national team. The young Hincapie “brought” an important penalty in the decisive match and made the task more difficult for the attack, but the Ecuadorians could not keep a draw. An interesting young team, already without a veteran of Valencia, will try to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
Group B: rational England and the rest
Southgate’s side had to come out of first place in Group B, they managed this task without problems, but not without criticism. The predictable defeat of Iran was followed by a nondescript draw with the US team and again a confident class victory against comrades from Wales. Kane, Rashford, Saka, Billingham all right, Maguire - classic became the hero of memes, but was reliable.
The US team looked cheerful by name, but you can’t tell by the game. Burhalter’s team took away 2 draws with Wales and England, beating Iran in the last match. Given the weakness of the opponents, the Americans were somewhat lucky to reach the playoffs, but against the Netherlands in ⅛ there is little chance.
Wales was not surprised - the frankly aging team could not please the fans either in attack or in defense. Bale, apart from the penalty, was not remembered for much, the rest performed even worse - no thought and tactics, except for the dull rolling of the ball. It’s definitely not worth waiting for the repetition of success, as at Euro 2016, in the next few years, the veterans will leave, and the Welsh have essentially no young hopes. Iran, after being defeated by England in the 8th added minute, put the squeeze on Wales in a boring match and gave itself a chance to go further. But in the match with the United States, everything fell into place - Queiroz’s team simply did not have enough skill to reach the next round. But the Iranian team will definitely be remembered.
Group C: Genius Messi against everyone
As expected, Messi became the main hero of Group C. Argentina Scaloni surprised the world with a defeat to Saudi Arabia after a Lionel goal in the first half, but other than Messi, it was difficult to single out someone on the positive side in the squad. Light Group C helped Argentina to reach the ⅛ finals - Mexico and Poland could not oppose anything to the individual game of the Scaloni team. But if the white and blue want to go as far as possible at the World Cup in Qatar, you can’t rely on Messi alone - you need help, Alvarez and the center of the field are trying to help the leader.
It is sincerely a pity that the bright and interesting Mexico could not reach the playoffs. She could take the victory from Poland, but she didn’t have enough luck (thanks to Szczensny), in the last match the Mexicans could score 4-5 goals against the Saudis, but they were let down by the realization. The Poles are the weakest team in the game of all those who left the group. The absolute lack of thought in the attack and the best goalkeeper of the group stage Szczesny helped Lewandowski and the company to go to ⅛. The victory over the Saudis was achieved solely on the individual skill of the two main stars: Zelinsky and Lewandowski, plus the Saudi Crash had no strength and emotions after the victory over Argentina.
Well done to the Saudis - Renan’s team outplayed the Argentines tactically well, but they lacked skill and endurance for the next matches. The rest of the teams are clearly stronger in terms of level, the defense of the Saudis at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar constantly failed, which is quite expected.
Group D: surprisingly weak Denmark and dominant France
If no one doubted the victory in group D of the French, the majority of experts gave the second place to powerful Denmark. France Deschamps is traditionally good and pragmatic. After 2 confident victories over Australia and Denmark at the World Cup, the coach changed 10 base players for the 3rd match and lost to Tunisia, remaining in first place. Mbappe is great, as are Griezmann and Giroud, Tchouameni and Rabiot manage in the center of the field, Varane is reliable. France is a clear favorite for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the most boring Poles in the ⅛ finals are unlikely to cause problems.
Denmark Newlmanda failed on all fronts, becoming the main loser of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The center of the field and the attack of the Danes looked so bad that against their background, Tunisia seemed like a favorite. Eriksen, Mele, Damsgaard and others failed all 3 matches, but in the last one they had chances to go further, defeating Australia. As a result - a confident victory for Australia and zero dangerous moments for the Danes. However, Newlmand remained in his post given the success at Euro 2020.
The Australian team is one of the main positive sensations in Qatar. A team without bright stars took their toll with the organization, beating Tunisia and Denmark 1-0 twice. Of course, in the first round of the playoffs, the Australians have little chance against Messi, but now the team can take the 2022 World Cup to its asset.
Tunisia is a typical African-style team, good in defense and unstable in attack. The victory against France’s second squad didn’t help, in the matches with Denmark and Australia the Kadri team had almost no chances to seriously hope for a pass to the next stage.
Group E: the main sensation of the group stage
There are not many bright matches and sensations at this World Cup, but Group E fought back for everyone. It was most unexpectedly won by a perfectly organized and bright Japanese team - they squeezed 200% out of their chances and managed to defeat two world champions in the group. Despite the fact that Minamino and Tomiyasu did not get into the squad, the Japanese have enough legionnaires like Doan and Asano who decide the outcome of the matches. The victories against Germany and Spain are the main event of the 2022 World Cup, it cannot be said that the Japanese won out of business.
Spain Enrique wants to return to the times of dominance and tiki-taka, but so far it is not working out very well. After the 7-0 victory over Costa Rica, they started talking about a strong new Spain, after a dismal draw with the Germans, there was less talk, and after the defeat to Japan, the question of dominance hung in the air. Enrique is dissatisfied with the game, and will draw conclusions in the matches right through. Morata in the attack may not be saved.
