The 2022 FIFA World Cup will come to a close this weekend, after weeks of brilliant soccer. On Sunday, the best soccer players from Argentina and France will play in a must-see final match. Argentina, led by star player Lionel Messi, will play France, which is armed with strong players like Kylian Mbappé and Olivier Giroud.
On Wednesday, Dec. 14, France defeated Morocco after taking an early lead and scoring a goal five minutes into the match. France's Théo Hernandez, who was filling in for his brother, Lucas Hernandez, scored the early goal. While Morocco struggled to score at all, they made several goal attempts that were thwarted by France's defense. In the second half, France's substitute Randal Kolo Muani scored a goal to cement France's 2-0 lead and victory.
On Tuesday, Dec. 13, Argentina dominated in the semifinal match and eliminated Croatia from the tournament with a score of 3-0. Argentina's Messi successfully scored a penalty kick in the first half, and 22-year-old Julián Álvarez brought in two more goals. Croatia was unable to keep up with Argentina's momentum throughout the game, though Croatian player Luka Modrić gave a strong performance.
Croatia will fight for the third-place prize on Saturday, Dec. 17, against Morocco. The European nation has placed third in the tournament before, in their first-ever World Cup run in 1998. Morocco, also known as 'the Atlas Lions,' makes history by being the first African nation to have made it to the World Cup semifinals, and has the opportunity to make history once again on Saturday.
With its quarterfinal performance, Morocco made history by being the first African nation to reach the World Cup's semifinal round. The team defeated Portugal 1-0, with spectacular saves by Morocco's goalkeeper Bono and an incredible goal by Youssef En-Nesyri, who jumped over 9 feet into the air to score. Argentina reached the semifinals by defeating the Netherlands in a tense penalty shootout, with a final score of 4-3.
England, the Netherlands, Portugal and Brazil finished their journeys in Qatar at the quarterfinals. Many anticipated Brazil advancing to the finals, but Croatia pulled ahead. France had a strong quarterfinal performance and won their match against England with a score 2-1.
You can tune into the final on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 10 a.m. EST.
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.