Netherlands vs Argentina: H2H, referee, stadium, possible lineup and top news about Messi

No doubt, a World Cup quarter final fixture between Netherlands and Argentina is an iconic encounter that will be filled with thrills and frills.

The game will kick-off at 8pm local time on Friday December 9, 2022.

It will be a much contested fixture as captain Lionel Messi will hope to get closer to his dream of winning his first World Cup with Argentina.

Back in history, Mario Kempes’s brace and the ticker-tape celebrations after Argentina’s 3-1 victory in the 1978 final have gone down in folklore. As has Dennis Bergkamp’s legendary late winner in the last eight in 1998.

If Friday’s quarter-final clash at the Lusail Stadium can be half as good as those meetings, then we’ll be in for a cracker. However, the two previous World Cup meetings, in 2006 and 2014, “failed to produce a goal”, said Sporting News. And the last competitive goal scored in this fixture was Bergkamp’s 24 years ago.

At the semi-final stage in Brazil in 2014, Argentina progressed on penalties after the match ended goalless. Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said that his team have got “a score to settle” with Argentina “for what happened two World Cups ago”.

Messi

One of the big storylines at Qatar 2022 has been about Argentina skipper Lionel Messi, who is playing in his fifth and final World Cup. In the round of 16 Messi played his 1,000th career match and scored in the 2-1 win over Australia.

Now 35, the brilliant No.10 has lifted the Copa América with his country, but is still to emulate the great Diego Maradona by winning the World Cup.

Referee

FIFA has appointed world renowned Antonio Mateu to be the man in charge of the match. While top CAF and PSL referee Victor Gomes is the fourth official for Friday’s World Cup clash between Argentina and Netherlands.

Gomes, who could retire after the World Cup, will officiate in his third game in Qatar.

Team news

Netherlands boss Van Gaal had everyone fit for the round of 16 win over the USA and that should be the case for Friday, too. He is expected to name the same starting XI.

Argentina have concerns over winger Angel Di Maria. He missed the win over Australia because of a thigh injury and is a doubt to face the Dutch. Papu Gomez came off against Australia with an ankle sprain and is also a doubt.

Possible starting XIs

Netherlands: Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Roon, De Jong, Blind, Klaassen; Gakpo, Memphis

Argentina: Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria or Gomez, Alvarez, Messi

England vs France: Kick-off time, H2H, stadium and all you need to know

The quarter final fixture between England and France is one of the highly anticipated matches this weekend with high tension between fans of both teams.

Both teams have immense quality all over the pitch, with the likes of Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe shining so far this tournament for their respective countries.

The eagerly anticipated World Cup quarter-final encounter will take place at Al Bayt Stadium.

Kick-off has been set for 8 pm local time on Saturday December 10, 2022.

England’s emphatic 3-0 win over Senegal earned them a 2022 World Cup quarterfinal against holders France, who beat Poland 3-1 in their Round of 16 fixture.

The clash at Al Bayt Stadium is an eye-catching one for neutrals, who have seen the likes of England’s Jude Bellingham and France’s Kylian Mbappe in superb form so far, as their respective sides topped their groups and cruised through to the knockout stage.

The Three Lions and Les Bleus have been facing off for almost 100 years but rarely have the stakes been as high, with a semifinal against Portugal or Morocco in the offing for Saturday’s victors.

Despite being close geographically in Europe, England and France have played each other just 11 times in the last three decades, and this period has been the most successful in Les Bleus’ history with — two World Cup triumphs coming along the way.

France have won five of their matches against England since the two teams played out a goalless draw in the 1992 European Championships, including a dramatic 2-1 group-stage victory in the 2004 European Championships.

England’s only wins over France in their last 10 attempts came in 2015, when goals from Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney clinched a 2-0 friendly victory, and in the 1997 Tournoi de France summer exhibition series.

However, the further back you go into the history between these two teams, the better England’s record gets.

England have won 17 of their 31 international matches against France, dating back to May 1923.

The two teams have met twice in the World Cup, with England winning both encounters: the first a 2-0 victory during England’s glorious 1966 campaign, and the second a 3-1 group-stage win over Les Bleus at the 1982 World Cup.

