2022 FIFA World Cup

Last updated

2022 FIFA World Cup
كأس العالم لكرة القدم 2022
Kaʾs al-ʿālam li-kurat al-qadam 2022
2022 FIFA World Cup.svg
الآن هو كل شيء
Al-ʾāna huwa kullu šayʾ
"Now Is All" [1]
Tournament details
Host countryQatar
Dates20 November – 18 December
Teams32 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s)8 (in 5 host cities)
Final positions
ChampionsFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina (3rd title)
Runners-upFlag of France.svg  France
Third placeFlag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Fourth placeFlag of Morocco.svg  Morocco
Tournament statistics
Matches played64
Goals scored172 (2.69 per match)
Attendance3,404,252 (53,191 per match)
Top scorer(s) Flag of France.svg Kylian Mbappé (8 goals)
Best player(s) Flag of Argentina.svg Lionel Messi
Best young player Flag of Argentina.svg Enzo Fernández
Best goalkeeper Flag of Argentina.svg Emiliano Martínez
Fair play awardFlag of England.svg  England

The 2022 FIFA World Cup was the 22nd FIFA World Cup, the world championship for national football teams organized by FIFA. It took place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022, after the country was awarded the hosting rights in 2010. It was the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world and Muslim world, and the second held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan. [upper-alpha 1]


This tournament was the last with 32 participating teams, with the number of teams being increased to 48 for the 2026 edition. To avoid the extremes of Qatar's hot climate, [upper-alpha 2] the event was held during November and December instead of in the traditional months of May, June, or July. [upper-alpha 3] It was held over a reduced time frame of 29 days with 64 matches played in eight venues across five cities. Qatar entered the event—their first World Cup—automatically as the host's national team, alongside 31 teams determined by the qualification process.

Argentina were crowned the champions after winning the final against the title holder France 4–2 on penalties following a 3–3 draw after extra time. It was Argentina's third title and their first since 1986, as well as being the first nation from outside of Europe to win the tournament since 2002. French player Kylian Mbappé became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final since Geoff Hurst in the 1966 final and won the Golden Boot as he scored the most goals (eight) during the tournament. Argentine captain Lionel Messi was voted the tournament's best player, winning the Golden Ball. The tournament has been considered exceptionally poetic as the capstone of his career, for some commentators fulfilling a previously unmet criterion to be regarded the greatest player of all time. [4] Teammates Emiliano Martínez and Enzo Fernández won the Golden Glove, awarded to the tournament's best goalkeeper; and the Young Player Award, awarded to the tournament's best young player, respectively. With 172 goals, the tournament set a record for the highest number of goals scored in the 32-team format, with every participating team scoring at least one goal.

The choice to host the World Cup in Qatar attracted significant criticism, with concerns raised over the country's treatment of migrant workers, women and members of the LGBT community, as well as Qatar's climate, lack of a strong football culture, scheduling changes, and allegations of bribery for hosting rights and wider FIFA corruption. [upper-alpha 4]


The FIFA World Cup is a professional football tournament held between national football teams, organised by FIFA. [13] [14] The tournament, held every four years, was first played in 1930 in Uruguay, [15] and has been contested by 32 teams since the 1998 event. [15] The tournament was contested with eight round-robin groups followed by a knockout round for 16 teams. [16] The defending champions were France, who defeated Croatia 4–2 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final. [17] [18] The event was scheduled to take place under a reduced length, [19] from 20 November to 18 December in Qatar. [20] [21] [22] Being held in Qatar, it was the first World Cup tournament to be held in the Arab world. [23] Spectators were not required to follow most COVID-19 pandemic restrictions such as social distancing, wearing masks, and negative tests. [24]


Unlike previous FIFA World Cups, which are typically played in June and July, because of Qatar's intense summer heat and often fairly high humidity, [2] [21] [25] the 2022 World Cup was played in November and December. [5] [26] As a result, the World Cup was unusually staged in the middle of the seasons of many domestic association football leagues, which started in late July or August, including all of the major European leagues, which had been obliged to incorporate extended breaks into their domestic schedules to accommodate the World Cup. Major European competitions had scheduled their respective competitions group matches to be played before the World Cup, to avoid playing group matches the following year. [27]

The match schedule was confirmed by FIFA in July 2020. [28] The group stage was set to begin on 21 November, with four matches every day. Later, the schedule was tweaked by moving the Qatar vs Ecuador game to 20 November, after Qatar lobbied FIFA to allow their team to open the tournament. [29] [30] [31] The final was played on 18 December 2022, National Day, at Lusail Stadium. [28] [32]

The matches for each group were allocated to the following stadiums: [32]

FIFA confirmed the group stage venue and kick-off times on 1 April 2022, following the draw. [33] [34]

Prize money

In April 2022, FIFA announced the prizes for all participating nations. Each qualified team received $1.5 million before the competition to cover preparation costs with each team receiving at least $9 million in prize money. This edition's total prize pool was $440 million, $40 million greater than the prize pool of the previous tournament. [35]

PlaceTeamsAmount (in millions)
Per teamTotal
Third place1$27$27
Fourth place1$25$25
5th–8th place (quarter-finals)4$17$68
9th–16th place (round of 16)8$13$104
17th–32nd place (group stage)16$9$144

