The 2022 FIFA World Cup Has Been Anything but Predictable (So Far)


Allison Bower

Who do you think will win the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Azzurra Degliuomini, Editor

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar on Sunday, November 20, and it has been nothing but a surprise for fans all across the globe.

The first match of the tournament unfolded on November 20 between Qatar and Ecuador, ending in a historic 0-2 loss for the host country. This is the first time in the history of the entire event that a host country has lost the game. In its nearly 100-year history, a host country has either won or tied the inaugural game.

That was the beginning of the surprising events, though.

On Monday, November 21, England beat Iran with an incredible score of 6-2. What was historic about this game came from Iran’s side, whose players refused to sing their country’s national anthem due to the ongoing protests that are erupting throughout the country over the killing of Mahsa Amini and the abhorrent treatment of protestors by the government.

The next day, another surprising result was when fan-favorite Argentina fell short of Saudi Arabia, having a shocking 2-1 loss in a game no one saw unfolding in the way it did. Argentina’s defeat against Saudi Arabia hit many Argentina fans, but it hit Lionel Messi fans harder. This will most likely be the soccer legend’s final World Cup, and many are rooting for him and his team to win as the last “hurrah.”

The same day, Mexico and Poland faced each other in an intense game that ended in a draw. Australia faced France, picking up one goal within the first ten minutes, but France quickly and swiftly came back and ended the game 4-1.

The biggest game of the tournament so far came the next day when Spain easily defeated Costa Rica with an incredible end result of 7-0, putting them at the top of their group. Germany and Japan also faced each other the same day, the latter country upsetting the 4-time World Cup champions in a match that ended 1-2.

“I’m going to go with Brazil [as the winner],” one student at Santaluces said. “Brazil has experience and players. They have a good team this year and the [past few] results have been showing it.”

That’s true; Brazil’s first game of the tournament ended with a 2-0 victory over Serbia, where it can be argued that the best goal of the tournament so far was shot by Brazil’s Richarlison. Neymar, on the other hand, was struggling to even stay upright throughout the entire game.

That same day, Portugal and Ghana both put up a fight to win their first game of the World Cup, but Portugal came out victorious with a 3-2 victory over the other nation.

But, the most awaited game happened on Friday, November 25, when the US and England faced each other in a match that’s still talked about today. These two nationals have had a rivalry since before the creation of the United States, and people from both sides were getting very passionate.

“Me getting fully geared up for USA vs England (I thought the World Cup happened every year until a week ago)” posted on user on TikTok.

In the end, the game finished with a 0-0 draw between the two countries, in which some people were left feeling underwhelmed by the performance. Many still believe the US won over England, though.

“This SOCCER tie is so embarrassing for England. Imagine if England came and played American Football vs the USA and we tied that game… Levels to this.” said one Twitter user after the match.

The following days were filled with games with results that were expected.

Four matches were played on Monday, November 28, all of them being exciting in their own way. The day started off with a 3-3 tie between Serbia and Cameroon.

Ghana and South Korea played an intense game that had viewers on the edge of their seats. Coming into the second half of the game, Ghana was up 2-0, but South Korea’s Cho Gue-Sung quickly equalized the game by scoring two goals within three minutes of each other. Ghana scored again a few minutes later, and the rest of the game was spent with South Korea trying to equalize once again. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to do so, the game ending with Ghana winning over South Korea 3-2.

Brazil won over Switzerland 1-0, and fan-favorite Portugal beat Uruguay 2-0 later that same day.

“I want Portugal [to win] so Ronaldo can pick up the trophy,” says another student.

Cristiano Ronaldo is another fan-favorite soccer player and Portugal is another pick for World Cup winner. Many people want to see an Argentina-Portugal final for the simple fact that they want to see Messi and Ronaldo play together one last time.

The final rounds of the Group Stages have started, and for the remaining time, there will be two matches played at the same time. There will be one group that plays at the same time; for example, all four teams of Group A will play at the same time: Ecuador-Senegal and Netherlands-Qatar. This is to avoid match-fixing and allow the players to play at their full potential without knowing the results of the other game.

The most recent games of the tournament have been between Ecuador and Senegal, which ended with a 1-2 score. The Netherlands also beat Qatar 2-0. Both teams have qualified for the Round of 16. For the first time since 2002, and the second time in their nation’s history, Senegal has qualified for the Round of 16.

The US and Iran faced off with an end result of 1-0. The US will be moving on to the Round of 16. England and Wales also faced off against each other, ending with a score of 3-0, where the former nation will also be moving on to the Round of 16.

There will be three more days of the Group Stages. Whichever teams win their matches in these next few days will advance to the Round of 16, where they will be facing off for a spot in the quarter-finals.