Recent meetings between England and France have largely gone the way of Didier Deschamps’ team, with the last competitive fixture a 1-1 draw in the group stage of the 2012 European Championships.

There seems not to be any serious injury worries in the camp of both teams as all top players are in good shape.

MOVING ON: 2 things Man United boss Erik ten Hag said as he breaks silence on Ronaldo’s outburst and exit

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has commented for the first time since the club and legendary striker Cristiano Ronaldo parted ways in November.

United terminated Ronaldo’s contract by mutual consent two days before Portugal’s World Cup campaign began after he gave an explosive interview to Piers Morgan on Talk TV in which he criticised the club and manager Ten Hag.

Ronaldo did not mince words when he said he felt “betrayed” by people at the club for trying to force him out and that he has “no respect” for Ten Hag because “he doesn’t show respect for me”.

Erik ten Hag has not publicly made any comment since Ronaldo’s outburst, but has now found his breath to do so.

The Dutchman, is in Spain with the other Man United players not at the World Cup for a winter training camp.

Here are two things he said in his first reaction since Ronaldo’s exit.

  1. Ronaldo is in the past: Ten Hag has refused to be taken aback on the issue of Ronaldo as he said the he has thrown the matter behind him.

“He’s gone and it’s the past.” Ten Hag told MUTV.

“We are now looking forward and we’re looking to the future”, added Ten Hag ahead of Wednesday night’s friendly against Spanish top-flight side Cadiz.

  1. Moving on in the right direction: Ten Hag said Manchester United is headed in the right direction.

The coach has had a transformative impact on the performances at Old Trafford after what was a nightmare start, losing their first two games of his tenure to Brighton and Brentford.

“I have the feeling, we have the feeling, that we are in the right direction, but we also know that it’s still a lot of work to do for us here,” he added.

Ronaldo, who is now free to find another club, has played down talk of a deal being agreed for him to join Saudi club Al Nassr, saying the reports are “not true”.

The 37-year-old has failed to set the World Cup alight so far and was dropped for Tuesday night’s last-16 encounter against Switzerland, with his replacement Goncalo Ramos’ hat-trick inspiring a 6-1 thrashing.

England vs France: 3 shocking updates ahead of blockbuster quarter final showdown

England are faced with a major test when they take on defending champions France in one of the quarter final matches on Saturday.

The Al Bayt Stadium will host one of the biggest contentions in this World Cup come 8pm local time on Saturday.

Following the conclusion of the Round of 16 matches, attention has now shifted to the quarter final fixtures with the tie between England and France the most talked about at the moment.

Here are three fresh updates as we count down to the quarter final showdown.

  1. Tickets sell for £10,000: Tickets for England’s blockbuster World Cup clash against France are now selling for £10,000 – more than 28 times the face value.

This shocking development only confirm how big the match is. Irrespective of the massive increase in ticket price, the stadium is expected to be jampacked.

Nearly 800 have appeared on resale sites at hugely inflated prices, with many being sold by fans whose teams have been knocked out.

The Standard found a pair of £175 category 2 seats being sold on Ticombo for £5,000 each, including a £709 booking fee.

Fans no longer need a match ticket to get the necessary Hayya immigration permit to enter Qatar, meaning they can fly in at short notice without having to negotiate red tape.

  1. 9,500 England supporters expected: About 9,500 English fans are expected to drum support for the Three Lions when they face France on Saturday.

The 9,500 England supporters are boosted by ex-pats and hundreds flying in from the UK on flights costing over £1,600.

This is no doubt a big deal, a big game, a big stage that take big spending.

Thomas Concannon, from the Football Supporters’ Association fans’ embassy in Doha, said there had been no arrests or police incidents in two-and-a-half weeks.

He said: “All the England fans have been fantastically well-behaved, very respectful of where we are and just enjoyed themselves.”

  1. Mbappe injury rumour: There was speculation around star Kylian Mbappe who missed training on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon’s session has been suddenly closed to the media.

Officials insisted there are no concerns for the 23-year-old who is working away from his team in the recovery room.

Others suggest Didier Deschamps’ side are playing mind games with England.