Rule changes

The tournament featured new substitution rules whereby teams could make up to five substitutions in normal time, and an additional substitution in extra time. [36] [37] [38] In addition, it was the first World Cup to feature concussion substitutions, whereby each team was permitted to use a maximum of one concussion substitute during a match. A concussion substitution did not count towards a team's quota of regular substitutions. [39] Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand suffered a concussion in his country's opening match against England and was replaced by Hossein Hosseini. This was the first use of a dedicated concussion substitute during a World Cup. [40]

Host selection

The bidding procedure to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups began in January 2009. National associations had until 2 February 2009 to register interest. [41] Initially, 11 bids were made for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Mexico withdrew from proceedings, [42] [43] and Indonesia's bid was rejected by FIFA in February 2010 after the Indonesian Football Association failed to submit a letter of Indonesian government guarantee to support the bid. [44]

After UEFA were guaranteed to host the 2018 event, members of UEFA were no longer in contention to host in 2022. [45] There were five bids remaining for the 2022 FIFA World Cup: Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, and the United States. The 22-member FIFA Executive Committee convened in Zürich, Switzerland, on 2 December 2010 to vote to select the hosts of both tournaments. [46] Two FIFA executive committee members were suspended before the vote in relation to allegations of corruption regarding their votes. [47] The decision to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which was graded as having "high operational risk", [48] generated criticism from media commentators. [49] It was criticised by many as being part of the FIFA corruption scandals, [50] which led to the 2015 FIFA corruption case.

The voting patterns were as follows: [51]

2022 FIFA bidding (majority 12 votes)
Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4
United States3568
South Korea455Eliminated

Cost of hosting the tournament

At an estimated cost of over $220 billion, [52] it is the most expensive World Cup ever held to date; this figure is disputed by Qatari officials, including organising CEO Nasser Al Khater, who said the true cost was $8 billion, and other figures related to overall infrastructure development since the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010. [53]


Six of the eight venues, such as the venue for the final, Lusail Stadium, were new stadiums built specifically for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Lusail Stadium.jpg
Six of the eight venues, such as the venue for the final, Lusail Stadium, were new stadiums built specifically for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The first five proposed venues for the World Cup were unveiled at the beginning of March 2010. Qatar intended that the stadiums should reflect its history and culture, and for the designs to meet the following terms of reference: legacy, comfort, accessibility, and sustainability. [54] The stadiums were equipped with cooling systems that aim to reduce temperatures within the stadium by up to 20 °C (36 °F). [55] [56]

Their marketing included statements describing the stadiums as zero waste, and the upper tiers of the stadiums will be disassembled after the World Cup and donated to countries with less developed sports infrastructure. [55] [56] Qatar aspired to be compliant and certified by the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) for all the World Cup stadiums. All of the five stadium projects launched were designed by German architect Albert Speer & Partners. [57] The Al Bayt and Al Wakrah stadiums were the only indoor stadiums of the eight used. [58]

Some venues, such as the 68,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium, had its upper tier of seating removed to reduce capacity after the tournament. Al Bayt Stadium.jpg
Some venues, such as the 68,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium, had its upper tier of seating removed to reduce capacity after the tournament.

In an April 2013 report by Merrill Lynch, the organisers in Qatar requested that FIFA approve a smaller number of stadiums due to the growing costs. [59] Bloomberg said that Qatar wished to cut the number of venues to eight or nine from the twelve originally planned. [60] By April 2017, FIFA had yet to finalise the number of stadiums Qatar must have readied in five years' time. Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) said it expected there would be eight in and near Doha, with the exception of Al Khor. [61] [62]

Stadium 974, formerly known as the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, was the seventh FIFA World Cup 2022 venue to be completed by the SC. Its name comes from the number of shipping containers used in its construction and Qatar's international dialling code. The venue will be dismantled completely after the tournament—this stadium was the first temporary stadium ever used for a FIFA World Cup. [63] All of the other stadiums used except Khalifa International were reduced in capacity by half. [64]


Al Khor Al Bayt Stadium 68,895 [65] [66] [upper-alpha 5]
Lusail Lusail Stadium 88,966 [67] [68] [upper-alpha 6]
Al Rayyan Ahmad bin Ali Stadium 45,032 [69] [70] [upper-alpha 7]
Education City Stadium 44,667 [71] [72] [upper-alpha 8]
Khalifa International Stadium 45,857 [73] [74] [upper-alpha 9]
Doha Al Thumama Stadium 44,400 [75] [76] [upper-alpha 10]
Stadium 974 44,089 [77] [78] [upper-alpha 11]
Al Wakrah Al Janoub Stadium 44,325 [79] [80] [upper-alpha 12]

Team base camps

Base camps were used by the 32 national squads to stay and train before and during the World Cup tournament. In July 2022, FIFA announced the hotels and training sites for each participating team. [81] [82] This World Cup was the most compact since the inaugural edition in 1930, with 24 of the 32 teams being within a 10 km radius of each other, and are concentrated within the Doha area. It was the first Cup since 1930 in which players did not need to take flights to matches and could remain at the same training base throughout the entire tournament. [83] [84]

