The World Cup semi-finals are set! with Croatia And Argentina Created history on Saturday while cementing his place on Friday Morocco Beating Portugal Will become the first African team to reach the last four. They will face the defending champions Francethat ended England In the second quarter final match.
Be sure to check in with ESPN throughout the tournament as we bring you the latest from Qatar. Here’s what you might have missed from Saturday’s World Cup events, and a look at next week’s action.
World Cup semi-finals: Argentina-Croatia, France-Morocco
After Saturday’s matches, we have a full two days off before the first semifinal game (Argentina-Croatia) begins on Tuesday, with the second tilt (France-Morocco) on Wednesday. There will be plenty of previews and breakdowns of the two games leading up to the final on December 18, but a few notes to start:
This is France’s seventh semi-final appearance, following Argentina (5), Croatia (3) and Morocco (1).
Morocco is the first African country to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, and only the third country outside Europe and South America to reach the semi-finals, the last being done by the co-hosts. South Korea in 2002 (and by United States of america in the inaugural 1930 edition).
Since then, France is the first defending champion to reach the semi-finals. Brazil It did so in 1998, where they eventually lost in the final to… France.
Try not to leave it late while playing Croatia. they join Germany Because the teams with the most penalty-shootouts in World Cup history have won without a loss (4–0 in both shootouts).
Morocco’s historic run sends Ronaldo, Portugal packing
what Morocco What they have done in this edition of the World Cup has been nothing short of remarkable. prepared in a group with belgium And CroatiaAnd having changed their coach just months before the tournament, they were only expected to reach the round of 16.
But the Atlas Lions have surpassed this and then some. by beating Portugal what was 1-0 Cristiano RonaldoIn a potentially final World Cup appearance, Morocco have now become the first team from Africa to reach the semi-finals of the tournament. And he did it the hard way, with a win over heavyweight Belgian, spain and Portugal.
Playing a defensive, counter-attacking style that has confounded those European sides, Morocco’s Cinderella run embodied fighting spirit. Which is fitting because as Moroccan coach Walid Regargui called his team “The Rocky Balboa of this World Cup.“And now, they will take on defending champions France in next Wednesday’s semi-final – the two countries share much shared history, so expect another memorable bout.
Gabi Amado has praised Cristiano Ronaldo for the impact he is having on Portuguese football after his World Cup dream came to an end at the hands of Morocco.
for ronaldo, He was again named to the bench For Portugal, the start of the second half came to equal FIFA’s official record for the most capped international male player with 196, but he did not get one last great world cup moment, If this is the last time we see one of history’s greatest players on this stage that was a very submissive way to bow,
Steve McManaman praised England’s performance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup despite losing 2–1 to France.
France bids on England Farewell as Kane misses key penalty
Six minutes left in regulation and a chance to keep EnglandWorld Cup hope alive, star forward harry kane — the world’s best penalty taker — were also on the verge of making Three Lions history. Instead, Kane lofted the ball over the French keeper. hugo loris‘ Net. France They stayed on and secured a place in the semi-finals with a 2–1 win.
Kane had scored a penalty earlier in the match, in the process equaling Wayne Rooney’s all-time England goal-scoring record, but proceeded to face his goal again when Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Lloris, he effortlessly blasted his effort over the crossbar. It was only the fourth time he had missed for England in 21 attempts.
There is no shame in bowing out to the title holders, but this England team had the talent and the means to win everything in Qatar. It is another big tournament without a trophy for England. When the 2026 World Cup takes place in four years’ time, the 1966 victory will mark 60 years.
As for France, they will be the favorites for the Final Four. They will be cautious against Morocco on Wednesday, but this group of French attacking stars could finally break the defensive block of the Atlas Lions. aurelian tchoumenigave France the lead in the 17th minute, but Olivier Giroud Scored in the 78th minute with what proved to be a decisive header served on a platter by antoine griezmann, Now France’s all-time assists leader with 27, Griezmann has reestablished himself as a makeshift midfielder in coach Didier Deschamps’ squad in Qatar.
kilian mbappe Couldn’t add to his tally of five goals, but remains in contention to win the Golden Boot. Even on a quiet evening against England, his companions rose to the occasion And moving forward.
Rob Dawson debates whether Gareth Southgate will remain in charge of England following their quarter-final defeat.
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News and Notes
American football writer Grant Wahl honored with tribute from FIFA At the desk where he was supposed to work Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final match between France and England. A photograph of white lilies and a framed photo of Wahl taken in Qatar were left on the media seat assigned to the 48-year-old journalist, who died early Saturday. Wahl fell ill while working during extra time of Friday’s Argentina-Netherlands match at Lusail Stadium. He was treated by medical staff at the Media Tribune and later taken by ambulance to a hospital.
FIFA opened a disciplinary case against Argentina For his actions during the controversial World Cup quarter-final win against the Netherlands. Football’s world governing body cited “order and security at matches” in its disciplinary code for charging the Argentine FA. Lionel Messi was among a World Cup-record 17 players or coaching staff members shown yellow cards during or after a game.
Germany and Bayern Munich goalkeeper manuel neuer Fractured leg during skiing tour, ruling him out for the rest of the season. The 36-year-old Neuer featured for Germany at the World Cup in Qatar, but the four-time winners suffered an embarrassing debut in the group stage.