FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™: Memorable Moments

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Morocco – December 2023: Twelve months on from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, we take a stroll down memory lane to relive a few of the most memorable moments from a tournament now spoken about as one of the best in its 93-year history.

To mark 12 months since the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ captured the attention of the world, beIN SPORTS has been broadcasting every match from the historic tournament as-live on the day it took place last year. As the knock-out stages begin, we highlight five of the best storylines from the elimination rounds, which subscribers can live all over again on beIN SPORTS’ free-to-air channel.:

  1. Atlas Lions Roar (Morocco v Spain, 6 December, 18:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 16:30 MECCA): The first Arab World Cup™ felt destined to see strong Arab representation on the pitch, yet even the most optimistic fans likely would not have predicted an Arab side would reach the final four. Morocco, having not won on the world stage in more than 20 years, tore up the history books to become the first Arab and first African team to reach the semi-finals. Morocco certainly did not have an easy route, overcoming Belgium, Spain, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal on the way; each victory being greeted by players falling to their knees in prayer.

“The performance of the Moroccan team really affected me,” said beIN SPORTS Presenter, Hala Mashharawi. “Especially how far they’ve come in the tournament as an Arab country, and the way Sofiane Boufal brought his mom to the field to celebrate. It was a nice humanitarian message.”

Moroccan sports commentator, Jawad Badda, added: “We followed the remarkable journey of the Moroccan national team all the way to the semi-finals. Their unexpected success drew significant support from Moroccan and Arab fans alike.”

  1. The Battle of Lusail (Netherlands v Argentina, 9 December, 22:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 20:30 MECCA): Billed at the Battle of Lusail, Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz set a record for cautions at any official FIFA international tournament by issuing 18 yellow cards and one red during the quarterfinal match between the Netherlands and Argentina. And remarkably, Lahoz did not show a card of any colour until more than a third of the way through regular time. What followed thereafter, however, was remarkable for its aggression as for its drama. Leading by two goals with less than 10 minutes remaining, Argentina looked comfortable. But a Wout Weghorst goal in the 83rd minute spiced things up a little, and when Weghorst netted again in the 11th minute of added time, it looked like Messi’s dream was not meant to be. Holding on though, Argentina won the shootout 4-3 to set up a semi with Croatia.
  1. Crying Cristiano (Morocco v Portugal, 10 December, 18:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 16:30 MECCA): While Morocco earnt the backing of neutral fans around the globe, the collateral damage of their run to the semi-finals meant the end of a dream for Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal’s 37-year-old talisman, who had been reduced to a bit-part role from the bench in his side’s 6-1 defeat of Switzerland in the previous round, was caught leaving the field in tears after Portugal was eliminated 1-0 in the quarterfinals by the Atlas Lions. The defeat meant not only will he almost certainly not lift the most coveted prize in football, but it also curtailed his quest to equal Eusebio’s record as Portugal’s all-time leading scorer at the World Cup™. In better news though, Ronaldo did however become the first male player to score at five successive World Cups when he netted a penalty against Ghana in the group stages. “On a personal level, I found the Morocco versus Portugal match to be one of the most important I ever commented on,” said Mohammed Saadoun Al-Kuwari, beIN SPORTS Analyst.
  1. Kane Pays Penalty (England v France, 10 December, 22:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 20:30 MECCA): It was coming home… until it wasn’t. When Harry Kane equalised from the penalty spot for England in their quarter-final contest with France, the Three Lions seemed to have everything in place to go and put the game to bed. Much the better side, momentum was with Gareth Southgate’s side, but Olivier Giroud had other ideas edging France back in front. Yet in the 84th minute, Kane found himself stood over the penalty spot once again, facing his Tottenham teammate Hugo Lloris once again, looking to equalise again. This time though, rather than net to become his country’s all-time leading goal scorer, he blasted over the crossbar and England’s hopes of winning the game – and the World Cup™ – slipped away once more.
  1. Messi Crowned King (France v Argentina, 18 December, 18:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 16:00 MECCA): “The Argentina-France World Cup™ final was the best match in the history of football,” said Abdulaziz Al Sulaiti, former Qatari football player and beIN SPORTS Analyst.

In any other match, Kylian Mbappé’s extraordinary hat-trick would have stolen the spotlight, yet despite his remarkable feat, including two goals in two minutes during regular time and a decisive third in extra time, France lost, Argentina won, and Lionel Messi fulfilled his destiny by leading his country to victory. The iconic image of Messi, draped in a black bisht, joyfully kissing the World Cup™ trophy, marked the climax of a historic tournament, widely hailed as the greatest World Cup final in history.

– Ends –




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