The PSG forward is the top scorer at the tournament with five goals

Morocco 3-0 Spain: Two key things Okocha discovered about goalkeeper Bono

Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was the hero on the night when Morocco held their own in a marathon 120 minutes of football to withstand endless threats from Spain attack. It ended goalless still and the game went into penalty.

The African side came out 3-0 winners after Bounou (Bono) save Spain’s kicks.

In the Round of 16 fixture at Education City Stadium, the Atlas Lions produced a solid performance to deny the 2010 World champions in normal and extra-time.

During penalties, the Sevilla goalkeeper was the hero and kept out Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets’ efforts while Pablo Sarabia hit the post. Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi scored for Morocco.

Bono’s display no doubt caught the attention of the 49-year-old former Super Eagles captain Jay Jay Okocha, who insists Morocco knew they would succeed during penalties.

Here are two key things Okocha discovered as he praised the performance of the goalkeeper.

  1. He trust himself: Okocha said the confidence of Bono is one thing to envy as the goalkeeper believed in himself.

He added that Bono’s body language showed how much of confidence he has in his abilities.

“From the body language of the keeper, he trusts himself, he’s very confident. He trusts in his ability,” Okocha told SuperSport TV.

  1. The only way: Okocha said it appears Bono and his teammates knew the only way they could have beaten Spain is via penalty, hence their strong defence on the back line.

He said Morocco were battered as Spain gained so much of the ball possession, but the Atlas Lions defended their own.

“It looked like this is the only way they could have won the game because they got battered when it came to possession play but when your game is to defend, you should at least have some qualities when it gets to penalties. And that’s what they showed.”

The Atlas Lions now become the fourth African team to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

Japan 1-1 (1-3) Croatia: Modric, Perisic advance on Penalties

Croatia have qualified for the quarter final of the FIFA World Cup after beating Japan 3-1 on penalties.

The game ended 1-1 on regulation time and extended into extra time. After the 30 minutes, the score remained unchanged, forcing the tie into penalty shootout inside the Al Janoub Stadium.

Japan took the lead in the 43rd minute when Daizen Maeda hit the back of the net.

But Croatia bounced back to draw level through Perisic beautiful header.

The game entered penalties after the score remained the same after extra time.

Croatia advanced after Japan lost their first two penalties.

🔴LIVE

FINAL WHISTLE

End of 30 minutes extra time, and it ended 1-1 . Penalties will decide the winner.

This game will go down to penalties.

114 minutes played and nothing has changed about the score.

15 minutes played, the second 15 minutes will start right away.

100 minutes played, still a 1-1 draw.

Extra time kicks off

END OF 90 MIN

It ended 1-1 between the two sides after regulation time.

This will be the first game that will extend into extra time in the knockout stage

90′ Japan 1-1 Croatia

This game may likely enter extra time.

82′ Japan 1-1 Croatia

Japan really pressing to score and avoid going into extra time.

70′ Japan 1-1 Croatia

The scorer

Beautiful header from Ivan Perisic put Croatia back in the game.

GOALLLLLLL

Croatia equalise. The score is now even.

The exciting moment of celebration

50′ Japan 1-0 Croatia

Japan piling pressure on Croatia

Second half

We are back for the second 45 minutes of the game.

HALF TIME

Japan 1-0 Croatia

Daizen Maeda breaks the deadlock as the game reaches the end of the first half.

GOALLLLLLL

Japan takes the lead after 43 minutes of action

Some moments are irresistible. All for the beautiful game of football.

The game is going down hard.

25′ Japan 0-0 Croatia

15′ Japan 0-0 Croatia

Match ball

Japan vs Croatia is going down.

KICK-OFF

We are underway

Japan lineup is all set to tackle their Round of 16 opponent.

Croatia starting lineup has Luka Modric as captain.

Argentina 2-1 Australia: Messi and Alvarez fire Albicelestes into quarterfinal as Socceroos crash out

Argentina has qualified for the quarterfinal of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after a 2-1 victory over Australia on Saturday.

The Round of 16 match played inside the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium saw Lionel Messi’s left foot strike from inside the box give Argentina in the 35th minute.

