2022 FIFA World Cup semifinals to begin on Tuesday

Mon, 12 Dec 2022 11:32 GMT
Argentina vs. Croatia, France vs. Morocco matches to be held in this stage.
2022 FIFA World Cup semifinals to begin on Tuesday

The semifinal stage in the 2022 FIFA World Cup will kick off Tuesday with the Argentina vs. Croatia match in Qatar's Al Daayen.

Lionel Messi-led Argentina toppled the Netherlands in a thrilling penalty shootout 4-3 in the previous stage last week.

Messi, 35, played in his fifth World Cup tournament and scored four goals for Argentina during the Qatar 2022.

Argentina won two World Cups in 1978 and 1986.

They are craving for a world title for 36 years.

The South American powerhouse were the World Cup runners-up in 1930, 1990 and 2014.

In the 2014 final in Brazil, Argentina lost to Germany 1-0 to return home with another silver medal.

Meanwhile Croatia, Argentina's opponents in the semifinals in Qatar, previously beat five-time champions Brazil 4-2 on penalties in the quarterfinals.

Like Argentina, Croatia eye another World Cup final.

Croatia, called Vatreni, were the 2018 finalists to amaze the authorities, and it is their best in the top football contest.

Vatreni came third in the 1998 World Cup and it will be Croatia's third semifinal in the Qatar 2022.

In the 1998 semifinals, Croatia were beaten by champions France 2-1 at Stade de France, Saint-Denis.

Croatia is led by 37-year-old skipper Luka Modric, who has been playing for his nation since 2006.

Like Messi, Modric is very likely to play his final World Cup this winter.

The Argentina vs. Croatia match at Lusail Stadium will start at 1900GMT on Tuesday.

Italy's Daniele Orsato will referee the match.

France to face dark horses Morocco in semifinals

Defending world champions France were into the 2022 World Cup semifinals after eliminating England 2-1 last weekend.

On Wednesday, France will play against Morocco, who previously beat Portugal 1-0 to carry on their fairy tale.

Following their triumph against Portugal, Morocco became the first African nation to reach World Cup semifinals. The Atlas Lions are spending a dream tournament in Qatar.

However France played World Cup semifinals for many times as Les Bleus were third in 1958 and 1986, and came fourth in 1982.

In the 2006 World Cup, France were runners-up after losing to Italy 5-3 on penalties at Olympiastadion in Berlin.

France lifted the World Cup twice; in 1998 when they were hosts and in 2018 in Russia.

French forward Kylian Mbappe scored five goals to be the top scorer in the 2022 World Cup.

The top scorer of the tournament will be awarded with a Golden Boot.

Another Les Bleus forward Olivier Giroud scored four goals to contribute to France in the offense.

Youssef En-Nesyri of Morocco scored two goals during the team's Qatar 2022 campaign.

The match between France and Morocco at Al Khor's Al Bayt Stadium will begin at 1900GMT.

Messi eyes new milestones

Argentine superstar Messi eyes two new individual milestones in the semifinal phase in Qatar.

Messi will equal Germany’s Lothar Matthaus' record for the most World Cup appearances by a player with 25 if he will play against Croatia.

Miroslav Klose of Germany and Messi have 24 appearances each in the World Cup.

Both Matthaus and Klose have already retired from the game.

In addition, Messi will be Argentina's top scorer in the World Cup if he scores against Croatia on Tuesday.

Last weekend Messi equaled former La Albiceleste forward Gabriel Batistuta with the most World Cup goals for Argentina with 10 goals in the tournament's history.

However Messi has a quite long way to beat Klose for the most FIFA World Cup goals in history.

Ex-Germany forward Klose is still the World Cup's all-time top scorer with 16 goals in four editions in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014.


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