Team base camps [83] [84]
TeamHotelTraining site
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Qatar University Hostel 1 Qatar University Training Site 3
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia New Aspire Academy Athlete Accommodation Aspire Zone Training Facilities 5
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Hilton Salwa Beach Resort and VillasSalwa Training Site
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil The Westin Doha Hotel and Spa Al Arabi SC Stadium
Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon Banyan Tree Doha at La Cigale Mushaireb Al Sailiya SC Stadium
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Century Marina Hotel Lusail Umm Salal SC Training Facilities
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica dusitD2 Salwa Doha Al Ahli SC Stadium
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Hilton DohaAl Ersal Training Site 3
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Retaj Salwa Resort & SPA Al Sailiya SC 2
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha Mesaimeer SC Training Facilities
Flag of England.svg  England Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar by Tivoli Al Wakrah SC Stadium
Flag of France.svg  France Al Messila – A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Doha Al Sadd SC Stadium
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Zulal Wellness Resort Al Shamal SC Stadium
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana DoubleTree by Hilton Doha – Al Sadd Aspire Zone Training Facilities 1
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran Al Rayyan Hotel Doha Curio Collection by Hilton Al Rayyan SC Training Facilities 1
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Radisson Blu Hotel Doha Al Sadd SC New Training Facilities 1
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Simaisma, A Murwab Resort Al Khor SC Stadium
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Wyndham Doha West Bay Al Duhail SC Stadium
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands The St. Regis Doha Qatar University Training Site 6
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Ezdan Palace Hotel Al Kharaitiyat SC Training Facilities
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Al Samriya Autograph Collection Hotel Al Shahaniya SC Training Facilities
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Al Aziziyah Boutique Hotel Aspire Zone Training Facilities 3
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Sealine Beach, a Murwab ResortSealine Training Site
Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal Duhail Handball Sports Hall Al Duhail SC 2
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha Al Arabi SC Training Facilities
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Le Méridien City Center Doha Al Egla Training Site 5
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Qatar University Hostel 2 Qatar University Training Site 1
Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland Le Royal Méridien, DohaUniversity of Doha for Science and Technology Training Facilities
Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia Wyndham Grand Doha West Bay Beach Al Egla Training Sites 3
Flag of the United States.svg  United States Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl – Doha Al Gharafa SC Stadium
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Pullman Doha West BayAl Ersal Training Site 1
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Delta Hotels City Center Doha Al Sadd SC New Training Facilities 2


The Qatari government employed about 50,000 security personnel including police departments and military forces from at least thirteen countries, including Poland, Germany, France, Kuwait, Jordan, Italy, Palestine, Spain, Pakistan, Turkey, USA, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. [85] The Turkish government provided about 3,000 riot police personnel, [85] whilst Pakistan provided about 4,500 Army troops to Qatar for the event. [86]



FIFA's six continental confederations organised their own qualifying competitions. All 211 FIFA member associations were eligible to enter qualification. The Qatari national team, as hosts, qualified automatically for the tournament. However, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) obliged Qatar to participate in the Asian qualifying stage as the first two rounds also act as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. [87] Since Qatar reached the final stage as winners in their group, Lebanon, the fifth-best second place team, advanced instead. [88] France, the reigning World Cup champions, qualified for the event through European qualification. [89]

Saint Lucia initially entered CONCACAF qualification but withdrew from it before their first match. North Korea withdrew from the AFC qualifying round due to safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both American Samoa and Samoa withdrew before the OFC qualification draw due to travel restrictions following the pandemic. [90] Tonga withdrew after the 2022 Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai eruption and tsunami. [91] Due to COVID-19 outbreaks in their squads, Vanuatu and Cook Islands also withdrew because of the travel restrictions. [92] [93]

Of the 32 nations qualified to play at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, 24 countries competed at the previous tournament in 2018. [94] Qatar were the only team making their debut in the FIFA World Cup, becoming the first hosts to make their tournament debut since Italy in 1934. The Netherlands, Ecuador, Ghana, Cameroon, and the United States returned to the tournament after missing the 2018 tournament. Canada returned after 36 years, their only prior appearance being in 1986. [95] Wales made their first appearance in 64 years—the longest-ever gap for any team, their only previous participation having been in 1958. [96]

Italy, four-time winners and reigning European champions, failed to qualify for a second successive World Cup for the first time in their history, losing in the qualification play-off semi-finals. [97] The Italians were the only former champions and the highest ranked team in the FIFA Men's World Rankings that failed to qualify. Italy were also the fourth team to have failed to qualify for the upcoming World Cup after having won the previous UEFA European Championship, following Czechoslovakia in 1978, Denmark in 1994, and Greece in 2006. [98] The previous World Cup hosts, Russia, were disqualified from competing due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. [99]

Chile, the 2015 and 2016 Copa América winners, failed to qualify for the second consecutive time. Nigeria were defeated by Ghana on away goals in Confederation of African Football (CAF) final playoff round, having qualified for the previous three World Cups and six out of the last seven. Egypt, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Iceland, and Sweden, all of whom qualified for the 2018 World Cup, did not qualify for the 2022 tournament. [100] Ghana were the lowest ranked team to qualify, ranked 61st. [101]

The qualified teams, listed by region, with numbers in parentheses indicating final positions in the FIFA Men's World Ranking before the tournament were: [102]


Before submitting their final squad for the tournament, teams named a provisional squad of up to 55 players. Teams were required to have their 55-player roster submitted to FIFA by 21 October. [103] Teams were required to name their final squads by 13 November. [104] In August 2022, FIFA increased the final squad size to 26 players from a total of 23 players at the 2018 edition. [105] All teams had a total of 26 players in their final squads except for France and Iran, who chose 25 players. [106] [107]


