After the thrilling match-ups that took place the past few days, thirteen teams have already booked their respective slots in the finals; including league mainstays Belgium, Brazil, and of course the defending champions, France. With a few more weeks before the games pause for an international break in preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the world is looking forward to the last three teams to join the lucky thirteen. Who will it be? We’ll find out soon.
For now, let’s take a look at the teams that have made it through:
First on the list is the 2022 FIFA World Cup Host, Qatar. The automatic entry of the host nation has given the Qatar team a direct route into the finals round.
Germany might have been the first team to earn a place along with hosts Qatar, but by its standards, the progress was full of tension. In March, under its former coach Joachim Löw, Germany actually lost a game in qualifying. Fortunately, through teamwork and hard work, they won all nine of the others and made it with a whole set of fixtures to spare.
Fresh from an impressive, emotional run to the semifinals of the European Championship, Kasper Hjulmand’s team made short work of a kind group, winning their first nine games and qualifying early in the competition, with a whole month to go.
Tite’s team has sailed through South America’s grueling qualifying process, winning 11 of its 13 games so far, and now making it to the qualifiers.
The defending champion’s place in Qatar never looked in any real doubt, but to say that the road was easy would be a complete lie. They faced strong contenders such as Ukraine along the way and failed to send them home easily. Through and through, the abiding impression is that as titleholders, France could have done so much more.
The world’s No. 1-ranked team—a status Belgium has held for three years or so—did not, really, need to break a sweat. Scoring an impressive 25 goals in its eight qualifying games, they were able to live up to the expectations.
Croatia left it extremely late, sealing a place in Qatar only thanks to a Fyodor Kudryashev own goal with 10 minutes to play in the country’s final match; and what turned out to be a 1-0 win against Russia on a sodden field in Split.
With plenty of the ball but not a vast amount to show for it, Spain’s automatic place in the field was in doubt until the final round of qualifiers, when Sweden’s sudden collapse eased the tension. Few teams are as technically able as Luis Enrique’s side, but qualifying proved once again that Spain’s eagerness in front of goal is wonted.
For 90 minutes on the final matchday, it seemed as if Serbia would be taking up a fairly customary place in the playoffs: Portugal needed only a point to qualify. But then Aleksandar Mitrovic headed in Dusan Tadic’s cross, the Serbian bench emptied, and Portugal found itself on the losing side of the grass.
England is, under Gareth Southgate, seriously good at qualifying for tournaments. It has now lost only one game on the way to a major finals round in 12 years.
Belgium tends to draw focus as Europe’s powerhouse team, but the Swiss transformation into tournament mainstays is no less admirable. Murat Yakin led the team to the top spot in its group, above the recently-anointed European champion, Italy, in his first few months in the job. The Swiss did not lose a game and conceded only two goals in the process.
Remarkably, Euro 2020 was the first major tournament the Dutch had reached since making the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup: the Netherlands missed both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. Its progress to Qatar was not exactly commanding—a defeat in its final game against Norway would have meant elimination—but Louis van Gaal’s team coped with the pressure, and were able to rise to the occasion.
The quest to ensure Lionel Messi gets one final shot at the World Cup should, really, have been uptight and full of internal quarrels. It is a shame, in a way, that it was anything but. After a slow start, Argentina did not lose a game on the way to punching its ticket to the finals round.
Now, we’re just missing three more slots. Who will complete the 16 teams? We got you. Stay updated on the latest news and updates regarding the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and never miss any game by downloading the FreeLiv App.
Through this sports app, fans will be able to watch all the league matchups whenever and wherever, with high-definition quality. In addition to that, post-game analysis and overview will allow fans to know more about the technicalities and statistics of the players, the teams, and the game itself, just in time for the finals. It also provides fans a complete schedule of the upcoming matchups so they wouldn’t miss out on anything.
Learn more about the FreeLiv app by visiting their website or downloading it now.