Back at it again! The legendary Lionel Messi once again brings Argentina back to the finals of the FIFA World Cup. Argentina handed Croatia a heartbreaking loss, 3-0, with the intense offensive display from Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez. Messi scored the first goal via a penalty kick while Alvarez scored the second and last goal to put an exclamation mark on the game. Because of their victory, Argentina already clinched a spot in the finals and will fight whoever wins between France and Morocco on Wednesday (December 14, 2022, at 3 p.m. ET) at Al-Bayt stadium in Al-Khor, Qatar.
One spot in the final has been claimed 🤩#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 13, 2022
The GOAT, La Pulga, the Magician. He has been called many names, but last night, Leo Messi was named the Budweiser Player of the Match.
Your @Budweiser player of the match Lionel Messi lauds Julian Alvarez for "carrying the team" into the #FIFAWorldCup final 👏 #Budweiser #POTM #YoursToTake #BringHomeTheBud @budfootball pic.twitter.com/j7BjKdFX5B
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 14, 2022
Aside from winning the game and the Player of the Match award, Messi also became Argentina’s all-time leading World Cup goal scorer. Despite the fantastic performance from Croatia’s Luka Modric, his team still fell short against Messi’s young and talented Argentina football club.
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France VS Morocco: The title favorite versus the tournament long shot
When an unstoppable offensive team meets an impenetrable defensive team, things are about to get even more exciting. France has a lot of offensive options and according to Jules Kounde, their team must be quicker and faster in transitions. Aside from Kylian Mbappe – who by the way has been passive in their past few games – France has Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann whom the Moroccans should keep an eye on.
Despite getting the shorter end of the stick, Morocco has already made the impossible in this tournament. They destroyed title hopefuls like Spain and Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Portugal and have only allowed one goal through the first five games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The odds in the match between France and Morocco are as follows (according to BetMGM as of 12/13/2022):
|Both teams to score (Yes)||2.3|
|Both teams to score (No)||1.55|
Everywhere you look, France is heavily favored to come out of this match alive. Not only are they going to win against Morocco, but they are also bound to win the championship and become back-to-back champs. Morocco’s (+110) odds are significantly lower than France’s (+900) chances.
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- Kylian Mbappe is one of the fastest footballers in history. Knowing how impressive Morocco’s defense is, it would be helpful if they will be able to hold Mbappe.
- Unfortunately, the Moroccans will have a tough time defending Mbappe since they also have to sustain damage from Griezmann and Giroud.
- Though France won’t have it as easy as before, it’s predicted they are going to be scoring while also defending Morocco’s finest strikers.
- Again, Mbappe is one fast athlete. Even the slightest mistake (if left wide open) will lead to a secured goal. It will be up to their goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou if he will be able to prevent Mbappe, Giroud, or Griezmann from scoring. However, they must not overcommit or underestimate their opponents since Morocco is known to defy all odds.
- Morocco pressuring France to a penalty shootout would be beneficial to them especially since they are excellent in defense.
- Morocco is set to lose the game against the powerhouse team of France but they may give the French a run for their money, somehow.
- Mbappe will be the first to score regardless of Morocco’s tight defense.
- France will win the game, 2-0.
- Kylian Mbappe will be named “Player of the Match”.
- Morocco is unlikely to score since France may have the ball more often thus fewer touches and fewer opportunities for the Moroccans.
Overall, it’s been a wonderful run for Morocco but their chances of winning this game are extremely slim. Not to mention, they are up against the best team in this tournament. They’ve already proven themselves effective this year by reaching the semifinals, and that is already a great achievement.
Which matchup will meet in the FIFA World Cup finals? Will it be a match between Argentina and Morocco, or will it be Argentina and France? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.
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