The final draw was held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Doha, Qatar, [108] on 1 April 2022, [109] 19:00 AST, prior to the completion of qualification. The two winners of the inter-confederation play-offs and the winner of the Path A of the UEFA play-offs were not known at the time of the draw. [110] The draw was attended by 2,000 guests and was led by Carli Lloyd, Jermaine Jenas and sports broadcaster Samantha Johnson, assisted by the likes of Cafu (Brazil), Lothar Matthäus (Germany), Adel Ahmed Malalla (Qatar), Ali Daei (Iran), Bora Milutinović (Serbia/Mexico), Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria), Rabah Madjer (Algeria), and Tim Cahill (Australia). [111] [112]

For the draw, 32 teams were allocated into four pots based on the FIFA Men's World Rankings of 31 March 2022. [113] Pot 1 contained host Qatar (who were automatically assigned to position A1) and the best seven teams. Pot 2 contained the next best eight teams, with the next best eight teams into pot 3. Pot 4 contained the five lowest-ranked teams, along with the placeholders for the two inter-confederation play-off winners and the UEFA Path A play-off winner. Teams from the same confederation could not be drawn into the same group except for UEFA teams, for which there was at least one and no more than two per group. [114]

This principle also applied to the placeholder teams, with constraints applying based on the confederation of both potential winners of each play-off tie. The draw started with pot 1 and ended with pot 4, with each team selected then allocated into the first available group alphabetically. The position for the team within the group would then be drawn (for the purpose of the match schedule), with the pot 1 teams automatically drawn into position 1 of each group. [114] The pots for the draw are shown below. [115]

Draw [116]
Pot 1Pot 2Pot 3Pot 4
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar (51) (hosts)
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil (1)
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium (2)
Flag of France.svg  France (3)
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina (4)
Flag of England.svg  England (5)
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain (7)
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal (8)
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico (9)
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands (10)
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark (11)
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany (12)
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay (13)
Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland (14)
Flag of the United States.svg  United States (15)
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia (16)
Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal (20)
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran (21)
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan (23)
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco (24)
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia (25)
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland (26)
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea (29)
Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia (35)
Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon (37)
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada (38)
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador (46)
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia (49)
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana (61)
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales (18) [upper-alpha 13]
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica (31) [upper-alpha 14]
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia (42) [upper-alpha 15]


In May 2022, FIFA announced the list of 36 referees, 69 assistant referees, and 24 video assistant referees for the tournament. Of the 36 referees, FIFA included two each from Argentina, Brazil, England, and France. [117] [118]

For the first time women referees officiated games at a major men's tournament. [119] France's Stéphanie Frappart, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda, and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan became the first female referees to be appointed to a men's World Cup. [120] Frappart previously oversaw the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final. [121] They were joined by three female assistant referees, Neuza Back, Kathryn Nesbitt, and Karen Díaz Medina. Frappart then officially became the first-ever female referee to officiate a World Cup match when she worked the Costa Rica vs Germany match in Group E on 1 December. [122]

Gambian referee Bakary Gassama and Argentine assistant referee Juan Pablo Belatti were among the officials to serve at their third World Cup. Belatti was an assistant referee in the 2018 final. [123] [124] [125] Other returning officials included referees César Arturo Ramos of Mexico and Janny Sikazwe of Zambia, and Iranian assistant referee Mohammadreza Mansouri. [126] [127] [128]

On 15 December 2022, FIFA announced that Polish referee Szymon Marciniak would adjudicate the final. [129]

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony took place on Sunday, 20 November 2022 at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, prior to the opening match of the tournament between hosts Qatar and Ecuador. [130] It included appearances by Morgan Freeman and Ghanim Al-Muftah, along with performances by South Korean singer and BTS member Jungkook and Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi. [131] [132] It was the first time that the Qur'an had been recited as part of the opening ceremony. [133]

Group stage

The group stage was played from 20 November to 2 December. [134] Competing countries were divided into eight groups of four teams (groups A to H). Teams in each group played one another in a round-robin, where the top two teams advanced to the knockout stage.

Result of countries participating in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Wc 2022 nd.png
Result of countries participating in the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Group A

The first match of the tournament was held between Qatar and Ecuador in Group A. Ecuador had a disallowed goal in the opening minutes, [136] but eventually won 2–0 with two goals from Enner Valencia. [137] Qatar became the first host nation to lose their opening match at a World Cup. [138] [139] [140] Many Qatar natives were seen leaving the game before the end, with ESPN reporting that two-thirds of the attendance had left. [141] [142] The other starting match in group A was won by the Netherlands 2–0 over Senegal. Cody Gakpo scored the opening goal in the 84th minute and Davy Klaassen added a second in stoppage time. [143] Senegal faced Qatar in the third match of the group; Boulaye Dia capitalised on a slip by Boualem Khoukhi to put Senegal 1–0 ahead. Famara Diédhiou scored a second with a header, before Mohammed Muntari scored Qatar's first-ever goal at a World Cup to reduce the deficit back to one. Senegal eventually won the match 3–1 after an 84th-minute goal by Bamba Dieng. With this result, Qatar became the first team to be eliminated from the tournament, as well as becoming the first host nation to ever be knocked out of the tournament after two games. [144] Gakpo scored his second goal of the tournament as the Netherlands led Ecuador; however, Valencia scored an equaliser in the 49th minute. [145] The Netherlands won 2–0 against Qatar following goals by Gakpo and Frenkie de Jong to win the group, while Qatar attained the distinction of being the first home nation to lose all three group matches. [146] Senegal faced Ecuador to determine the second knockout round qualifier. At the end of the first half, Ismaïla Sarr scored a penalty kick to put Senegal ahead. In the 67th minute, Moisés Caicedo scored an equaliser, but shortly after, Kalidou Koulibaly gave Senegal the victory. The win was enough to qualify Senegal as the runners-up of Group A. [147]

1Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 321051+47Advanced to knockout stage
2Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal 320154+16
3Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador 311143+14
4Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar (H)30031760
Source: FIFA
(H) Hosts
Qatar  Flag of Qatar.svg 0–2 Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador
  • Valencia Soccerball shade.svg16' (pen.), 31'
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Attendance: 67,372
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
Senegal  Flag of Senegal.svg 0–2 Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Al Thumama Stadium, Doha
Attendance: 41,721
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)

Qatar  Flag of Qatar.svg 1–3 Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal
Al Thumama Stadium, Doha
Attendance: 41,797
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
Netherlands  Flag of the Netherlands.svg 1–1 Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador

Ecuador  Flag of Ecuador.svg 1–2 Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal
Netherlands  Flag of the Netherlands.svg 2–0 Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Attendance: 66,784
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)

Group B

England completed a 6–2 victory over Iran. Iranian keeper Alireza Beiranvand was removed from the game for a suspected concussion before England scored three first-half goals. [148] Mehdi Taremi scored in the second half after which England defender Harry Maguire was also removed for a concussion. [148] Timothy Weah, of the United States, scored a first-half goal against Wales; however, the match finished as a draw after a penalty kick was won and scored by Gareth Bale. [149] Iran defeated Wales 2–0 following a red card to Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey after he committed a foul outside of his penalty area. Substitute Rouzbeh Cheshmi scored the first goal eight minutes into stoppage time, followed by Ramin Rezaeian scoring three minutes later. [150] England and the United States played to a 0–0 draw, with only four shots on target between them, and one shot from Christian Pulisic hit the crossbar. [151] England won the group following a 3–0 win over Wales with a goal by Phil Foden and two by Marcus Rashford. [152] Christian Pulisic scored the winning goal as the United States defeated Iran 1–0 to qualify for the round of 16. [153]

1Flag of England.svg  England 321092+77Advanced to knockout stage
2Flag of the United States.svg  United States 312021+15
3Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 31024733
4Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 30121651
Source: FIFA
England  Flag of England.svg 6–2 Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
United States  Flag of the United States.svg 1–1 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales

Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 0–2 Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
England  Flag of England.svg 0–0 Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Attendance: 68,463
Referee: Jesús Valenzuela (Venezuela)

Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 0–3 Flag of England.svg  England
Iran  Flag of Iran.svg 0–1 Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Al Thumama Stadium, Doha
Attendance: 42,127
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

Group C

Argentina took an early lead against Saudi Arabia after Lionel Messi scored a penalty kick after ten minutes; however, second-half goals by Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari won the match 2–1 for Saudi Arabia, [154] a result the media considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the event. [155] [156] The match between Mexico and Poland ended as a goalless 0–0 draw after Guillermo Ochoa saved Robert Lewandowski's penalty kick attempt. [157] Lewandowski scored his first career World Cup goal in a 2–0 win over Saudi Arabia four days later. [158] [159] Argentina defeated Mexico 2–0, with Messi scoring the opener and later assisting teammate Enzo Fernández who scored his first international goal. [160] [161] Argentina won their last game against Poland with goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julián Álvarez, which was enough to win the group; [162] Poland qualified for the knockout stage on goal difference, thanks to Saudi Arabia scoring an injury-time consolation goal against Mexico in a match already lost. [163]

1Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 320152+36Advanced to knockout stage
2Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 31112204
3Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 31112314
4Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 31023523
Source: FIFA
Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg 1–2 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Lusail Stadium, Lusail
Attendance: 88,012
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia)
Mexico  Flag of Mexico.svg 0–0 Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Stadium 974, Doha
Attendance: 39,369
Referee: Chris Beath (Australia)

Poland  Flag of Poland.svg 2–0 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Attendance: 44,259
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)
Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg 2–0 Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
Lusail Stadium, Lusail
Attendance: 88,966
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)

Poland  Flag of Poland.svg 0–2 Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Stadium 974, Doha
Attendance: 44,089
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
Saudi Arabia  Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg 1–2 Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
Lusail Stadium, Lusail
Attendance: 84,985
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)

Group D

The match between Denmark and Tunisia ended as a goalless draw; both teams had goals disallowed by offside calls. [164] Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen made his first major international appearance since suffering a cardiac arrest at the UEFA Euro 2020. [164] Defending champions France went a goal behind to Australia, after a Craig Goodwin goal within ten minutes. France, however, scored four goals, by Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappé and two by Olivier Giroud to win 4–1. [165] The goals tied Giroud with Thierry Henry as France's all-time top goalscorer. [165] Mitchell Duke scored the only goal as Australia won against Tunisia. This was their first World Cup win since 2010. [166] [167] Mbappé scored a brace as France defeated Denmark 2–1. This was enough for France to qualify for the knockout round—the first time since Brazil in 2006 that the defending champions progressed through the opening round. [166] [168] Mathew Leckie scored the only goal as Australia defeated Denmark 1–0, qualifying for the knockout round as runners-up with the win. [169] Wahbi Khazri scored for Tunisia against France in the 58th minute. Although Antoine Griezmann equalised in stoppage time it was overturned for offside. Tunisia finished third in the group, as they required a draw in the Denmark and Australia game. [170]

