All good things must come to an end. For a tournament that occurs once every four years, it’s understandable why there’s so much emotion, as the last game of the tournament will be played on the 18th of December at the Lusail stadium. Two teams have had to overcome a series of challenges to get to this point. Argentina and France are the teams that made it to the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup finals. We are sure of an exciting game owing to the character of the teams involved. Argentina overcame an early scare in the tournament to become one of the best attacking teams in this year’s tournament, while France has lived up to expectations at every point of the tournament.
Road To The 2022 World Cup Finals
Here we will look at both teams’ journey to the finals, from their first group game to the semi-finals.
If you look at how Argentina kicked off the tournament, it’s incredible how they bounced back from an early scare in their opening game and remained consistent to make it to the finals. Suffering defeat at the hands of the second-lowest ranked team in your opening game in the World Cup is quite demoralizing, but the Argentines took motivation from that and surprised the whole world with their reaction. Here is how Argentina progressed to the Finals.
- Argentina’s opening game, as mentioned earlier, was against the second-lowest-ranked team in the tournament, Saudi Arabia. They suffered a 2-1 loss, to everyone’s surprise. Lionel Messi opened the scoring via a penalty, but the Arabians responded with two goals in the second half to win the game.
- Next up, Argentina was up against Mexico and won by two goals to nil for their first points in the group.
- Another 2-0 win against Poland secured Argentina’s spot as the group leader to progress to the round of 16.
- Argentina was up next against Australia in the round of 16. They defeated Australia 2-1 to progress to the quarter-finals
- Argentina now faced the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Messi gave Nahuel Molina the assist for his first-ever international goal as Argentina took the lead. Messi converted a penalty kick in the 73rd minute to make it 2-0 for Argentina. To keep the Netherlands within striking distance of Argentina, 2-1, substitute Wout Weghorst breached the Argentine defense and pierced the goal. He scored again late in extra time to force extra time and ultimately force penalties, which Argentina eventually won 4-2.
- Argentina played former World Cup finalist Croatia in the semi-finals. Lionel Messi led Argentina to a 3-0 win over Croatia. He scored and provided two assists as he was involved in all three goals for the Argentines. It’s noteworthy that Julian Alvarez scored two goals, including a beautiful solo goal in the game.
France faced a lot of adversities heading into this tournament. A number of injuries hit them before the tournament began. Besides their dynamic midfield duos of Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante, who were not registered due to injuries, Christopher Nkuku and Karim Benzema suffered injuries in training a few days before the tournament. However, The French’s depth was enough to compensate for the lack of such key figures in the squad as they cruised to the finals.
- France opened the tournament with a win over an emphatic 4-1 win over Australia.
- They went on to win their second group game 2-1 against Denmark. This was enough to secure qualification to the round of 16.
- In a game that did not affect their qualification hopes, France lost their third group game by a goal to nil to Tunisia.
- France was up against Poland in the round of 16, and they cruised past them, winning three goals to one.
- France played England in the quarter-finals, and a second-half Harry Kane penalty miss ensured their progression to the semi-finals. France opened the scoring, but England got a penalty to bring the game to level terms. Giroud, in the second half, put the French team up front, proving decisive.
- France was up against the dark horse of the tournament Morocco in the semi-finals. In the first half, the reigning champions took the early lead in the game via AC Milan’s defender’s strike, Theo Hernadez. The French did well to fend off Morocco’s attack to bring the game to level terms, and Hugo Lloris was key to that as he made quite a number of impressive saves. A Kolo Muani second-half goal was enough to secure the win for France, who will now make a back-to-back finals appearance.
Argentina has the heart and drives to win it all; you can see it clearly in Lionel Messi. His body language shows how much this means to him, and we may be seeing a side of him he had never shown since the beginning of his career. What the French team has is experience. They have been here before and have several players from the last group that won the trophy in 2018.
The French team has a solid defense, and the attack is probably in contention with the Argentines for the best in the tournament. While Messi might seem destined for ultimate success, this French team will be tough to beat.
Also, Argentina greatly depends on Messi, which is a weakness. France might survive the Argentine storm on their way to a third World Cup victory thanks to their apparent incapacity to panic and evident firepower. The pick here is for France to win but by a thin Margin.
For player props, Mbappe should get on the scoresheet, while Lionel Messi also tends to thrive on the biggest of stages. Messi to score or assist is the second pick for player props.
The tournament is not the easiest to predict. Argentina winning will be the perfect tale to Lionel Messi’s career as the World Cup is all he needs to etch his name in the history books as the greatest player ever to grace a football pitch. Meanwhile, for France, it’s the birth of a new footballing legend at a very young age.
Kylian Mbappe is the man in question, and at the young age of 23, two World Cup trophies would be insane. However, this prediction favors the more experienced team, which does not depend on a one-person wonder to win games.
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