A Complete World Cup Qatar 2022 Review

Jeremy Kravitz and Dania Rustom

Group A: Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador, Qatar

The Netherlands were an obvious favorite. Ecuador gave Senegal quite the scare with its young core, while Qatar fell flat and became the first host nation to finish the tournament without a point.

Group B: England, USA, Iran, Wales

England certainly came to play with a 6-2 win over Iran and a 3-0 win over Wales. The USA met expectations this time around, with Christian Pulisic’s historic strike against Iran uniting a nation. 

Group C: Argentina, Poland, Mexico, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia pulled off a shocking upset over eventual champions Argentina. Messi fought back with wins against Poland and Mexico. Mexico failed to advance from the group stage for the first time in 40 years, falling to goal differential. 

Group D: France, Australia, Tunisia, Denmark

Denmark was disappointing, as they failed to advance out of a seemingly easy group. France dominated, only losing to Tunisia while resting their starters. Australia came from down under and snuck through. 

Group E: Japan, Spain, Germany, Costa Rica

Japan started off unexpectedly strong with a 2-1 upset over Germany, who, for the second time in history, did not make it past the group stage. Spain didn’t stand out besides their 7-0 win over Costa Rica, but continued on to the next round.

Group F: Morocco, Croatia, Belgium, Canada

From early on, Morocco foreshadowed their unpredicted success for the rest of the world cup. Although they tied with Croatia in their first game, Morocco moved on at the top of their group, as Croatia eked out a draw and edged past Belgium.

Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Cameroon, Serbia

Despite a 92nd-minute win for Cameroon, initial favorites Brazil advanced relatively easily. Switzerland got the best of the Serbians in a hard-fought group. 

Group H: Portugal, South Korea, Uruguay, Ghana

Portugal advanced through the group despite losing to South Korea and a temper tantrum from captain Christiano Ronaldo (“SUIIIIIIIIIII”). South Korea and Uruguay were tied on goal differential, but after a dramatic final goal against Portugal, the South Koreans flexed their resilience and advanced. 

Semi-finals: Argentina vs. Croatia; France vs. Morocco

It was back-to-back semi-final appearances for France and Croatia. This time, Argentina was able to get past Croatia, brushing them aside in a 3-0 victory. France vs Morocco was a tense battle: France scored within the first five minutes, leaving Morocco chasing the game. Preying on late-game desperation from the underdogs, France slotted a second goal home in the 79th minute, dispatching the dreams of a nation. 

Final: France vs. Argentina

Both teams played exceptionally well in the final, making for a memorable game. Argentina capitalized on a sloppy tackle, leading to Messi’s first penalty of the game. Building on the momentum, Di Maria scored Argentina’s thrilling second goal of the first half. Just as fans started losing hope for France, Mbappe scored France’s first penalty in the 70th minute, following it with their second goal only a minute later. After a goal each during extra time, the final went to penalty shootouts for the first time since 2006. Argentina took the cup after an exciting 4-2 penalty kick win.

This article also appears in our January 2023 print edition.