Eight matches were played in the first knockout round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and eight teams emerged to feature in the quarter finals.

Morocco became the first Arabian team to reach the last 8 of the FIFA World Cup. They held previous champions Spain to a goalless drew in regulation and extra time before saving three consecutive penalties. Morocco edged the Europeans 3-0 in the shoot out to the delight of the Arabian world and African continent. Senegal had been eliminated earlier by England (3-0), so the African continent looked up to the Moroccans and they didn’t disappoint.

Japan’s giant-killing run came to an end via penalties after a 1-1 draw with 2018 World Cup finalists, Croatia. Croatia edged the Asians 3-1 on penalties. South Korea were knocked out by Brazil 4-1. The Brazilians raced to a 4-0 first half lead before South Korea got a consolation. Netherlands were 3-1 winners over the USA, France also defeated Poland 3-1 in their quest to retain the trophy.

Lionel Messi scored as Argentina defeated Australia 2-1. The Aussies scored a late consolation via a deflection, giving the game a nervy finish for the South Americans. Portugal breezed past Switzerland 6-1 in the last game of the round. Goncalo Ramos scored the tournament’s first hat-trick. Cristiano Ronaldo started the game from the bench.

The quarterfinals begin today: Croatia will face the mighty Brazil, Netherlands will hope to stop Messi & Argentina. Tomorrow, Morocco’s run will be tested against Ronaldo’s Portugal while England will square up against Mbappe. Which four teams will reach the semifinals?

Having being knocked out of the world cup, Spain parted ways with Luis Enrique after a poor display at the World Cup. Spain won just one of the four matches they played in Qatar. Roberto Martinez couldn’t steer Belgium’s “best generation” out of the group stage. He parted ways with the Red Devils. Gerard Martino (Mexico), Otto Addo (Ghana), Paulo Bento (South Korea) have fallen out with their teams.

Luis Enrique

Away from the World Cup, Arsenal defeated Lyon 3-0 in the Dubai Super Cup. Vieira, Nketiah and Gabriel were the goal scorers. Gabriel Jesus will be out for months after undergoing a surgery. We wish him a quick recovery.