companies from Japan, Morocco and Australia

In the round of 16 there will be Japanese, North Africans and Australians: eliminated the big names Germany, Belgium and Denmark. Also noteworthy are the qualifiers of Poland and the USA

The round of 16 of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar they are composing in an ever more unpredictable way: they fall big come Germany, Belgium and Denmark as they go along Japan, Morocco and Australia. Also noteworthy are the qualifiers of the Poland at the expense of Mexico and of the United States instead of Wales. Almost every group told a surprise story, and Uruguay and Serbia are still at great risk: consequences of the first winter World Cup in history?

The latest, at least in chronological order, is that of Japan, which also has double value: not only did he manage to get through to a group that included Spain and Germany by eliminating the Germans, but he also indulged in the whim of beating and overcoming the Red Furies by qualifying first in group E. An almost miracle son of the obsessive tactical organization of the Japanese, who didn’t show great things in terms of play (just think of the soporific match with Costa Rica), but always kept the bar straight with commitment and dedication, making the most of the offensive chances and keeping well behind. There are those who think that Luis Enrique’s team, once they learned that Costa Rica could no longer overtake them in the standings, lowered their laps by settling for second place to avoid Croatia in the round of 16, yet facing Morocco will certainly not be a walk in the park .

And the match between Regragui’s national team and Spain promises to be one of the most beautiful of the next phase of Qatar 2022 because the North Africans almost never lacked for talent, if anything it was more a problem of tactical discipline and group cohesion. Elements that the 47-year-old coach has been able to mix well so far, guided by the inspiration of the various players Ziyech and Hakimi with the “Italian” help of Sabiri and Amrabat finishing first in a group with Croatia and Belgium. And then obviously Australia, the most outsider of the lot, which manages to replicate it historical result in 2006 when they were eliminated – with a penalty in the 95th minute – by Italy who later became champions: having kept Denmark behind is no small feat, enough to deserve to be able to challenge Messi’s Argentina on the field.

Also noteworthy is the Poland who, albeit out of breath, redeems the last place in the group stage of Russia 2018 to leave Mexico at home, which instead reached the round of 16 four years ago. Finally the United States who are recovering from the setback of not qualifying for the World Cup four years ago and are now pursuing those quarter-finals that have been missing since 2002.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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