After the half-time break, Julian Alvarez extended Argentina lead when he scored in the 57th minute. Australia got an own goal but that was not enough to motivate them for a comeback.

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FULL TIME

It ended Argentina 2-1 Australia

It is an own goal by Fernandez

Craig Godwin with the goal

GOALLLLLLLLLLL

Goodwin pulled one back for Australia in the 77th minute.

70′ Argentina 2-0 Australia

58′ | A double substitution.

⬆️

Goodwin, Hrustic

⬇️

McGree, Baccus

GOALLLLLLLLLL

Julian Alvarez makes it TWO to extend Argentina lead.

Messi’s 35th minute goal is the difference so far.

SECOND HALF

We are back again for the second 45 minutes.

Lionel Messi today reached the 1,000th caps in his professional career

HALF TIME

Argentina takes a 1-0 lead into the break.

41′ Argentina 1-0 Australia


GOALLLLLLLLL

Messi strikes to break the deadlock after 34 minutes.

So much to play for.

20′ Argentina 0-0 Australia

The atmosphere is all light up

The fans

The Australian side

There was actually a hand ball there, but the ref looked away.

3′ Argentina calling for an early penalty as they claim a hand ball inside the box.

KICK-OFF

We are underway.

Argentina deadly as ever.

Australia lineup set for battle against Argentina tonight.

The stadium is all set for this epic encounter.

Canada 1-2 Morocco: Atlas Lions top Group F; Croatia 0-0 Belgium: De Bruyne, Hazard crash out

Morocco finished top of Group F after fighting to a 2-1 victory over Canada to reach the Round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Belgium will be heading back home after a goalless draw with Croatia in the other game played simultaneously could not see them past the group stage.

Two quick first half goals from Hakim Ziyech (4th minute) and Y. En-Nesyri (23rd minute) set Morocco on the road to the knockout stages.

Though they conceded an N. Aguerd own goal just before the break, Morocco held their own all through the second half to finish top of Group F with seven points.

🔴LIVE

Full time

Canada 1-2 Morocco

Croatia 0-0 Belgium

OFF THE BAR!!!! Hutchinson’s header crashes down and hits the line.

😵

So, so close for Canada.

⏱ 72’ | Double substitution 🔄

⬅️🔴 Yannick Carrasco, Leander Dendoncker
➡️🟢 Jeremy Doku, Youri Tielemans

70′ Canada 1-2 Morocco

Croatia 0-0 Belgium

As it stands, Morocco will top the group with seven points and Croatia will finish second on five points IF the scores remain like this.

Nobody is having it easy. You have to fight for it.

SOOO CLOSE!! Lukaku hits the post from close range

🇧🇪

Substitution 🔄

⬅️🔴 Leandro Trossard
➡️🟢 Thorgan Hazard

60′

Canada 1-2 Morocco

Croatia 0-0 Belgium

Second half

We are back for the second half.

Half-time

Croatia 0-0 Belgium

Canada 1-2 Morocco

Though an own goal, Canada celebrate all the same.

Canada GOALLLLLLLLLL

N. Aguerd‘s 40th minute own goal gives Canada hope of a comeback

Y. En-Nesyri the scorer

Y. En-Nesyri doubles the lead with a fine finish in the 23rd minute.

Canada 0-2 Morocco

GOALLLLLLLLLL

Morocco means business. They are two goals up.

Ziyech’s goal is the second fastest to be conceded by a country here, while Canada is the country with the fastest goal at this World Cup so far.

Croatia was awarded a penalty but after a VAR check the penalty is overturned

13′ Canada 0-1 Morocco

13′ Croatia 0-0 Belgium

The opportunity was a gift but Ziyech still had to hold his nerve

GOALLLLLLLLLL

No time to waste as Hakim Ziyech broke the deadlock to give Morocco the lead.

KICK-OFF

Both matches are underway. Big games

All is set for the kick-off

Hakim Ziyech again made the lineup for Morocco squad. They must avoid defeat against Canada.

Canada, though already crashed out, will be playing for pride.

Luka Modric will pilot the affairs of Croatia when they file out against Belgium.

Eden Hazard is benched as Kevin De Bruyne will captain the Belgian side against Croatia.

