The FIFA World Cup is all set for its ultimate clash as France gears up to defend its title against Lionel Messi’s Argentina on December 18 (IST) at the Lusail stadium.
Meanwhile, Croatia will face Morocco in the third place play-off on December 17 at the Khalifa international stadium.
Here are the top 10 goals of the Qatar World Cup so far:
Julian Alvarez vs Croatia, semifinal:
It was not the goal, it was the build up to the Julian Alvarez strike that caught the eye of fans and pundits.
Alvarez secured a brace against Croatia to make it 3-0 for Argentina in the 69th minute of its 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinal matchup.
Messi showed the world why he is regarded as one of the best ever to grace a football pitch with a peach of an assist.
Josko Gvardiol, regarded as one among the best defenders this World Cup, got schooled by La Pulga’s masterclass as he deceived the RB Leipzig player on the right flank, to deliver a inch perfect cross that Alvarez tapped it past Yassine Bounou.
Aurelien Tchouameni vs England, quarterfinal:
Defending champion France progressed into the World Cup semifinal after a 2-1 win against England. Les Bleus took an early lead via an Aurilien Tchouameni long-range stunner.
Kylian Mbappe initiated France’s attack with a brilliant run in the middle, dribbling past Declan Rice’s challenge, to find Ousmane Dembele on the edge of the box. The defense crowded Dembele, forcing a pass to Antoine Griezmann and the Atletico Madrid star pulled it back to Tchouameni, who fired the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal from almost 30 yards, leaving Jordan Pickford, the English goalie stunned.
Wout Weghorst vs Argentina, quarterfinal:
Wout Weghorst scored a brace against Argentina, but in vain as the Netherlands missed it by a whisker and was ousted in the penalty shootouts, in the World Cup quarterfinal. The second goal was special because of its nature and its timeliness. Ten minutes were added to the regulation 90 minutes and the Dutch were trailing till the last minute of the added time, then came the twist which delayed Netherlands’ elimination by another thirty-odd minutes.
The Netherlands got a free-kick right at the edge of the box. Teun Koopmeiners stepped up for the free-kick and instead of shooting, he passed it on for Weghorst, who was waiting inside the box, and capitalised on the move as he slammed the ball past a flabbergasted Emiliano Martinez.
Neymar vs Croatia, quarterfinal:
It was ecstasy in the extra-time and agony at the full-time whistle for Brazil, as it was eliminated after a penalty shootout loss against Croatia. The teams were inseparable throughout the 90 minutes and the match moved into extra time.
Selecao took the lead in the injury time of the extra time. Neymar received the ball in the middle and sliced his way into the Croatian six-yard box, playing one-twos with Rodrygo and then with Paqueta before finding the back of the net, guarded by Dominik Livakovic to make it 1-0.
Salem Eldawsari vs Argentina, group stage:
Two-time champion Argentina led Saudi Arabia 1-0 at half-time in its Group C opener after captain Lionel Messi successfully scored from the spot in the 10th minute
.However, after a passionate speech from coach Herve Renard, the Middle Eastern country came out all guns blazing in the second half and got the equaliser through Saleh Al-Shehri in the 48th minute.
The shock for the South American nation came five minutes later when Salem Al-Dawsari, who plays for Al Hilal in the Saudi Pro League, put the men in green ahead.
Cristian Romero headed away Al Abid’s shot but Al-Dawsari controlled the rebound. With four Argentine players in the vicinity trying to steal the ball, Al-Dawsari unleashed a right-footed curler which beat a diving Emiliano Martinez to find the top right corner.
Saudi Arabia held on to its 2-1 lead for a historic win.
Takuma Asano vs Germany, Group Stage:
A day after Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina, Japan came up with an upset win over four-time champion Germany in its first match in Group E.
Germany’s slender one-goal lead was erased by an equaliser from substitute Ritsu Doan in the 75th minute. However, Takuma Asano, another substitute, scored the winner for the Samurai Blue with a moment of brilliance eight minutes later.
The 28-year-old ran down the right wing to receive an aerial pass from Ko Itakura. Despite German defender Nico Schlotterbeck breathing down his neck, Asano kept running towards the near post before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer into the back of the net from the tightest of the angles.
Richarlison vs Serbia, group stage:
Five-time champion Brazil began its campaign with a 2-0 win over Serbia in its Group G opener.
Both of Brazil’s goals were scored by Richarlison with the second one coming off a spectacular scissor kick in the 73rd minute.
After Vinicius Jr. put the ball into the box from the left side, Richarlison received it with his left foot before turning and hitting with his right on the volley.
Luis Chavez vs Saudi Arabia, group Stage
Going into its final Group C match, Mexico had to beat Saudi Arabia while also hoping that the Argentina vs Poland result goes its way in order to reach the Round of 16.
Henry Martin scored the first goal of the tournament for El Tri two minutes into the second half. Five minutes later, Luis Chavez came up with a wonder strike to make it 2-0.
Chavez’s left-footed free-kick from 30 yards curled viciously to beat Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais and find the top right corner.
Kylian Mbappe vs Poland , round of 16:
An all-round show from Kylian Mbappe led France to a 3-1 win over Poland in the Round of 16 match.
However, the third goal for Les Bleus, scored by Mbappe himself, was as elegant a goal can be.
Mbappe passed the ball to Marcus Thuram on the left in the midfield before slowly making his way into the Polish box.
Thuram, after waiting for the right time, passed the ball back to Mbappe who got away from his marker before hitting a right-footed curling shot to find the top right corner.
Richarlison vs South Korea, round of 16
After scoring via an outrageous scissor kick in the group stage, Richarlison had the spotlight back on him when he put the ball in the back of the net against South Korea in the Round of 16.
In the 29th minute, Richarlison juggled the ball on his head before playing a pass to Marquinhos at the edge of the box and made a surging run into the area.
Marquinhos squared it to Thiago Silva, who in turn found Richarlison’s run and the striker set himself up with a touch before slotting it into the bottom corner.
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