Updates on 2022 FIFA World Cup Teams

CONMEBOL:

Brazil:

  • Brazil versus Ghana from Le Harve, France

Brazil dominated Ghana and should have won 6-1 or something like that. Instead, Brazil won 3-0. The first half was completely all-Brazil, but the second half displayed a strong Ghanian side. Despite this, Brazil still outplayed Ghana in the second half overall as well. Brazil look to be the favorites in Group G with Switzerland, Serbia, and Cameroon.

  • Brazil versus Tunisia from Paris, France

Brazil defeated a good Tunisia side 5-1 in a very impressive fashion. Brazil already looks like they are in World Cup form. Some of their goals were spectacular and this was against a good defensive team. Brazil cemented their favorite status for Group G, but Switzerland and Serbia are both playing very well too, while Cameroon is not playing good.

Argentina:

  • Argentina versus Honduras from Miami Gardens, USA

Argentina defeated Honduras 3-0 in a match which Argentina dominated almost completely with 17 (8) shots to Honduras’s 2 (0) and with 68% possession. Honduras had a few mishaps that led to 2 of Argentina’s goals, so Honduras actually played quite well compared to how they played in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. Argentina also played well because it was their pressure that forced Honduras into these mistakes, and Argentina could have scored many more goals. Argentina defeated a regular World Cup quality side handily and in neutral territory in their opponent’s continent. As such, Argentina looks like the clear favorites in Group C in front of Mexico, Poland, and Saudi Arabia.

  • Jamaica versus Argentina from Harrison, USA

Argentina closed out their international break with a close match against Jamaica, where they led 1-0 from the 13th Minute until Leonel Messi took over and scored in the 86th and 89th Minutes to win the match 3-0. Argentina outshot Jamaica 17 (8) to 2 (0) and held 66% possession. Jamaica are one of the top teams in North America, but they often are not able to have all their top players at once, limiting their World Cup Qualifying performances. But at the Gold Cup, you often see Jamaica competitive with the best nations in North America. So, Argentina’s win was good. But, there is a worry that Argentina’s defense got beat a few times on counter attacks. Argentina needs to clean this up when they play in Group C with Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland.

Uruguay:

  • IR Iran versus Uruguay from Sankt Pölten, Austria

Uruguay did well to dominate on the statistics against Iran, but they failed to score in a 0-1 defeat and this lack of scoring efficiency has plagued Uruguay for a while now. In the World Cup Group H, Uruguay will need to have their scoring boots on to advance. Group H may favor Uruguay, but both South Korea and Portugal are big goal scoring nations, while Ghana is yet to impress.

  • Canada versus Uruguay from Bratislava, Slovakia

Uruguay dominated Canada 2-0 and could have won 6-0. Uruguay looked very good against a good Canada side. Uruguay is back to being a favorite to advance out of Group H.

Ecuador:

  • Saudi Arabia versus Ecuador from Murcia, Spain

Ecuador played in a very competitive match against Saudi Arabia 0-0. While Ecuador probably should have played better, they still did well enough to tie a World Cup side. In Group A, it may be difficult to advance, but they displayed the potential to advance in a group with Senegal, the Netherlands, and Qatar. They are still the favorites for #3 in the group.

  • Ecuador versus Japan from Düsseldorf, Germany

Ecuador played a very good match against Japan, 0-0. The score could have been 5-5 and displayed a World Cup level of play. Ecuador could do well in Group A and advance if they play like this at the World Cup.

UEFA:

France:

  • France versus Austria from Saint-Denis, France

France looked really good against Austria. They won 2-0, but it could have been and should have been more. The only issue for France is that they might over rely on Mbappe. Nevertheless, there is so much talent on France’s squad that they should be able to rely on others too.

  • Denmark versus France from Copenhagen, Denmark

France lost 0-2 away to Denmark and France are failing to impress. While they are good enough to win their group and more, France just keeps messing up. However, they did have a big win over Austria and have competed well against Croatia and Denmark, and all three teams should be better than Australia and Tunisia, meaning that France should advance. They are still favored to win their group, which also features Denmark.