Poland 0-2 Argentina: Messi loses penalty but Albicelestes qualify; Saudi Arabia 1-2 Mexico: Good goal by Chavez but not enough

Argentina beat Poland 2-0 to top Group C and qualify for the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup taking place in Qatar.

Lionel Messi’s first half penalty was saved by Poland goalkeeper to ensure the first half ended on a barren draw.

But two second half goals from MacAllister and Julian Alvarez sail Argentina through to the next round ontop of the group.

Poland, despite their 2-0 loss to Argentina, also qualified on goal difference as Mexico’s 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia was not enough to see them finish runners up.

🔴LIVE

GOALLLLLLLLLL

Saudi Arabia got a consolation goal but that will not be enough.

72′ Poland 0-2 Argentina

Julian Alvarez scores Argentina second goal in the 67th minute.

GOALLLLLLL

Argentina double their lead

66′ Poland 0-1 Argentina

64′ Saudi Arabia 0-2 Mexico

As it stands, Argentina top the group, while Poland are still second. For Mexico to qualify, they need to score three unreplied goals, while hoping Poland doesn’t score.

Mexico celebrate

Saudi Arabia 0-2 Mexico

Luis Chavez with the goal for Mexico.

GOALLLLLLLLL

The goals are coming for Mexico as they extend their lead in a space of five minutes.

Saudi Arabia 0-1 Mexico

Henry Martin is the scorer for Mexico.

GOALLLLLLL

Mexico did it too. Takes the lead just three minutes after the break.

Poland 0-1 Argentina

MacAllister put Argentina in front just two minutes after the break.

Second half

GOALLLLLLL

We are back for the second half and Argentina takes the lead immediately

HALF TIME

The Saudi Arabia vs Mexico game also ended goalless at the end of first half.

Interesting times ahead in the second half.

It’s goalless at half time between Poland and Argentina.

The Messi penalty miss is the high point of the first half as Argentina failed to take the lead.

The moment Messi failed to convert from the spot.

Argentina miss a penalty that could have calmed their nerves.

If Argentina play a draw against Poland in this game, then Saudi Arabia MUST beat Mexico to qualify.

Poland can still still qualify with a draw against Argentina.

Still goalless after 30 minutes in both games. As it stands, Argentina and Saudi Arabia are tied on same four points but the South Americans are ahead on goal difference.

’20 Both matches are still goalless after 20 minutes of action.

Not an easy one for either side.

KICK-OFF

It’s time to get down to some real serious business.

Let’s go

Lewandowski carrying the hopes of Poland on his shoulders.

Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi in Argentina lineup. No doubt, they know the importance of this game.

Mexico set to give it all, regardless.

Saudi Arabia lineup must win this one to advance.

Portugal 2 – 0 Uruguay: Bruno Fernandes double take team to knockout stage

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes scored two second half goals to help Portugal beat Uruguay 2-0 and qualify for the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

After a barren first half, the second was more interesting and intense.

Fernandes broke the deadlock in the 54th minute before completing his brace via penalty eight minutes from time to see Portugal qualify for the knockout after two wins from two games.

🔴LIVE

GOALLLLLLL

Fernandes converts from the spot kick. Makes it two for himself and two for Portugal.

UPDATE

The goal has been awarded to Bruno Fernandes

83′ Sub

Ronaldo taken off to rest. He has played his part hugely tonight.

Sub

Luis Suarez coming in. Can he make a difference?

Let’s see

His name is RONALDO, incase you forgot.

Portugal leads 1-0

It’s a good start to the second half for Portugal.

Ronaldo breaks the deadlock after 55 minutes of play.

GOALLLLLLLLLL

Portugal takes the lead.

Second half

We are back again for the remaining half of the game.

Half time

It ended goalless at half time. Portugal has had more chances, but Uruguay has equally been gifting opportunities to score.

It’s all square into the break.

32′ Uruguay is denied by Portugal goalkeeper.

Portugal desperately searching for the opener as they continue to ask questions.

It’s a tough battle going down. No goal yet.

KICK-OFF

We are underway

Uruguay starting 11 is equally fortified with Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez in the frontline.

Portugal starting lineup looks deadly as expected, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the attack.