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2022 Fifa World Cup Qatar: Argentina beat France in ‘one of the greatest finals’ ever

Argentina 3 France 3 (after extra time – Argentina won 4-2 on penalties)

The 2022 Fifa World Cup final – the Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé show – will go down in history as an all-time classic after an epic encounter at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar. 

Going into the game, the showpiece fixture was billed as a battle between two of the world’s, and the tournament’s, best two players – and the duo did not disappoint. Messi scored two, Mbappé scored three and it took a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner of what was described as “one of the greatest finals in the tournament’s history”, said Phil McNulty on the BBC. 

Argentina stormed into a two-goal lead within 36 minutes thanks to Messi’s penalty and Angel Di Maria’s finish, which came from a free-flowing counter-attack. But with ten minutes remaining defending champions France were given a lifeline with a penalty, which Mbappé scored. Then a minute later the French striker volleyed a magnificent equaliser to send the game into extra-time. 

On 108 minutes Messi netted his second to once again put Argentina in the lead. But Mbappé was not finished yet as with two minutes left in extra-time he scored another penalty to complete his hat-trick and become the first player to score a World Cup treble since Geoff Hurst for England in 1966. 

In the shoot-out Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez saved from Kingsley Coman, while French midfielder Aurelian Tchouameni hit his penalty wide. It was left to Gonzalo Montiel to win a third World Cup for Argentina – and for Messi to finally achieve his career dream. 

At the fifth time of asking, Messi not only “emulated the deity of Argentinian football”, Diego Maradona, but he “finally plugged the burning gap on his CV”, winning the “one title that has eluded him”, said David Hytner in The Guardian. As well as lifting the trophy, Argentina’s brilliant captain was also awarded the golden ball for the tournament’s best player. 

For Mbappé, a World Cup winner with France in 2018, his hat-trick meant that he finished Qatar 2022 with eight goals – and he was awarded the golden boot.

1

France striker Kylian Mbappé scored eight goals at Qatar 2022

Michael Regan/Fifa via Getty Images

Top scorer: Mbappé wins the golden boot

8 goals  

  • Kylian Mbappé (France): 2 assists, 597 minutes played

7 goals

  • Lionel Messi (Argentina): 3 assists, 690 minutes played

4 goals

  • Olivier Giroud (France): 0 assists, 424 minutes played 
  • Julian Alvarez (Argentina): 0 assists, 466 minutes played

3 goals

  • Goncalo Ramos (Portugal)  
  • Alvaro Morata (Spain) 
  • Marcus Rashford (England)  
  • Enner Valencia (Ecuador)  
  • Bukayo Saka (England)  
  • Richarlison (Brazil) 
  • Cody Gakpo (Netherlands)

2

Al Bayt Stadium held the opening match and ceremony

Pablo Morano/BSR Agency/Getty Images

The eight World Cup stadiums

 Lusail Stadium 

  • Where: Lusail, nine miles north of Doha
  • Capacity: 80,000 
  • Matches: ten, including the final

Al Bayt Stadium 

  • Where: Al Khor, 21.7 miles north of Doha
  • Capacity: 60,000 
  • Matches: nine, including the opening game

Khalifa International Stadium 

  • Where: Doha
  • Capacity: 45,416 
  • Matches: eight, including third-place play-off

Education City Stadium 

  • Where: Al Rayyan, 4.3 miles west of Doha
  • Capacity: 40,000 
  • Matches: eight, up to quarter-final 

Al Thumama Stadium 

  • Where: 7.4 miles south of Doha
  • Capacity: 40,000 
  • Matches: eight, up to quarter-final 

Stadium 974 

  • Where: Doha
  • Capacity: 40,000 
  • Matches: seven, up to the round of 16

Al Janoub Stadium 

  • Where: Al Wakrah, 11 miles south of Doha
  • Capacity: 40,000 
  • Matches: seven, up to the round of 16 

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

  • Where: Al Rayyan, 12.4 miles west of Doha
  • Capacity: 40,000 
  • Matches: seven, up to the round of 16 
Qatar’s Fifa World Cup stadiums – in pictures

3

Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly scored the winner against Ecuador

Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Group A: how it finished

After a dramatic final round of games in group A, the Netherlands and Senegal are through to the 2022 Fifa World Cup knockout stages. 

Ecuador had started the day in the qualifying spots, but a 2-1 defeat against Senegal meant the west Africans finished in second place. The Dutch topped the group after beating host nation Qatar 2-0. 

In the round of 16 on Saturday the Netherlands will face the USA at the Khalifa International Stadium. Senegal will take on England at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday. 

Final tableResultsSunday 20 November

  • Qatar 0 Ecuador 2

Monday 21 November

  • Senegal 0 Netherlands 2 

Friday 25 November

  • Qatar 1 Senegal 3
  • Netherlands 1 Ecuador 1

Tuesday 29 November

  • Netherlands 2 Qatar 0
  • Ecuador 1 Senegal 2

4

England striker Marcus Rashford scored twice against Wales

Alex Livesey/Danehouse/Getty Images

Group B: how it finished

England will play Senegal in the Fifa World Cup round of 16 on Sunday after finishing top of group B. In their final game of the group stage the Three Lions were 3-0 winners over British rivals Wales.

The USA join England in the knockouts after beating Iran 1-0. They will now play the Netherlands in the round of 16 on Saturday.