Belgium:

  • Belgium versus Wales from Brussels, Belgium

Belgium started off on fire led by Kevin De Bruyne going up 2-0 early. But, the Beglians could not close out the match as the Welsh came back to bring it within 1. The final score stayed Belgium 2 Wales 1. It was a good result for Belgium because we got to see attacking and goal scoring De Bruyne. If De Bruyne leads Belgium like he did against Wales, then Belgium will have extra fire power for Group F.

  • Netherlands versus Belgium from Amsterdam, Netherlands

Belgium suffered a set back in a 0-1 away loss to the Netherlands in a match Belgium was slightly outshot. Belgium needs improvement. Despite being co-favorites with Croatia for Group F, Belgium cannot simply play at this level or risk falling behind two teams at least, with Croatia, Morocco, and Canada in Group F.

England:

  • Italy versus England from Milan, Italy

England struggled against Italy in a match which Italy could have won a lot more convincingly. The English only lost 0-1, and away, but with this loss, England have been relegated to UEFA Nations League B for the next edition. England has been abysmal in the last few months, and their Italian showing displayed a 2014 like England rather than a 2018 like England.

  • England versus Germany from Brent, England

England played well to come back down 0-2 to tie 3-3 against Germany. But this was against a weaker German side at home where they still gave up their own 3-2 lead they had from a comeback. Their goalkeeping does not appear good enough to hold onto leads, unless they improve massively between now and the World Cup. The talent is there for England, but it is also clouded by the inflated price tags, a characteristic of both the Group B co-favorites to advance, the USA and as mentioned England. Wales and Iran feature more economical players, but there is also another reason for that, they are not as talented. So, Group B looks wide open as England once again fails to implant their flag on the game. However, despite this disappointing draw, England has appeared to wake up on the scoring end. If England does have their shooting boots on, they will win this group without defense. Unless one of the other teams’ attackers wake up too. England benefits from some lucky calls such as the penalty call they received for their 3rd goal and from a superior attack to most nations, especially those in Group B.

Spain:

  • Spain versus Switzerland from Zaragoza, Spain

Spain had a difficult match with Switzerland losing 1-2, and at home. Spain had 75% possession, but the shots were very equal, both having 8 and Switzerland having more shots on target, 5-4. Spain needs to correct this because their biggest issue last World Cup was also their lack of goal scoring despite superior possession. Spain needs to be much better. They have a difficult group because both Japan and Costa Rica look really good, and then Germany is really good too.

  • Portugal versus Spain from Braga, Portugal

Spain won 1-0 late away against Portugal to win Group 2 in UEFA Nations League A to advance to the UEFA Nations League Semi-finals. Spain and Portugal played a very even match and Spain came away with the win, and with the help of superior goalkeeping. Spain should be able win Group E if their goalkeeping is this good. However, if their attacking is not better, they may struggle in Group E against Costa Rica and Germany due to their goalkeeping, and even Japan who had good goalkeeping in their last match.

Germany:

  • Germany versus Hungary from Leipzig, Germany

Germany suffered a close home loss to Hungary 0-1. If this would have happened a while back, when Hungary was losing a lot, this would have been very bad. But, Hungary has turned themselves into a top team in the world, they just made this change after the World Cup Qualifiers and European Championship. So, their only results that show this is in the UEFA Nations League where they are leading Group 3. The Germans did not outshoot Hungary by much, only 10 (3) to 7 (3), but Germany did dominate the possession. Regardless, Germany are still one of the two favorites to advance out of Group E at the World Cup.

  • England versus Germany from Brent, England

Germany tied England 3-3 away, and then Hungary lost 0-2 to Italy. With that being said, Germany closed the day in a worse place than before. While their attack seems good, their defense seems bad. And while their Hungary loss previously looked okay, now it looks less than okay because Hungary did not win their Nation’s League Group. Germany are supposed to advance with Spain out of their group with Costa Rica and Japan, but if Japan continues to dominate and Costa Rica continues to play electricly, this group could be the surprise of the tournament. Both Japan and Costa Rica look good in the attack, while Spain looks wasteful and Germany looks weak in their defensive set up, despite their talent back there. Plus, Costa Rica and Japan feature lots of speed, and if England could counter-attack well, so can Costa Rica and Japan. If England could finish, this score would have read England 5 Germany 3. Likewise, you can expect a goal scoring festival from Costa Rica and Japan if their finishing is good and Germany play the same way defensively.

