The 2022 World Cup is getting closer to the end. Of the 32 countries that competed in the world cup, it has narrowed down to 16 countries that have finally qualified for the 2022 World Cup knockout phase. Of course, these 16 countries have struggled in three group phase matches before they finally finished in the top two in each group.
From a total of 48 matches in the group phase, there were many surprises that emerged. We all understand the statement that the 2022 World Cup is very difficult to predict. An analyst named Nielsen Gracenote noted that at least the 2022 World Cup had more surprises than the six previous world cup editions.
A wild and memorable ending to the Group Stage!
- FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 2, 2022
Featured Country Surprises
Many surprises occurred in several matches. The first surprise occurred in Group C which brought Saudi Arabia against Argentina. On paper, of course, Argentina is superior. It was proven when Lionel Messi managed to break the deadlock through the penalty spot.
But Hervé Renard, coach of Saudi Arabia was able to do it tactical adjustments very well. As a result, Saudi Arabia was able to turn the lead to 1-2 for Saudi Arabia in just 5 minutes! How did it suddenly go viral? team talk Renard at half-time.
A day after Saudi Arabia's surprise, another Asian nation, namely Japan, also followed its neighbors' lead against Germany. Japan's victory is almost the same pattern as Saudi Arabia beat Argentina. They fell behind through the white point in the first half and were able to restore the situation in the second half.
If Saudi Arabia did it in 5 minutes, this time Japan did it in 8 minutes. This defeat against Japan made Germany feel traumatized again for Asian countries. Previously at the 2018 World Cup, Germany was defeated 2-0 over South Korea in the group phase as well.
Surprises still continue for Japan in group E. In the next match against Costa Rica, Japan has the opportunity to qualify immediately if it wins against Costa Rica. But unlucky, they actually lost 1-0 to Costa Rica which in their first match was thrashed by Spain 7-0.
But that's okay, Japan finally got through too by beating Spain in the last game of the group in almost the same way they did against Germany. Left behind in the first half, then able to restore the situation in the second half with a score of 2-1.
With this result, group E became the talk of many people because a favored country like Germany was only able to sit in 3rd place in the final group standings. This repeats their bad story after the previous world cup edition was the same.
In other groups, surprises occurred in Morocco and Belgium. Judging from the quality of the players, Belgium is clearly better than Morocco. But fate said otherwise. Morocco, which was not the seed, won the group with 7 points. Meanwhile, Belgium is only in 3rd place under Croatia and it is certain that they cannot advance to the next round.
In addition, from all groups no country can wipe out all the matches. The highest points recorded were only England, the Netherlands and Morocco with 2 wins and 1 draw.
Even big countries like France and Brazil in their final matches had to lose after changing almost all of their line-ups. At the 2022 World Cup, all countries from 6 continents managed to advance to the round of 16 for the first time.
Players Show Off
In terms of players, senior players and stars like Lionel Messi managed to bring Argentina to the round of 16 even though they lost in the first game. Messi has so far scored 2 goals and one assist.
Apart from that, Cristiano Ronaldo also managed to bring Portugal to the next round by being able to score one goal through the white point. Lewandowski also managed to bring Poland to the last 16 for the first time since 1986.
If earlier from the senior players, young players and future star candidates also showed off. Kylian Mbappe was able to score 3 goals to bring France to the round of 16. In addition, Gavi from Spain also became the youngest goalscorer in the world cup beating the legend of Brazil, Pele.
The 2022 World Cup is also a place to show off to increase their market value in the transfer market. For example, Cody Gakpo, who was able to enchant all spectators with his goals during the world cup with the Netherlands.
Besides that, there is the name Mohammed Kudus who stole the attention with Ghana even though he failed to bring Ghana to the last 16. Do not forget that there are also Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka who became the backbone of England during this group phase.
Besides that, there are some interesting notes from the world cup this time. It is recorded that from the 48 matches that have been running, 525 additional minutes have been given in the match. That's the equivalent of nearly six extra games.
Those are some interesting notes that occurred during the group phase of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Of course we will see more surprises to come in the next 2 weeks. It's just a matter of whether the top winning teams will be victorious or even the underdog teams capable of making even bigger surprises.