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What we have learned from the world cup playoffs so far?

Portugal Glory

Turkey was beaten 3-1 by Portugal, who advanced to the championship game on penalties after Burak Yilmaz missed a spot-kick with five minutes remaining in regulation.

The Estádio do Drago in Porto was packed to the rafters for Portugal’s 2-0 first-half lead, with two goals from Otavio and Diogo Jota before the break. In the 65th minute, a goal by Yilmaz had the Portuguese spectators on the edge of their seats as Turkey began to pose a danger to the home team.

In the 85th minute, José Fonte fouled Enes Unal within the area, resulting in a penalty that VAR awarded, but Yilmaz missed the target. Matheus Nunes, a replacement for Portugal, scored their third goal from a counterattack in extra time to alleviate the burden on the hosts.

 

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Italy Out Again

Aleksandar Trajkovski’s last-gasp goal gave North Macedonia a 1-0 victory against Italy in their World Cup playoff semi-final at the San Siro.

The European champions dominated from the start in Palermo, despite Italy’s first World Cup omission since 1958 four years earlier. Despite their increased desperation after the half, the hosts saw chances come and go before Trajkovski arrowed in an incredible winner to trigger wild celebrations in North Macedonia.

Despite Italy’s 32 shots on goal, the team led by Roberto Mancini came up just short. North Macedonia will now face Portugal in the playoff final on Tuesday for a spot in Qatar.

According to Jorginho, Italy’s midfielder, the loss is a “big disappointment”. I’m in pain; I’m in pain a lot.” We’ve always been able to start and win games, but we’ve never been able to put them away. As a matter of fact, it’s not anyone’s fault—just it’s the truth.

“I don’t know why we haven’t been able to do this, I am also involved in this, and it hurts me to think about it.”

Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini were ruled out of Italy’s first-half defence due to injury, although their replacements were rarely tested.

Domenico Berardi seemed to have the best of the chances, but his effort was saved by Stole Dimitrievski after the North Macedonia goalie misjudged a pass. Ciro Immobile also missed a great opportunity for Italy in the first half when he shot over the bar.

It was North Macedonia’s best chance of the game when Berardi missed the target, and they capitalised on it with their lone significant attempt. Trajkovski, a Saudi Arabian footballer for Al-Fayha, stunned the home crowd with a strike that snuck inside the post as Italy appeared to be cruising to victory.

 

Sweden Victorious

Substitute Robin Quaison scored the winner in the second half of extra time to give Sweden the victory and advance to face Poland on the road.

Swedes and Czechs both had early goals disallowed for fouls, but neither team was able to capitalise on their dominance of possession in the playoff semi-final, which was littered with rough challenges and misplaced passes.

Late in the game, the Swedes had their best chance to win it when Mattias Svanberg headed wide of the goal after a corner from Emil Forsberg was headed directly at Tomas Vaclik.

An appearance on penalties seemed to be the only way to end the game, but Quaison glided through the middle of defence before swapping passes with Alexander Isak and coolly putting home to take his team closer to Qatar.

 

Considerations For The World Cup in Qatar

In this year’s World Cup Tournament, the betting odds suggest that Brazil are the favourites to win the most prestigious international competition in the world. But you can not forget that there are other nations with big names.

The current holders of this trophy, France, have the likes of in-form Karim Benzema and the generational talent Kylian Mbappe at the top of the pitch and a solid midfield pairing of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba. 

The European runners up England have the all-rounded striker Harry Kane and wonder boy Phil Foden. There is no one team that people may say will be a definite winner. Who knows maybe Messi or Ronaldo, who are regarded to be the greatest football players of all time,  may finally have the chance of lifting this trophy.

Well if you want to know what our views are, here they are! We predict that Brazil will just miss out on the final by being beaten in the Semi-Final. Sorry Brazilians but the wait for a record 7th world cup trophy will have to wait a bit longer.

Will France retain the trophy? Well, we don’t think so either! In the previous two world cups the reigning champions of the previous world cup did not even make it through to the group stage! Will it happen again or will they end this stroke of bad luck? Well, we think so, as we predict that France will go through their group but they won’t retain the title of being world cup champions. We predict that they will go all the way to the final but lose it, but to whom?

We think that it may be finally time for the chant “It’s Coming Home” to finally come true. The long wait of 56 years for the trophy to come back to England may finally come to an end. Like many other big nations, England has a very talented squad but what they do have over other nations is their squad depth.

Additionally, you can see that they are slowly progressing from one major tournament to another. In the world cup of 2018, which was hosted in Russia, England came up short as they were beaten by Croatia in the 109th minute in extra time, by a well-struck shot from Mario Mandzukic. In 2021 England made it all the way to the Final in the Euro competition but lost to their fierce rivals Italy on penalties. Who knows, maybe 3rd time is the lucky charm for the Three Lions!

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