Portugal:

  • Czech Republic versus Portugal from Prague, Czech Republic

Portugal did very well against the Czech Republic away, winning 4-0. The Czechs are a high level team that would compete well Group H, the group Portugal is in. The Portuguese will play Uruguay, South Korea, and Ghana, three teams that this performance would win against all those teams with. Portugal are thus the #1 favorite in Group H, ahead of even Uruguay who fell off recently with a loss to Iran.

  • Portugal versus Spain from Braga, Portugal

Portugal lost 0-1 late against Spain at home. While Portugal struggled to score, they created lots of opportunities. They just could not get past Spain’s superior goalkeeping. Portugal are still the favorite to win Group H despite the loss.

Netherlands:

  • Poland versus Netherlands from Warsaw, Poland

The Netherlands dominated Poland 2-0 and made the Polish look like a bad team. The Dutch continue to improve and look like the clear favorites to finish 1st in Group A in the FIFA World Cup.

  • Netherlands versus Belgium from Amsterdam, Netherlands

Netherlands defeated Belgium 1-0 at home in a match they outshot Beligum, 13 (5) to 11 (4). The Netherlands thus won Group 4 of UEFA Nations League A, and advanced to the Semi-finals. The Netherlands are playing like the clear favorites in Group A at the World Cup, in front of Senegal, Ecuador, and Qatar.

Croatia:

  • Croatia versus Denmark from Zagreb, Croatia

Croatia displayed a diversity of scoring against Denmark and was successful winning 2-1. Croatia had been seen as too reliant on Luka Modrić the last 4 years, but against Denmark, other players showed up. This bodes well for Croatia in Group F which will include 3 other tough teams. Furthermore, it was a battle for 1st Place in Group 1 of UEFA Nations League A. Croatia successfully took possession of 1st place, but will still have one more match to play to keep hold of it.

  • Austria versus Croatia from Vienna, Austria

Croatia won another match 3-1 and this one away, over Austria, and won Group 1 of the UEFA Nations League A to advance to the Semi-finals next year! Croatia, however, did not play as well as Austria in terms of shots, being outshot 10 (5) to 18 (6). But they did hold the possession 54% to 46%. Croatia needs to do better, but their performance should be good enough to beat Belgium, Morocco, and Canada and win Group F.

Denmark:

  • Croatia verse Denmark from Zagreb, Croatia

Denmark lost a close one to Croatia away, 1-2. But they were competitive throughout the match displaying a good level of play. Despite the loss, Denmark is still one of the two favorites with France to advance out of Group D at the World Cup.

  • Denmark versus France from Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark defeated France 2-0 at home with a very even shot and possession battle: 16 (7) to 17 (7) and 48% to 52%. Denmark continue to prove they can beat any team in the world. Denmark are likely to either win their group or finish 2nd with France, and in front of Australia and Tunisia.

Switzerland:

  • Spain versus Switzerland from Zaragoza, Spain

Switzerland continually impressed in Qualifiers and Group play, but their issue is knockout rounds. They need to continue to improve even in Group format though because their group at the World Cup features Brazil, Serbia, and Cameroon. Switzerland did very well against Spain winning 2-1 away, but Serbia and Brazil look amazing. So, the Swiss just have to keep improving like they did against Spain.

  • Switzerland versus Czech Republic from St. Gallen, Switzerland

Switzerland beat the Czech Republic in a back to back affair where the Swiss came out on top, 2-1 at home. The Swiss and Czech played at such a high level, but the Swiss need to step their game up even more to advance out of Group G with Brazil, Serbia, and Cameroon.