1Flag of France.svg  France 320163+36Advanced to knockout stage
2Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 32013416
3Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia 31111104
4Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 30121321
Source: FIFA
Denmark  Flag of Denmark.svg 0–0 Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia
France  Flag of France.svg 4–1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Attendance: 40,875
Referee: Victor Gomes (South Africa)

Tunisia  Flag of Tunisia.svg 0–1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Attendance: 41,823
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)
France  Flag of France.svg 2–1 Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Stadium 974, Doha
Attendance: 42,860
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg 1–0 Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Attendance: 41,232
Referee: Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria)
Tunisia  Flag of Tunisia.svg 1–0 Flag of France.svg  France

Group E

Group E began with Japan facing 2014 champions Germany. After an early penalty kick was converted by Germany's İlkay Gündoğan, Japan scored two second-half goals by Ritsu Dōan and Takuma Asano in a 2–1 win. [171] In the second group match, Spain defeated Costa Rica 7–0. First-half goals by Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio, and Ferran Torres were followed by goals by Gavi, Carlos Soler, Alvaro Morata, and a second by Torres. [172] [173] This was the largest defeat in a World Cup since Portugal's victory over North Korea in the 2010 event by the same scoreline. [174] Costa Rica defeated Japan 1–0, with Keysher Fuller scoring with Costa Rica's first shot on target of the tournament. [175] Germany and Spain drew 1–1, with Álvaro Morata scoring for Spain and Niclas Füllkrug scoring for Germany. [176] [177] [178] Morata scored the opening goal for Spain against Japan as they controlled the first half of the match. [179] Japan equalised on Ritsu Doan before a second goal by Ao Tanaka was heavily investigated by VAR for the ball potentially being out of play. The goal was awarded, and Japan won the group following a 2–1 win. [179] Serge Gnabry scored on ten minutes for Germany against Costa Rica and they led until half-time. Germany required a win, and for Japan to not win their match, or for both teams to win their matches by a combined goal difference of at least 9 goals, to qualify. In the second half, goals by Yeltsin Tejeda and Juan Vargas gave Costa Rica a 2–1 lead, which would have qualified them into the knockout stages ahead of Spain. Germany scored three further goals—two by Kai Havertz and a goal by Niclas Fullkrug, ending in a 4–2 win for Germany—which was not enough to qualify them for the final stages. This was the second time in a row that the four-time champions failed to progress past the group stages. [180] Japan won the group ahead of Spain. [181]

1Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 320143+16Advanced to knockout stage
2Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 311193+64
3Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 311165+14
4Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica 310231183
Source: FIFA
Germany  Flag of Germany.svg 1–2 Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Spain  Flag of Spain.svg 7–0 Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica

Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 0–1 Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica
Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Attendance: 41,479
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
Spain  Flag of Spain.svg 1–1 Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Attendance: 68,895
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)

Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 2–1 Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
Costa Rica  Flag of Costa Rica.svg 2–4 Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Attendance: 67,054
Referee: Stéphanie Frappart (France)

Group F

Group F's first match was a goalless draw between Morocco and Croatia. [182] Canada had a penalty kick in the first half of their match against Belgium which was saved by Thibaut Courtois. Belgium won the match by a single goal by Michy Batshuayi. [183] [184] Belgium lost 2–0 to Morocco, despite Morocco having a long-range direct free kick goal by Hakim Ziyech overturned for an offside on another player in the lead up to the goal. Two second-half goals from Zakaria Aboukhlal and Romain Saïss helped the Morocco win their first World Cup match since 1998. [185] [186] The match sparked riots in Belgium, with fires and fireworks being set off by residents. [187] Alphonso Davies scored Canada's first World Cup goal to give Canada the lead over Croatia. Goals by Marko Livaja, Lovro Majer, and two by Andrej Kramarić for Croatia completed a 4–1 victory. [188] Morocco scored two early goals through Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri in their game against Canada and qualified following a 2–1 victory. Canada's only goal was an own goal by Nayef Aguerd. [189] Croatia and Belgium played a goalless draw which eliminated Belgium, whose team was ranked second in the world, from the tournament. [190]

1Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 321041+37Advanced to knockout stage
2Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 312041+35
3Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 31111214
4Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 30032750
Source: FIFA
Morocco  Flag of Morocco.svg 0–0 Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Attendance: 59,407
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (Argentina)
Belgium  Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 1–0 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Attendance: 40,432
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)

Belgium  Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 0–2 Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco
Al Thumama Stadium, Doha
Attendance: 43,738
Referee: César Arturo Ramos (Mexico)
Croatia  Flag of Croatia.svg 4–1 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada

Croatia  Flag of Croatia.svg 0–0 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Attendance: 43,984
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
Canada  Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg 1–2 Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco
Al Thumama Stadium, Doha
Attendance: 43,102
Referee: Raphael Claus (Brazil)

Group G

Breel Embolo scored the only goal in Switzerland's 1–0 defeat of Cameroon. [191] Richarlison scored two goals as Brazil won against Serbia, with star player Neymar receiving an ankle injury. [192] Cameroon's Jean-Charles Castelletto scored the opening goal against Serbia, but they were quickly behind as Serbia scored three goals by Strahinja Pavlović, Sergej Milinković-Savić, and Aleksandar Mitrović either side of half time. Cameroon, however, scored goals through Vincent Aboubakar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, completing a 3–3 draw. [193] An 83rd-minute winner by Casemiro for Brazil over Switzerland was enough for them to qualify for the knockout stage. [194] Having already qualified, Brazil were unable to win their final group game, as they were defeated by Cameroon 1–0 following a goal by Vincent Aboubakar. Already having a yellow card, he was later sent off for removing his shirt in celebrating the goal. [195] Cameroon, however, did not qualify, as Switzerland defeated Serbia 3–2. [196]

1Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 320131+26Advanced to knockout stage
2Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland 320143+16
3Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon 31114404
4Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 30125831
Source: FIFA
Switzerland  Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg 1–0 Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon
Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Attendance: 39,089
Referee: Facundo Tello (Argentina)
Brazil  Flag of Brazil.svg 2–0 Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Lusail Stadium, Lusail
Attendance: 88,103
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)

Brazil  Flag of Brazil.svg 1–0 Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland
Stadium 974, Doha
Attendance: 43,649
Referee: Iván Barton (El Salvador)

Serbia  Flag of Serbia.svg 2–3 Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland
Stadium 974, Doha
Attendance: 41,378
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (Argentina)
Cameroon  Flag of Cameroon.svg 1–0 Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
Lusail Stadium, Lusail
Attendance: 85,986
Referee: Ismail Elfath (United States)

Group H

Uruguay and South Korea played to a goalless draw. [197] A goalless first half between Portugal and Ghana preceded a penalty converted by Cristiano Ronaldo to give Portugal the lead. In scoring the goal, Ronaldo became the first man to score in five World Cups. Ghana responded with a goal by André Ayew before goals by João Félix, and Rafael Leão by Portugal put them 3–1 ahead. Osman Bukari scored in the 89th minute to trail by a single goal, while Iñaki Williams had a chance to equalise for Ghana ten minutes into stoppage time, but slipped before shooting. The match finished 3–2 to Portugal. [198] Ghanaian Mohammed Salisu opened the scoring against South Korea, with Mohammed Kudus following it up. In the second half, Cho Gue-sung scored a brace for South Korea, levelling the score. Mohammed Kudus scored again in the 68th minute, winning the match 3–2 for Ghana. [199] Portugal defeated Uruguay 2–0 with two goals from Bruno Fernandes, advancing them to the knockout stage. [200] A controversial penalty decision was called late in the game, with a suspected handball from José María Giménez. [201] [202] Portugal led South Korea through Ricardo Horta after 10 minutes. However, goals by Kim Young-gwon and Hwang Hee-chan won the match 2–1 for South Korea. [203] Giorgian de Arrascaeta scored two goals as Uruguay defeated Ghana 2–0. [204] However, with South Korea winning, Uruguay required another goal to progress as they finished third on goals scored. [205] Several Uruguay players left the pitch after the game surrounding the referees and followed them off the pitch. [206] [207] [208]

1Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 320164+26Advanced to knockout stage
2Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 31114404
3Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 31112204
4Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 31025723
Source: FIFA
Uruguay  Flag of Uruguay.svg 0–0 Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
Portugal  Flag of Portugal.svg 3–2 Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana
Stadium 974, Doha
Attendance: 42,662
Referee: Ismail Elfath (United States)

South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg 2–3 Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana
Portugal  Flag of Portugal.svg 2–0 Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Lusail Stadium, Lusail
Attendance: 88,668
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)

Ghana  Flag of Ghana.svg 0–2 Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Attendance: 43,443
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Germany)
South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg 2–1 Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal

Knockout stage

In the knockout stage, if the scores were equal when normal playing time expired, extra time was played for two periods of 15 minutes each. This was followed, if required, by a penalty shoot-out to determine the winners. [135]


Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
3 December – Al Rayyan (Khalifa)
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 3
9 December – Lusail
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 2 (3)
3 December – Al Rayyan (Ahmad bin Ali)
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina (p)2 (4)
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 2
13 December – Lusail
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 1
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 3
5 December – Al Wakrah
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 0
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1 (1)
9 December – Al Rayyan (Education)
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia (p)1 (3)
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia (p)1 (4)
5 December – Doha (974)
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1 (2)
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 4
18 December – Lusail
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 1
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina (p)3 (4)
4 December – Al Khor
Flag of France.svg  France 3 (2)
Flag of England.svg  England 3
10 December – Al Khor
Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal 0
Flag of England.svg  England 1
4 December – Doha (Al Thumama)
Flag of France.svg  France 2
Flag of France.svg  France 3
14 December – Al Khor
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 1
Flag of France.svg  France 2
6 December – Al Rayyan (Education)
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 0 Third place play-off
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco (p)0 (3)
10 December – Doha (Al Thumama) 17 December – Al Rayyan (Khalifa)
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 0 (0)
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 1Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 2
6 December – Lusail
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 0 Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 1
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 6
Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland 1

Round of 16

The round of 16 was played from 3 to 7 December, [32] which for the first time ever included teams from the Americas and four other continents. [209] Group A winners Netherlands scored goals through Memphis Depay, Daley Blind, and Denzel Dumfries as they defeated the United States 3–1, with Haji Wright scoring for the United States. [210] Messi scored his third of the tournament alongside Julián Álvarez to give Argentina a two-goal lead over Australia, and despite an Enzo Fernández own goal from a Craig Goodwin shot, Argentina won 2–1. [211] Olivier Giroud's goal and Mbappé's brace enabled France to have a 3–1 victory over Poland, with Robert Lewandowski scoring the lone goal for Poland from a penalty. [212] England beat Senegal 3–0, with goals coming from Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, and Bukayo Saka. [213] Daizen Maeda scored for Japan against Croatia in the first half before a leveller from Ivan Perišić in the second. Neither team could find the winner, with Croatia defeating Japan 3–1 in a penalty shoot-out. [214] Vinícius Júnior, Neymar, Richarlison, and Lucas Paquetá all scored for Brazil, but a volley from South Korean Paik Seung-ho reduced the deficit to 4–1. [215] Pablo Sarabia had the best chance for Spain to break the deadlock against Morocco in stoppage time after two goalless hours, but he hit the goalie's right-hand post after a shot from the left; Morocco won the match 3–0 on penalties. [216] A hat-trick by Gonçalo Ramos led Portugal to defeat Switzerland 6–1, with goals from Portugal's Pepe, Raphaël Guerreiro, and Rafael Leão and from Switzerland's Manuel Akanji. [217]

