Down to the last 16 for the FIFA World Cup 2022

by Lorraine Williamson
the last 16

FOOTBALL – All the groups have now played their 3 games, with just groups G and H to play today. At the end of today, we will know the 2 last remaining teams in the FIFA World Cup 2022 going through to the last 16.

So far, the World Cup in Qatar has provided us with some fantastic football, but also some controversial decisions not just from the referees, but also from VAR.

The final games in the group stages

The final games taking place today begin at 4.00 pm with South Korea playing against Portugal. And at the same time, Ghana take on Uruguay. Later, at 8.00 pm, we will see the final games of the group stages. These are Serbia v Switzerland, and Cameroon v Brazil.

Brazil and Portugal have already qualified for the round of 16 from their groups. Today´s games therefore will see which countries claim their place. Technically, it is mathematically possible for any of the remaining 6 teams to claim that second spot in the group. This should provide some good football as they must fight for survival.

The two countries from each of the other groups going through to the last 16 were determined over the last few days.

Cameroon v Serbia

The excitement began on Monday when Castelletto of Cameroon managed to score first against Serbia. However, Serbia got two back in quick succession just before the half time whistle. Goals came from Pavlovic, and Milinkovic-Savic. The first half ended 1-2.

The third goal for Serbia came early in the second half, when Mitrovic scored. However, Cameroon proved they might have been down, but they were certainly not out. They still had more to give.  Their second goal came as Aboubakar remained calm in front of the keeper as he ran out.  However, Aboubakar just flicked the ball over the keeper and into the empty net. Cameroon were back in the fight.  A few minutes later, Choupo-Moting of Cameroon got the equaliser. Both countries took a point. This point means both teams must win today to go through to have a chance at progressing in the 2022 World Cup.

Wales v England

England´s 0-3 win over Wales ended the Welsh side´s chances of progressing. All three goals for England came in the second half. Two for Rashford after 50 and 68 minutes. And Foden scored immediately after Rashford´s first goal to secure England´s place in the final 16.

Japan v Spain and Costa Rica v Germany

Last night saw some edge of the seat stuff as both games were being played at the same time. And, furthermore, both games were dependent on results from the other game. The players on the field surely must have felt the tension in the crowds, as they watched footage of the other games on their mobile phones.

Morata scored first for Spain after just 11 minutes, and everything seemed to be going Spain´s way. However, just into the second half, Doan of Japan scored.

Then controversy followed just a few minutes later. The ball was sent into the box and was passed across the front of the goal. The ball appeared to go over the line, and out. But Mitoma of Japan got to it, curved it back in front of the goal, to be met by Tanaka who put it in the net.

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The replays showed the ball to be over the line, however VAR gave the goal. Japan were then leading 2-1.

Meanwhile, the Costa Rica v Germany game was also action packed. Gnabry scored 10 minutes in for Germany. With Spain´s goal just one minute later, at that time, it meant both Spain and Germany going through to the last 16.

However, with an early goal in the second half for Japan, this then meant Japan were one of the teams going through.

Then it was the turn of Costa Rica to upset the standings on the table when Tejeda scored after 58 minutes. At this stage in the games, Japan were leading Spain 2-1, and it was all square with one goal each for Costa Rica and Germany. This now meant, Spain and Japan would both go through.

But it didn´t end there…

An own goal by Neuer meant Costa Rica went 2-1 up against Germany. Germany continued to battle. At this point, for them to have a chance, they needed to win against Costa Rica, and they also needed Spain to win against Japan.

Germany managed their part with a further 3 goals coming from Havertz after 73 and 85 minutes, and one from Fullkrug in the 89th minute. However, it was not enough, as Spain did not manage to turn the play against Japan.

Although Spain did not win their game, they had done enough to qualify. Germany on the other hand did not.

The last 16

Tomorrow (Saturday) the round of 16 begins with the Netherlands taking on USA with a 4.00 pm kick off. Also tomorrow, but at 8.00 pm, Argentina play against Australia.

England will play against Senegal on Sunday at 8.00 pm, and Spain´s next match is on Tuesday at 4.00 pm against Morocco.

The round of 16 is a knockout round. The winners go through to the final 8, and the losers go home.

Also read: Where to watch the world cup games

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