Serbia:

  • Serbia versus Sweeden from Belgrade, Serbia

Serbia defeated Sweden 4-1 in Serbia, a huge win for the Serbians who are in a very tough group with Brazil, Switzerland, and Cameroon. Serbia will advance out of Group G if they play like they did against Sweden, who are very good themselves. Furthermore, Serbia has the best striker in the group, Aleksandar Mitrović.

  • Norway versus Serbia from Oslo, Norway

Serbia handled their business against Norway, winning UEFA Nations League B Group 4 over Norway who sat just three points back. Serbia won comfortably 2-0 and are now in UEFA Nations League A for next season. Serbia’s biggest strength is its goalscorer, Alexandar Mitrović, who has the ability to score every match.

Poland:

  • Poland versus Netherlands from Warsaw, Poland

Poland was bad against the Netherlands losing 0-2, and looked completely out of place, and this was at home in Warsaw. This loss really exposed Poland as a team that might have little to no chance to advance out of Group C, despite being neck to neck in talent with Group C 2nd place favorites, Mexico.

  • Wales versus Poland from Cardiff, Wales

Poland defeated Wales in a very even match, away, 1-0. This was a good win by Poland. But, Poland should have not won. Wales dominated with 13 (3) shots to 6 (3) shots. Poland, however, are playing as well as both Mexico and Saudi Arabia so Poland could make it out of their World Cup group with the way they are playing now. However, they should improve, because Mexico tends to make it out and Argentina looks really good right now.

Wales:

  • Belgium versus Wales from Brussels, Belgium

Wales has height in 6’5″ Kieffer Moore. With his superior height, and other really good players like Gareth Bale, the Welsh now appear to be the #2 team in Group B. But this is only because they performed well against Belgium by keeping the score within balance losing 1-2 away. Iran finally played well and the USA finally played bad. But, the USA will probably rebound and then become the #2 or #1 favorites for Group B again depending on how England does.

  • Wales versus Poland from Cardiff, Wales

Wales lost to Poland 0-1 and were relegated from UEFA Nations League A. Wales looked the better side with a lot more shots 13 (3) to 6 (3), but they failed to win in this group, only achieving 1 point. The USA, England, and Iran should all be eager to play Wales as surely they would have done better or just as well in this UEFA Nations League group, but at the same time, Wales has played competitively against all these World Cup quality teams in this group such as Belgium, the Netherlands, and Poland.

CONCACAF:

USA:

  • Japan versus USA from Düsseldorf, Germany

The USA looked really bad against Japan losing 0-2. The USA chose the wrong lineup and were careless in the defense making lots of errand back passes. The USA looked like they would finish last in their group as they were thoroughly outplayed, being out shot 4 (0) to 16 (8). The USA turned the ball over way too much, and they appear to lack depth. The only good thing to come from the match for the USA was that the USA appears to have found their starting goalkeeper, Matt Turner. He was the only player who did well against Japan.

  • Saudi Arabia versus USA from Murcia, Spain

The USA look awful so far. Their 0-0 tie against Saudi Arabia showed no signs of promise and they probably should have lost.

Mexico:

  • Mexico versus Peru from Pasadena, USA

Mexico defeated Peru, 1-0, in Pasadena, USA. But Mexico looked too even with Peru. While Peru is a good team, there is a reason they are not in the World Cup, and Mexico will need to play better than rely on a late goal to advance out of Group C with Saudi Arabia, Poland, and Argentina. The good news is that Mexico is playing better than Poland and Saudi Arabia right now, and are still the #2 favorite in this group.

  • Mexico versus Colombia from Santa Clara, USA

Mexico had an electric first half against Colombia where they went up 2-0 and could have been up by more. But then, in the second half, Colombia thoroughly demolished Mexico, eneding up winning the match 3-2. This 2-3 loss from Mexico will add fire to the team that needs it. They displayed they have the talent to compete well, but now they just have to put that together for two halves. Mexico are still probably the #2 favorites from their group which features Argentina, Poland, and Saudi Arabia.