Netherlands  Flag of the Netherlands.svg 3–1 Flag of the United States.svg  United States

Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg 2–1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia

France  Flag of France.svg 3–1 Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Al Thumama Stadium, Doha
Attendance: 40,989
Referee: Jesús Valenzuela (Venezuela)

England  Flag of England.svg 3–0 Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Attendance: 65,985
Referee: Iván Barton (El Salvador)

Brazil  Flag of Brazil.svg 4–1 Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
Stadium 974, Doha
Attendance: 43,847
Referee: Clément Turpin (France)

Morocco  Flag of Morocco.svg 0–0 (a.e.t.)Flag of Spain.svg  Spain

Portugal  Flag of Portugal.svg 6–1 Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland
Lusail Stadium, Lusail
Attendance: 83,720
Referee: César Arturo Ramos (Mexico)


The quarter-finals were played on 9 and 10 December. [32] Croatia and Brazil ended 0–0 after 90 minutes and went to extra time. Neymar scored for Brazil in the 15th minute of extra time. Croatia, however, equalised through Bruno Petković in the second period of extra time. With the match tied, a penalty shootout decided the contest, with Croatia winning the shootout 4–2. [218] [219] In the second quarter-final match, Nahuel Molina and Messi scored for Argentina before Wout Weghorst equalised with two goals shortly before the end of the game. The match went to extra time and then penalties, where Argentina would go on to win 4–3. [220] Morocco defeated Portugal 1–0, with Youssef En-Nesyri scoring at the end of the first half. Morocco became the first African and the first Arab nation to advance as far as the semi-finals of the competition. [221] Despite Harry Kane scoring a penalty for England, it was not enough to beat France, who won 2–1 by virtue of goals from Aurélien Tchouaméni and Olivier Giroud and a late missed penalty by Kane, sending them to their second consecutive World Cup semi-final and becoming the first defending champions to reach this stage since Brazil in 1998. [222] [223]

Croatia  Flag of Croatia.svg 1–1 (a.e.t.)Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil

Morocco  Flag of Morocco.svg 1–0 Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
Al Thumama Stadium, Doha
Attendance: 44,198
Referee: Facundo Tello (Argentina)

England  Flag of England.svg 1–2 Flag of France.svg  France
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Attendance: 68,895
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)


The semi-finals were played on 13 and 14 December. [32] Messi scored a penalty kick before Julián Álvarez scored twice to give Argentina a 3–0 victory over Croatia. [224] Théo Hernandez scored after five minutes as France led Morocco for most of the game. Randal Kolo Muani scored in the 78th minute to complete a 2–0 victory for France over Morocco as they reached their second consecutive final. [225]

Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg 3–0 Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Lusail Stadium, Lusail
Attendance: 88,966
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)

France  Flag of France.svg 2–0 Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Attendance: 68,294
Referee: César Arturo Ramos (Mexico)

Third place play-off

The third place play-off was played on 17 December. The two teams had played against each other in their opening game in Group F which finished 0–0. Joško Gvardiol promptly scored for Croatia, with Achraf Dari equalising just 2 minutes later. Mislav Oršić scored the winner for Croatia as the match finished 2–1. [226] Morocco earned 4th place, a record for the team and the best World Cup finish of any African or Arab nation. [227]

Croatia  Flag of Croatia.svg 2–1 Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco


The final was played on 18 December between Argentina and France. Both teams had won the event twice previously. [228] Early goals from Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María gave Argentina, leading 2–0, a head start against the French. [228] [229] Despite substitutions in the first half, France did not record a shot until after the 70th minute but were energised by additional substitutions in the 71st. A few minutes later, France were awarded a penalty as Randal Kolo Muani was brought down in the penalty area by Nicolás Otamendi. Mbappé scored the penalty and added a second goal less than two minutes later to equalise the scores. [229] With the score tied at two goals apiece, the match went to extra time. Messi scored his second goal in the 108th minute, once again giving Argentina the lead. However, Mbappé was awarded a second penalty in the 115th minute after his shot hit the arm of Gonzalo Montiel. Mbappé scored his third goal, becoming the second player ever to complete a hat-trick in the final of a World Cup after Geoff Hurst for England in 1966. [229] With the score tied at 3–3, the match was determined via a penalty shootout. Argentina won the final after scoring all of their penalties, winning 4–2. [229] This marked their third World Cup win and their first since 1986. [229]

Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg 3–3 (a.e.t.)Flag of France.svg  France
Lusail Stadium, Lusail
Attendance: 88,966
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)



There were 172 goals scored in 64 matches, for an average of 2.69 goals per match.

This was the most goals scored at a World Cup. [230]

8 goals

7 goals

4 goals

3 goals