Final tableResultsMonday 21 November

  • England 6 Iran 2 
  • USA 1 Wales 1

Friday 25 November

  • Wales 0 Iran 2 
  • England 0 USA 0

Tuesday 29 November

  • Wales 0 England 3
  • Iran 0 USA 1

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Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski

Adam Pretty/Fifa via Getty Images

Group C: how it finished

There was World Cup heartbreak for Mexico as Argentina and Poland secured the qualifying spots from group C. Mexico were 2-1 victors over Saudi Arabia, but missed out on second place to Poland on goal difference. 

Argentina finished top of the group after their 2-0 win over Poland. Although Lionel Messi missed a penalty, second-half goals from Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister and Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez gave Argentina the win. 

In the round of 16 on Saturday Argentina will take on Australia at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium. Poland will face holders France on Sunday at Al Thumama Stadium.

Final tableResultsTuesday 22 November

  • Argentina 1 Saudi Arabia 2 
  • Mexico 0 Poland 0

Saturday 26 November

  • Poland 2 Saudi Arabia 0
  • Argentina 2 Mexico 0

Wednesday 30 November

  • Poland 0 Argentina 2
  • Saudi Arabia 1 Mexico 2

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Mathew Leckie scored Australia’s winner against Denmark

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Group D: how it finished

Australia’s 1-0 victory over Denmark means they have qualified for the Fifa World Cup round of 16. Mathew Leckie scored the winning goal on the hour mark to secure second place in group D. Holders France won the group despite losing 1-0 to Tunisia. 

In the last-16 on Saturday Australia will play Argentina at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium. France will take on Poland at Al Thumama Stadium on Sunday.

Final tableResultsTuesday 22 November

  • Denmark 0 Tunisia 0 
  • France 4 Australia 1

Saturday 26 November

  • Tunisia 0 Australia 1
  • France 2 Denmark 1

Wednesday 30 November

  • Tunisia 1 France 0
  • Australia 1 Denmark 0

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Takuma Asano scored Japan’s winner against Germany in group E

David Ramos/Fifa via Getty Images

Group E: how it finished

It was a dramatic last round of matches in group E with Japan and Spain qualifying for the round of 16. At certain points during the finale, all four teams found themselves in the top two spots, but in the end Japan’s 2-1 victory over Spain meant they both went through.

Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2, but it was in vain as they crashed out at the group stage for the second World Cup in succession. 

In the round of 16 Japan will play Croatia on Monday at the Al Janoub Stadium. Spain will face Morocco on Tuesday at the Education City Stadium.

Final tableResultsWednesday 23 November

  • Germany 1 Japan 2
  • Spain 7 Costa Rica 0

Sunday 27 November

  • Japan 0 Costa Rica 1
  • Spain 1 Germany 1

Thursday 1 December

  • Japan 2 Spain 1
  • Costa Rica 2 Germany 4 

8

Morocco players and staff celebrate winning group F

Youssef Loulidi/Fantasista/Getty Images

Group F: how it finished

Morocco and Croatia qualified as the top two teams from group F – which meant that Belgium, the world’s No.2-ranked team, were knocked out of the World Cup along with Canada. The final round of group games saw Morocco beat Canada 2-1 while Croatia and Belgium ended goalless.  

In the round of 16 on Monday Croatia will play the winners of group E at Al Janoub Stadium, while on Tuesday Morocco will play the group E runners-up at Education City Stadium. 

Final tableResultsWednesday 23 November

  • Morocco 0 Croatia 0
  • Belgium 1 Canada 0 

Sunday 27 November

  • Belgium 0 Morocco 2
  • Croatia 4 Canada 1

Thursday 1 December

  • Croatia 0 Belgium 0
  • Canada 1 Morocco 2

9

Remo Freuler scored Switzerland’s winner against Serbia

Javier Soriano/AFP via Getty Images

Group G: how it finished

Switzerland beat Serbia 3-2 to finish second in group G and join Brazil in the round of 16. Brazil topped the group on goal difference, despite losing 1-0 in their final game against Cameroon. 

As well as losing their last group game, Brazil have also been hit by a double injury blow with striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Alex Telles both being ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with right knee injuries. 

In the round of 16 Brazil will play South Korea on Monday at Stadium 974. While Switzerland face Portugal on Tuesday at the Lusail Stadium.

Final tableResultsThursday 24 November

  • Switzerland 1 Cameroon 0 
  • Brazil 2 Serbia 0

Monday 28 November

  • Cameroon 3 Serbia 3
  • Brazil 1 Switzerland 0

Friday 2 December

  • Cameroon 1 Brazil 0
  • Serbia 2 Switzerland 2

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Hwang Hee-Chan’s winner sent South Korea into the last 16

Alex Livesey/Danehouse/Getty Images

Group H: how it finished

Hwang Hee-Chan was the South Korean hero after his 90th-minute winner against Portugal saw his country secure a place in the World Cup round of 16. Despite the 2-1 defeat Portugal finished top of group H, but thanks to their late win South Korea edged out Uruguay on goals scored. Ghana finished bottom after losing 2-0 to Uruguay. 

In the round of 16 South Korea will play Brazil on Monday at the Stadium 974, while Portugal will face Switzerland on Tuesday at Lusail Stadium.

Final table ResultsThursday 24 November

  • Uruguay 0 South Korea 0 
  • Portugal 3 Ghana 2

Monday 28 November

  • South Korea 2 Ghana 3
  • Portugal 2 Uruguay 0

Friday 2 December

  • South Korea 2 Portugal 1
  • Ghana 0 Uruguay 2

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