Canada:

  • Canada versus Qatar from Vienna, Austria

Canada dominated Qatar 2-0 and could have won 5-0. Canada looks like a Group F favorite due to their dominant play. The only issue for Canada is that World Cup Group F features Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco, meaning that Canada is still fighting for 3rd place in the group according to the bookies.

  • Canada versus Uruguay from Bratislava, Skovakia

Canada suffered a 0-2 loss and should have lost by much more. Canada took a major step backwards with this thrashing defeat to Uruguay. Nonetheless, Canada still is a strong contender for Group F, but are the weakest team at this point with Morocco, Belgium, and Croatia.

Costa Rica:

  • South Korea versus Costa Rica from Goyang, South Korea

Costa Rica went to South Korea and played a true away match and tied 2-2 with their second string goal keeper. They also had a goal called back for offsides which was debatable, and the second goal by South Korea was after a red card on Costa Rica’s goalkeeper who had been deemed to have handled the ball outside of the box. Therefore, a non goalkeeper had to stop a shot from right on the edge of the box. The free kick was perfect and South Korea tied. When you look at all of these factors, Costa Rica was the better team in an away environment against a good World Cup side with one of the Premier League’s best players. With Keylor Navas as goalkeeper, Costa Rica will undoubtedly play better and playing better would have seen Costa Rica put up a good match against Spain, Japan, and Germany who feature in their World Cup group. Therefore, Costa Rica looks back to being elite again, they just need to clean a few things up. They are still not favorites to advance out of Group E, but at the same time, no one thinks Costa Rica is not completely capable of advancing now.

  • Costa Rica versus Uzbekistan from Suwon, South Korea

Uzbekistan dominated almost the whole match against Costa Rica and should have had like three goals. Uzbekistan went up 1-0 in the 25th Minute and they continued to be the superior side. Costa Rica’s goalkeeping was good, but overall Costa Rica was super sloppy. But, Costa Rica’s second half was much better. Despite still playing worse, Costa Rica kept the score 0-1. And then, in stoppage time, Costa Rica scored two goals, one in the 90th Minute +2, and one in the 90th Minute +4. Costa Rica ended up winning the match 2-1. Costa Rica will hope that they can replicate this style of match in the World Cup against some of the giants such as Germany and Spain in their Group E. But, this was against Uzbekistan, a team they should be dominating. Not that Uzbekistan is not good. Uzbekistan is actually quite good and it is a shame they have yet to feature in a World Cup, a lot of it down to pure bad luck it seems, but they are still far behind the likes of Germany and Spain, and they are also behind Japan too. Costa Rica will need to work on not turning over the ball so much. And, they will need to work on speed at the back. These two improvements combined with their goalkeeping, assuming it stays elite, will allow Costa Rica to battle Germany and Spain and make it close, possibly even winning. Against Japan, they would be smart to have these improvements, but they could probably stay close playing the way they have been playing the last two friendlies.

CAF:

Senegal:

  • Senegal versus Bolivia from Orléans, France

Senegal defeated Bolivia 2-0 in a match which Senegal dominated. Senegal had many shots and while the second goal came from a penalty, the other shots probably should have gone in. That is to say though, that there has to be a slight concern that Senegal struggled to create normal goals against Bolivia because one was from outside the box from a turnover and another was from a debatable penalty foul, and also from a turnover. Against better teams and with a better ref, Senegal may have scored 0 goals. But, at the same time, Senegal deserved to have many more goals today, and Bolivia are a solid international side. So, Senegal still look like the Group A #2 team behind the Netherlands. And given the issues the teams in Group B have been having, a Quarter-final or further is likely as of now.

  • IR Iran versus Senegal from Bratislava, Slovakia

Senegal looked good in their 1-1 tie against Iran, but their failure to produce their own goals looks like a potential foreshadowing that might limit the Senegalese ability to advance out of Group A. Their goal was off an own goal. Still, Senegal should have scored more and looked the better team. This bodes well for Senegal’s hopes in Group A and at the World Cup.

