Who is in and who is out?
The drama, intensity, joy, and tears are always supposed to be experienced as the game takes another rollercoaster ride. Call it football!
Who is out?
The world's second-placed team bids farewell to the world cup early, something that has been termed ‘the end of the golden era’.
Belgium finished third in their group behind Croatia and Morocco who backed up their surprise 2-0 win over the Red Devils by beating Canada 2-1.
Massive talents such as Kevin De Bruyne who is among the best in the game, Romelu Lukaku, and great dribbler Eden Hazard to mention but a few were unable to help their team to progress to the next round.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup champions failed to make it out of the group stages for the second consecutive time. They beat Costa Rica in what was a rollercoaster of goals yesternight but that was not enough as Japan surprisingly beat Spain just as they had surprised them in their first match of this year's Qatar world cup campaign.
The host nation was the first team eliminated and they were followed by Canada as both failed to pick up a single point in their first two matches of the group stage.
Despite having the overwhelmingly performing striker in Enner Valencia. Ecuador's loss to Senegal after a contested battle between them was decided later with Kalidou scoring for his team which meant that the South American nation had to bow out of this year's world cup competition.
Others that are out of the Qatar FIFA World Cup competitions include; Costa Rica, Tunisia, Wales, Iran, and Denmark. The other two will be determined today as South Korea play Portugal, Ghana take on Uruguay, Switzerland square it out with Serbia, and Cameroon take on five times world champions Brazil.
Who is in?
The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup has been phenomenal so far and teams that earlier had little chance of success are some of the ones that have made it to the knockout stages. We wait to see it we are in for more surprises as the journey to the finals continues.
The North African nation surprised many by finishing top of their group as they drew with Croatia in their first game and proceeded to crash Belgium and Canada in their preceding games. The most memorable moment is when their were victorious over Belgium 2-0 given the stature of the European country who are currently ranked second in the world FIFA Rankings. They have been drawn against Spain in the round of 16.
The Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up have clearly come to Qatar to compete and not just to participate. They were able to upset Belgium yesternight and secure a point in a barren draw in a game that Belgium were very lucky not to concede a goal given the fact that Croatia were the better team all through. They will now face off with Japan in the next stage of the competition.
The Asian nation has proved itself to the football world twice now in the ongoing competitions by crashing two football giants. They beat Germany 2-1 in their opening game and replicated the same results against Spain in their last game of the group stages. Their only shortcoming was when they were defeated by Costa Rica 1-0 on match day two. They take on Croatia in the round of 16.
The South African 2010 FIFA World Cup champions have been termed one of the favourites to carry the day come December 18th. They were sailing well through their group stage games as they beat Costa Rica 7-0 and drew with Germany 1-1 before they suffered a surprise defeat yesterday in the hands of the Japanese. They take on Morocco in the next round of the competition.
They have not fallen prey of the ‘reigning champions jinx’ as they have been able to advance to the next round of the Qatar FIFA World Cup on top of their group something which Germany, Spain, and Italy failed to do in the past world cups after claiming the trophy. They have been drawn against an ambitious Poland team in the round of 16 and the showdown will be played on Sunday.
After Saudi Arabia ended their long winless streak in their opening game of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, they have since gone back to winning ways and won against Mexico and Poland and are looking forward to go passed Australia in the round of 16 knockout stages. Lionel Messi is the obvious star player in the team and being who he is, he carries the load of a nation and even his shoulders might be heavier as his wide world fans expect him to win the world cup trophy this time around that evaded him in the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
Brazil & Portugal:
Although the South American nation are yet to play their final group stage game, they have already advanced to the next round. They beat Serbia in their first game and proceeded to crash Switzerland, it is now Cameroon who stand between them and their winning the group with 9 points. Portugal also have already secured a spot in the next round of the Qatar 2022 World Cup after securing two wins against Ghana and Uruguay and will be hoping to win against South Korea tonight in what will be a very competitive match.