The German national team is one of the main losers of the second consecutive World Cup. Flick’s team is remembered more for the action with closed mouths than the game. The absence of a striker clearly affected, there was not enough sharpness in front. And the bet on the veteran Muller did not justify itself at all, the Germans looked helpless in creation, they were not saved by a strong-willed victory over Costa Rica. Flick and the German Federation will have something to think about.
The Costa Ricans were clear underdogs and lived up to expectations. The declassing from Spain was not in vain, they sensationally beat the Japanese and badly beaten the Germans, leaving the World Cup in Qatar with their heads held high. The last major tournament for Navas was quite successful.
Group F: “old” Belgium and many surprises
The victory of the Moroccan team in Group F is also easy to call a sensation. On the other hand, the Moroccans have almost an equal number of young European stars in comparison with Belgium and Croatia, so the victory of the Africans is deserved. The Regraga team conceded only 1 own goal from Canada in 3 matches - this is an application for 1 place with a margin. En-Nessiri and Ziyech showed leadership qualities, Mazraoui and Hakimi are almost the strongest pair of full-backs. The match with the Spaniards in the ⅛ finals of the World Cup in Qatar will be extremely interesting.
The Croatians from the 2018 World Cup silver got older, there were no new leaders in the team. This affects the attack, Livaya is clearly not a level for major tournaments, but the center of the field Modric-Brozovic-Kovačić coped with the task and, with the support of Perisic, reached the FIFA World Cup playoffs.
Belgium are, along with the Germans, the main losers of the Fifa World Cup. As de Bruyne said on the sidelines, they are too old for big tasks. To the point, as they say. Playing with a couple in the center of defense of Alderweireld-Vertonghen was not worth it for 2-3 years already, they have long since passed. As well as the older Hazard and Mertens. De Bruyne was alone, he did not wait for help from the former golden generation, the Belgians deserved 4th place in the game, even Canada looked more interesting. The debutants of the World Cup in the 21st century lost all 3 matches, but they showed reckless football, for which many thanks to them. They did not stand on the defensive in 11 people, for which they were punished by more experienced and skilled teams.
Group G: political confrontation and top Brazil
No one doubted the strength of the Brazilian national team, they proved their power in the first two matches, taking confident victories. Joy was overshadowed by another injury to Neymar, who can only help pentacampeons with ¼, and that’s not a fact. Richarlison and Vinicius called in the attack with the support of the Package, but the pragmatic second team in the decisive 3rd match did not allow the Brazilians to finish the group with 9 points.
The Swiss national team traditionally performs well in major tournaments: the ageless Shaqiri and Xhaka are still at the level. In the decisive match with a huge political overtones, the Swiss bounced back 1-2 against Serbia and came out in second place, which corresponds to the level of their game. But disappointed was the behavior of the Kosovo players of Switzerland, who competed in insults. Politics and football are inseparable things.
But the Serbs disappointed again - having a powerful line-up, they once again failed in defense, Mitrovic’s goals were not enough even for 3rd place in group G. The loss to the Brazilians was without a single chance, the Serbs had to take the victory from Cameroon, but missed it with a score of 3 :1 is the only such comeback at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Cameroonians could not jump above their heads, 3rd place can be considered a success for them, they did not play enough to get out of such a group. Abubakar came on as a great substitute in the last two matches and brought the team 4 points. But in general, they looked the worst in the game, except for Serbia in defense.
Group H: Flashbacks from 2010 and Courageous Dream
Few doubted the victory of the Portuguese national team, they, like France and Brazil, confidently took the first 2 matches and put up almost a reserve for the 3rd. Only Ronaldo was traditionally dissatisfied with the replacements, but in general, the Santos team dramatically beat Ghana and confidently Uruguay, pragmatically losing to South Korea, giving the latter a sensational ticket to the playoffs of the World Cup in Qatar.
The South Koreans are close comrades of the Japanese in terms of playing style and organization. They coolly realized their few moments, it brought the second place in the group. Son did not score once but was wildly useful, the team’s second star Hwang scored the decisive goal in the 90th minute of match 3, and the defense star from Napoli was injured. South Korea sensationally knocked out Uruguay, but not to say that it was not on the game.
The Uruguayans brought to Qatar an interesting on paper composition of an alloy of youth (Valverde) and experience (Cavani, Suarez) - but this did not help. A nondescript game with Portugal and Korea predetermined the failure, even the victory over Ghana did not help. Yes, a clean penalty missed in the middle of the second half could change the fate of Uruguay, but they themselves are to blame for how they played in the first two matches with such a stellar squad. There are few questions for Ghana about the game, they performed brightly, but they lacked defense and tactics. The victory over the South Koreans was won in a flamboyant style, they almost won back in the first match with the Portuguese, but the revenge on Uruguay for 2010 turned out to be peculiar - they simply did not let the Uruguayans score 3 and did not let them go further. It’s also a good option - they didn’t come out themselves, and we won’t give it to the “enemies”.