Morocco:

  • Morocco versus Chile from Cornellà de Llobregat and El Prat de Llobregat, Spain

Chile may not be a World Cup team for 2022, at least not yet, but they are a World Cup Quality team. They have lots of talent and would be a favorite to get to the Round of 16 had they qualified. Yet, Morocco was able to win 2-0! Morocco did get generous calls/no calls that led to their first goal on a penalty kick. And their second goal was a power shot from outside the box. But overall, they were the much better team. Morocco did not mess around with possession only possessing 43%, but in shots, they outshot Chile 20 (5) to 3 (2)! This style of play works for Morocco because Morocco will play in a group with Belgium, Croatia, and Canada. This style of play will not work against Canada, but it will trap Croatia and Belgium who will probably be content with possession, but give up counter attacks and potentially lots of shots. Morocco needs to continue to improve because as of now, they are still consider the #3 team with Canada in the group. And all four nations in Group F won their first matches this international break, and each in an impressive manner.

  • Morocco versus Paraguay from Sevilla, Spain

Both Morocco and Paraguay played very well in their 0-0 match against each other. Morocco played better, and should have had a goal or two, while Paraguay also should have had a goal. Morocco’s style of play, if the shots go in, will put the Atlas Lions in a good position to advance out of Group F, but they still should not. Croatia and Belgium are still playing better. So, Morocco still needs improvement.

Tunisia:

  • Tunisia versus Comoros from Orléans, France

Tunisia defeated Comoros in a very entertaining friendly match, 1-0, where both sides had lots of chances and both goalkeepers saved lots of shots. The goalkeepers were both terrific and the level of play was quite high, except on the goal Tunisia scored as Comoros forgot to mark the free man in the box on a cross, leading to a goal off of a header. Comoros are an interesting opposition. Historically, they are quite weak, but recently, they are a Top 16 team in Africa, having qualified for the African Cup of Nations in 2022 and having advanced as far as the Round of 16. Therefore, Comoros is a good national team in its current form. However, Tunisia needs to be able to compete and defeat great teams at the World Cup. Tunisia plays in Group D with France, Denmark, and Australia. Each of these nations would be favored to beat Comoros, and are considered better. But, I do not think Tunisia should worry. For their first match in the international break, they won, and both Tunisia and Comoros were competing at a high level. If Tunisia can replicate this play, as well as their goalkeeper, then Tunisia has a very good chance to beat France, Denmark, or Australia, in any combination. This means advancement is possible.

  • Brazil versus Tunisia from Paris, France

Tunisia lost 1-5 to Brazil. Tunisia were completely outplayed and overmatched. But it was not really Tunisia playing bad, rather it was more Brazil playing amazingly well. Nonetheless, Tunisians expect more from their Carthage Lions and should. Tunisia will play France, Australia, and Denmark in Group D at the World Cup. They will need to clean up their play. One sign of great worry is that Tunisia still have not learned how to defend corner kicks. For Tunisia to advance, they will need to stop tackling people going for headers.

Ghana:

  • Brazil versus Ghana from Le Havre, France

Ghana suffered a 0-3 defeat to Brazil that probably should have been worse. But also, Ghana should have scored a goal too. Ghana improved as the match went on. In the first half, Ghana was lucky they were not down 0-5 or worse. But in the second half, a fair scoreline would have read 1-2. Ghana faired much better in the second half and their new players started to gel just a little bit. However, they still appear to he the weak team in Group H, behind Portugal, South Korea, and Uruguay.

  • Ghana versus Nicaragua from Lorca, Spain

Ghana had a close match with Nicaragua where they won 1-0. Nicaragua is not a Top 16 North American side so it is quite alarming for Ghana’s hopes to advance out of Group H. But, Ghana did very well throughout this match. So, Ghana might be better than we think, and maybe even Nicaragua is better too.

Cameroon:

  • Cameroon versus Uzbekistan from Goyung, South Korea

Cameroon were outplayed by Uzbekistan on Friday as the Uzbekis won 2-0. Cameroon has some moving parts and Uzbekistan has consistently been one of the next teams out of the World Cup, barely failing to qualify on so many occasions. So, it was not as bad of a result as it could appear to be given many people’s lack of knowledge on Central Asian football. But, still, this result suggests Cameroon are clearly the worst team in Group G.

