Four teams in the playoffs, three teams are packing their bags - with the exception of the Qatar team, which, firstly, plays at home, and secondly, lost the chance to get into the 1/8 finals after the second round. At the 2022 World Cup, the time has come for the first denouement of the plot.
Netherlands - Qatar - 2:0
The match, which, by and large, was a formality: no matter how they scolded the Netherlands national team after previous matches, and she could not give points to weak Qatar. Wards of Louis van Gaal again played in economy mode and achieved victory.
In the 26th minute, Cody Gakpo scored in the third match in a row, breaking into the penalty area in the center and putting the ball under the post. And shortly after the start of the second half, Frenkie de Jong increased the advantage of the “oranges”, finishing off the ball after Meshal Barsham's save. The Netherlands national team, without a bright game, completely climbed to the first line in the group. As for the Qataris, there are big doubts that they will make it to the World Cup in the foreseeable future.
Ecuador - Senegal - 1:2
A duel between two different in style, but equally cute teams. However, the class of the Senegalese turned out to be higher even without the injured Sadio Mane: it was they who led the game, more often they hit on goal. The Africans wisely allowed the opponents to have more possession of the ball, while they themselves relied on sharp breakthroughs. The tactics turned out to be correct: already by the eighth minute, the Senegal national team could lead 2-0, but both sharp attacks remained slightly inaccurate blows.
Constant pressure eventually led to a penalty kick against the Ecuadorians, which was converted by Ismaila Sarr, who had been demolished two minutes earlier. After the break, the Ecuador national team almost always had the ball, and if they couldn’t organize anything from the game, the set piece turned out to be successful: in the 67th minute, Moises Caicedo accurately struck a header after a corner. However, the intrigue did not last long: three minutes later, the captain of the Senegalese Kalidou Koulibaly hammered the ball into the goal. Until the end of the game, the opponents still had one sharp moment, but nothing else has changed. A logical victory for Senegal.
Wales - England - 0:3
Welsh leader Gareth Bale before the match promised to give all his strength to win and get into the 1/8 finals. Apparently, not so much strength from the Wales team. The English dominated the field completely - however, only in the second half: in the first half there were zeros on the scoreboard, and the Welsh were on the defensive.
But after the break, Gareth Southgate's men crushed Wales. In the 50th minute, Marcus Rashford opened the scoring from a free-kick, and a minute later he robbed the Welsh defender and gave it to Harry Kane, and he gave it to Phil Foden, who did not miss from two meters. Wales, waking up and realizing that things were bad, snapped back with two dangerous shots, but goalkeeper Jordan Pickford coped with them. Well, in the 68th minute, Rashford again scored, and even mockingly, between the legs of the goalkeeper. And they could score both the fourth and the fifth... If it weren't for the changeable game, the British could be ranked among the undisputed favorites of the tournament - they have everything else. But Wales did not really remember anything in the championship.
Iran - USA - 0:1
Nice Iranians, alas, are leaving Qatar. But they can only blame themselves. Not for the starting defeat of England (2:6), but because in the match with the Americans they looked as if they had faded. And where did the will and enthusiasm go, which brought victory over Wales (0:2)?
In the first half, the Stars and Stripes led the game, attacked more, and the Iranians defended well, but one mistake led to Christian Pulisic's goal in the 38th minute. After the break, the Persians opened up as expected - there was nowhere to retreat - and created three good chances, but the accuracy let them down. The US team does not look able to go far in the tournament bracket, but the group stage can be added to its asset.