FIFA World Cup 2022 will see 32 teams battle it out for the trophy over 64 games beginning November 20 in Qatar.
The teams for football’s biggest tournament have been drawn into eight groups of four teams each and the top two teams from each group will make the cut for the round of 16 or the pre-quarterfinals.
In Group A, Qatar is the lowest-ranked side in the World Cup (50) but will have history on its side as the host at every World Cup but one has made it to the second round.
South Africa is the only host country to have missed making it out of the group stage in 2010. Qatar, however, faces the challenge of going up against 2002 quarterfinalist Senegal, three-time runner-up, the Netherlands, and the dark horse, Ecuador.
Which teams are there in Group A?
Qatar, Ecuador, the Netherlands, and Senegal.
Who is expected to qualify for the round of 16 from group A?
The Netherlands and Senegal will be the expected to make the cut for the second round from this group.
The Dutch, under Louis van Gaal, have shown tremendous promise with 33 goals in 10 games in the qualifying campaign. Senegal, the African Cup of Nations Champion, has impressed with its consecutive World Cup qualification for the first time.
The Netherlands, served in the past by pacy winger Arjen Robben and all-time highest goal scorer Robin Van Persie, have the services of young forwards in Memphis Depay and Steven Bergwijn.
Why is Ecuador the dark horse?
Ecuador has shown its capability to cause upsets in the FIFA World Cup. In Germany, 16 years ago, Ecuador beat Costa Rica and Poland to make it to the round of 16 for the first time.
After confirming its place in the World Cup this time, following a green signal from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, it will look to follow a similar path in Qatar.
When are the Group A teams playing?
- November 20 – Qatar vs Ecuador – 9.30 PM – Al Bayt Stadium
- November 21 – Senegal vs Netherlands – 9:30 PM – Al Thumama Stadium
- November 25 – Qatar vs Senegal – 6:30 PM – Al Thumama Stadium
- November 25 – Netherlands vs Ecuador – 9:30 PM – Khalifa International Stadium
- November 29 – Ecuador vs Senegal – 8:30 PM – Khalifa International Stadium
- November 29 – Netherlands vs Qatar – 8.30 PM – Al Bayt Stadium
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