  • South Korea versus Cameroon from Seoul, South Korea

Cameroon needs to be better in order to compete in Group G with Brazil, Serbia, and Switzerland. In their two friendlies, they were outmatched and did not look at the level needed to do well at a World Cup. In the meantime, we saw plenty of nations that did not qualify do much better. Cameroon needs to improve or they will lose all 3 matches in Group G, and they may not even be close losses. Cameroon may have only lost to South Korea 0-1, but it should have been much worse.

AFC:

IR Iran:

  • IR Iran versus Uruguay from Sankt Pölten, Austria

Iran had a successful win over Uruguay 1-0. However, the Iranians were outshot and out possessed, and should have lost. But, their ability to defend under pressure is what will make Iran difficult to beat in Group B for England, the USA, and Wales. In this match, Iran not only defended well, but they also had good shooting efficiency, scoring a goal on limited shots.

  • IR Iran versus Senegal from Bratislava, Slovakia

Iran looks very good for the style of play they wish to play in Group B. This style of play is a little bit like a José Mourinho team where they do not wish to dominate possession or shots, rather they just care about results and playing defensively. With tall strikers like Sardar Azmoun scoring goals, this bodes well because all three nations in Iran’s group are struggling to defend against tall strikers. As long as Iran keeps crossing well, their chances of advancing are very high.

South Korea:

  • South Korea versus Costa Rica from Goyang, South Korea

South Korea did well to comeback and tie Costa Rica 2-2. However, South Korea should have been down by more. South Korea needs to continue to clean up their play so they can compete against Uruguay, Ghana, and Portugal. Ironically though, because of Ghana’s and Uruguay’s play, South Korea now looks like the #2 team in Group H.

  • South Korea versus Cameroon from Seoul, South Korea

South Korea did very well in their match against Cameroon, but only scored one goal. South Korea did win 1-0, but they will need to play better in Group H to advance with the likes of Portugal, Uruguay, and Ghana. As it looks right now, South Korea should get 1 win, and maybe 1 tie. They need improvement on their finishing because they probably should have won 3-1 or 4-1 against Cameroon.

Japan:

  • Japan versus USA from Düsseldorf, Germany

Japan looked really good pressuring the USA while the USA were in their defensive half and converting these turnovers into shots, scoring two of these shots. They had 16 shots and 8 on target. On defense, the Japanese held the USA to just 4 total shots, and 0 on target, completing a clean sheet with a 2-0 win. While Japan are still not favorites to advance in Group E which features Spain, Germany, and Costa Rica, they are edging closer to getting to that level. They took a big step against the USA edging closer to an elite level of play.

  • Japan versus Ecuador from Düsseldorf, Germany

Japan did very well against Ecuador in a 0-0 tie. Japan could have tied 5-5. It was such a high level of play that was at a World Cup level, so much so that this 0-0 tie was super exciting. Japan’s goalkeeping was very good too. If Japan plays like this, Japan can advance from Group E despite what many people may think. They are playing that well.

Australia:

  • Australia versus New Zealand from Brisbane, Australia

Australia had a back and forth match with New Zealand in a Classic Oceania Derby. Australia won 1-0, but it was very close. The match was not just a rivalry but also a historic match, the Centenary of the rivalry too. This heightened pressures and importance. Despite New Zealand being a very good team right now, Australia still did not impress as much as they should have. Australia is in Group D with France, Denmark, and Tunisia. All three of these teams look really good so far, and this means they too would probably beat New Zealand. So, Australia needs to show improvement next match to really give the people a reason to believe they can advance past the group stage.

  • New Zealand versus Australia from Auckland, New Zealand

Australia did better on their second try against New Zealand winning 2-0. The match was a true away match and was even, but Australia held most of the advantages. The Aussies should be confident going into the World Cup as the Socceroos displayed consistent play against a side that almost made the World Cup, but Australia are still not favored to advance from their group.

