The 2022 World Cup draw was made on Friday – and there are a range of incredible matches to look forward to.
The tournament is scheduled to kick off on November 21, when Senegal take on Netherlands in Doha. It is a departure from World Cup tradition, where the hosts usually take centre stage on the first day. Qatar take part in the World Cup’s second game against Ecuador.
England have been drawn into Group B, alongside USA, Iran and the winner of the second European play-off. Wales, Scotland and Ukraine are the nations that could qualify.
One topic on the agenda for all fans after a World Cup draw is locating the ‘Group of Death’. Group E, which contains Spain and Germany, is probably the closest to that, but each group should be competitive.
The 2022 World Cup draw has also given us some incredible grudge matches to look forward to. Here are five of them:
Uruguay vs Ghana
Ah yes. Luis Suarez‘s handball. Asamoah Gyan’s missed penalty. The two main ingredients that made the 2010 World Cup quarter-final between Uruguay and Ghana one of the most memorable in the tournament’s recent history.
Ghana won a corner with the scores at 1-1 in the final minute of extra time. Dominic Adiyah’s header was goalbound, but Suarez launched himself back and scooped the ball off the line with both hands. It was as blatant a red card as you will ever see.
But Ghana still had a penalty to convert. Their star player, Gyan, stepped up. But he failed to score from the spot, sending Suarez and Uruguay into raptures. The South American nation then won the resulting penalty shootout to send Ghana home, heartbroken. Twelve years later, the African giants will look for revenge.
England vs USA
In another 2010 World Cup rematch, England will host USA in Group B. They will hope for a far better outcome than their last World Cup meeting.
Before the competition in South Africa, England fans were expectant. Newspapers across the country printed similar copy to what has been published this week – this was a group England were expected to win, and easily.
Inexplicably, they didn’t. After a 0-0 draw against Algeria, which was arguably the worst game of the tournament and infamous for Wayne Rooney‘s crowd rant, they sneaked through by beating Slovenia 1-0 in the final group match. But before that, on the opening night, they took on USA.
Steven Gerrard gave Fabio Capello‘s side the perfect start by putting England ahead on four minutes. However, shortly before half-time, disaster struck. Clint Dempsey equalised with a shot that bobbled and squirmed under the despairing grasp of Robert Green. It is a moment that has been replayed ever since.
Argentina vs Mexico
Argentina and Mexico will face off in a massive match in Group C of the 2022 World Cup. The two nations are no strangers to clashes on the big stage.
Furthermore, the winner of this particular fixture will likely end up on top of Group C.
Mexico have not beaten Argentina in an international match since 2004. That dates back to their victory at that year’s Copa America. Before that, you had to go back to 1990 to find evidence of a Mexico win over the South American giants.
In their 17-year barren spell, Mexico have been defeated twice by Argentina at World Cups. They will be desperate to ensure that number isn’t extended to three in Qatar.
Spain vs Germany
After winning the 2010 World Cup, Spain held the European Championship and World Cup trophies simultaneously. They had to beat Germany twice in crunch knockout matches to do so.
In 2008, Germany fell at the final hurdle. Spain won 1-0 in the Euro 2008 final, courtesy of a first-half strike from Fernando Torres.
Two years later, Vicente del Bosque’s side were victorious over Germany in the semi-final stage. Again, the scoreline was 1-0. This time, Carles Puyol scored the goal that separated the two sides.
The most intriguing part of their 2022 World Cup group stage clash is that both sides have not been at the peak of their powers in recent years. But, with Luis Enrique at the helm of Spain, and Hansi Flick in charge of Germany, both nations seem to be getting close to their former glories again. Expect a classic.
Argentina vs Poland
Argentina’s Group C clash with Poland revolves around the world’s top two players: Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski.
Read: Worldwide map shows which countries voted for Messi or Lewandowski to win Ballon d’Or
Messi is the most recent recipient of the Ballon d’Or award, with Lewandowski finishing second. After hitting 52 goals in 2021, many believed the Pole should have won the trophy.
Messi himself said that Lewandowski deserved the 2020 dong, which was cancelled by France Football due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But the Bayern Munich striker questioned why his rival didn’t vote for him in FIFA‘s ‘The Best’ awards. Whatever the circumstances behind that decision, these two footballing giants have been drawn together in the 2022 World Cup draw. Both will undoubtedly be desperate to strike an early blow in Qatar.
Featured Image Credit: Getty