World Cup Semi Finals 2022: Teams qualified, bracket, match schedule, fixtures and how they work | Sporting News (2024)

The 2022 FIFA World Cup finalis just days away and it'll be France and Argentina facing off for the title. The French will defend their 2018 title, or Lionel Messi will have his first World Cup trophy.

The two challengers advanced past tough semifinal opponents as Argentina took care of Croatia, and France got past Morocco.

The two losing semifinalists will face off for the third-place match on Saturday, December 17.

Both semifinals were played on separate days and it's Argentina which gets an extra day of rest ahead of the final on Sunday, December 18.

MORE: Teams that repeated as World Cup champions

World Cup Semifinals match schedule

There were eight teams vying for a spot in the semifinals. Two of the semifinalists were determined on Friday, December 9, and the other two were set on Saturday, December 10.

World Cup Quarter Finals

Date Match
Fri, Dec. 9Croatia 1Brazil 1
(Croatia adv. 4-2 on pens)
Fri, Dec. 9Netherlands 2Argentina 2
(Argentina adv. 4-3 pens)
Sat, Dec. 10Morocco 1Portugal 0Highlights
Sat, Dec. 10England 1France 2Highlights

World Cup Semi Finals

Date Match
Tue, Dec. 13Argentina3,Croatia 0Highlights
Wed, Dec. 14France2,Morocco 0Highlights

MORE: When is the 2022 FIFA World Cup final?

World Cup Semi Finals 2022: Teams qualified, bracket, match schedule, fixtures and how they work | Sporting News (1)

(Getty Images)

Argentina 3, Croatia 0

  • Date: Tuesday, December 13
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. GMT / 10 p.m. local in Qatar
  • Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail, Qatar)

Lionel Messi once again was the difference-maker as Argentina advanced to the World Cup final on December 18, scoring three times against a Croatia team that had generally been solid defensively throughout the tournament.

Argentina forward Julian Alvarez deserves plenty of credit, as well. The 22-year-old's vertical sprints led to Argentina's first two tallies before Messi put on a clinic to serve up the third.

Alvarez was through on goal and Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic brought him down in the box. Messi put away the ensuing spot kick, burying it into the top right corner.

Then Alvarez had the Croatian defenders on their heels shortly after, running at them at full speed before taking advantage of a lucky bounce and bundling home Argentina's second.

MORE: Why no one will forget Messi's performance in World Cup semifinal

After Alvarez made Livakovic look ordinary on the first two goals, Messi did the same to Josko Gvardiol who was heralded by many as the best defender in the tournament. But Messi ran circles around him before taking him to the end line and serving up Alvarez for the third that put the game out of reach.

Argentina set up in a 4-4-2 formation that attempted to counter Croatia's strength in midfield with Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic. And the Argentines proceeded to expose a Croatia backline which hadheld Brazil to one goal and later beat them on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.

France 2, Morocco 0

  • Date: Wednesday, December 14
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. GMT / 10 p.m. local in Qatar
  • Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium (Al Khor, Qatar)

France got an early goal from Theo Hernandez and a late tap-in from Randal Kolo Muani to down a spirited Morocco side in the World Cup semifinals and move on to defend their title in the final against Argentina.

The French became the first team to score against Morocco in the run of play in this tournament, but they spent the majority of this match pinned in their own half.

Morocco, who had their two starting central defenders replaced -- one, Nayef Aguerd, before the match started and the other, Romain Saiss, about 30 minutes into the match -- outplayed France for large stretches but couldn't make it count in the French box.

The Atlas Lions' best chance came on a bicycle kick which hit the post, and they also had a penalty shout in the first half on Sofiane Boufal that wasn't called by the referee. They'll play in the third-place match against Croatia, a team they met in the group stage and tied 0-0.

MORE: Who will win the 2022 FIFA World Cup? Here's what the odds say

How the semifinals work

Just like the previous knockout rounds, the semifinals will be single elimination and there must be a winner after each match.

So if there's a draw after 90 minutes of regulation, the teams will get 30 minutes of extra time to decide a winner. The extra-time session is not sudden death. (In other words, it's not a next-goal-win situation or 'golden goal'.)

How penalty shootout works

If the teams are still deadlocked after extra time, the match will proceed to a penalty shootout where each team takes turns trying to score from the penalty spot. The team with the most successful conversions after five attempts is declared the winner. If teams are still level after five kicks, they will tack on an extra round until the deadlock is broken.

World Cup semifinal history

In the eight men's World Cup tournaments held since 1994, the 32 available quarterfinal slots have been occupied by 17 different nations listed below with six making multiple appearances at this stage.

A total of 12 of those 17 nations hail from Europe, three from South America, one from Africa (Morocco in 2022), and only one from Asia, with South Korea's surprise run to the final four when they co-hosted the tournament.

Among the quarterfinalists in 2022, Morocco are the lone first-time semifinal participant after overcoming Portugal in a shock 1-0 victory.

MORE: Who has won the most World Cups in history?

SF berths
since 1994
Argentina22014, 2022
Brazil41994, 1998, 2002, 2014
Croatia31998, 2018, 2022
France41998, 2006, 2018, 2022
Germany42002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Netherlands31998, 2010, 2014
South Korea12002
World Cup Semi Finals 2022: Teams qualified, bracket, match schedule, fixtures and how they work | Sporting News (2024)


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