Saudi Arabia:

  • Saudi Arabia versus Ecuador from Murcia, Spain

Saudi Arabia played very well in their 0-0 tie against Ecuador. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are both scheduling friendly matches throughout October and November as all their players play in their own domestic leagues. This means Saudi Arabia will get better as they get closer to the World Cup. With Mexico and Poland both not playing at their best recently, a very good Saudi Arabia could upset these nations to advance out of Group C. The other nation in their group is Argentina which has been playing very well.

  • Saudi Arabia versus USA from Murcia, Spain

Saudi Arabia probably should have won against the USA, but still were unimpressive in their 0-0 tie. Saudi Arabia displayed they are able to compete with World Cup teams during this international break, but they did not display they could beat World Cup level teams.

Qatar:

  • Qatar versus Croatia U-23 from Weiner Neustadt, Austria

Croatia u-23 defeated Qatar 3-0. This match displayed that Qatar needs to keep playing more and more to be able to compete and possibly get back up to their 2019 Asia Cup Champions level or their 2021 Gold Cup Semi-finals level. Qatar works like a club team, and they will have a lot more friendlies coming up. As they play more and more, expect Qatar to get much better. As for Croatia u-23, how is this team that good? While Croatia’s senior team is so good, it would be a very good match for them to beat Qatar 3-0. Zlatko Dalić may have to look at this Croatia u-23 team and take some with him to Qatar if they are this good.

  • Canada versus Qatar from Vienna, Austria

Qatar lost to Canada, 0-2, but it should have been a lot worse. Not only does Qatar’s uniforms look worse, so does their team. But, luckily for Qatar, because all their national team plays in the Qatari League, they will continue to play for the Qatar National Team for the next two months prior to the World Cup in training and friendlies. The Qataris hope this will bring back their momentum to start winning again by the time they play their first match in Group A.

  • Chile versus Qatar from Vienna, Austria

Qatar looked much better against Chile. Despite Chile not being a World Cup team, they are still the nation that was Top 4 just five years ago. This team has lots of talent, and would probably be favored to advance from Group A, or at least with Senegal be battling for #2. So, Qatar’s 2-2 tie displayed Qatar’s high level of play they are capable of playing. Also, Qatar showed lots of effort. For Qatar to advance out of Group A with the Netherlands, Ecuador, and Senegal, Qatar will need to be willing to put pressure on each nation that tries to play from the back, and will need to display lots of running. Qatar is lucky too because just like Saudi Arabia, both sides will continue to play friendlies through the next two months before the World Cup starts. This means we should see improvements from Qatar to the point where they may advance out of Group A.

Power Rankings for this International Break:

  1. Brazil
  2. Argentina
  3. Netherlands
  4. Croatia
  5. France
  6. Spain
  7. Portugal
  8. Denmark
  9. Belgium
  10. Germany
  11. England
  12. Serbia
  13. Switzerland
  14. Iran
  15. Uruguay
  16. Japan
  17. Senegal
  18. Costa Rica
  19. South Korea
  20. Mexico
  21. Ecuador
  22. Wales
  23. Canada
  24. Morocco
  25. Poland
  26. Australia
  27. Saudi Arabia
  28. USA
  29. Tunisia
  30. Qatar
  31. Cameroon
  32. Ghana

Power Rankings since after the 2018 FIFA World Cup:

  1. Brazil
  2. Argentina
  3. France
  4. Portugal
  5. England
  6. Belgium
  7. Spain
  8. Denmark
  9. Netherlands
  10. Uruguay
  11. Croatia
  12. USA
  13. Mexico
  14. Switzerland
  15. Germany
  16. Senegal
  17. Serbia
  18. Qatar
  19. Iran
  20. Canada
  21. Morocco
  22. Wales
  23. Saudi Arabia
  24. Japan
  25. South Korea
  26. Poland
  27. Ecuador
  28. Tunisia
  29. Costa Rica
  30. Australia
  31. Cameroon
  32. Ghana

Published by CK 22

I like history, politics, foreign diplomacy, sports, and more. Basically, the most popular things, plus also geography.

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