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    How the 2022 World Cup Works: Groups, Ties and More

    Everything you wanted to know about the World Cup in Qatar, and some things you didn’t.

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    स्रोत : www.nytimes.com

    Maradona's World Cup absence 'strange' for Messi, Argentina

    DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- For the first time since the 1978 World Cup, Argentina is without Diego Maradona on soccer's biggest stage. The team could use him

    Maradona’s World Cup absence ‘strange’ for Messi, Argentina

    Nov 24, 2022, 3:31 PM | Updated: Nov 25, 2022, 6:40 am

    People walk past a mural of former Argentine player Diego Maradona, who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title, on a street prior to kick off the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

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    DOHA, Qatar (AP) — For the first time since the 1978 World Cup, Argentina is without Diego Maradona on soccer’s biggest stage.

    The team could use him more than ever as the South American team is off to a rocky start at the tournament.

    Friday marked the second anniversary of Maradona’s death, and both Argentina and FIFA commemorated the day in Qatar.

    Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said the date of Maradona’s death was “a very sad day for everyone.”

    “Tomorrow we will hope to bring some joy to Maradona if he is looking down at us from the sky,” Scaloni said before the team’s decisive match against Mexico on Saturday. “That’s the most important thing for us. Every time we see images of him, it’s unbelievable he is not here with us.”

    It’s already a strange World Cup for Argentina even without Maradona.

    Lionel Messi is making what is expected to be his final appearance at the World Cup and the team lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in one of the tournament’s biggest upsets.

    Maradona, his nation’s beloved soccer “God,” had been a presence for Argentina at every World Cup since 1982 as a player, coach and elder statesman.

    Maradona died at age 60 on Nov. 25, 2020, a date most Argentines will never forget. He passed away while under hospital care in his home following brain surgery, and judicial authorities continue to investigate if medical negligence was involved.

    Several tributes were dedicated to Maradona before the 2022 World Cup, both in Argentina and in Qatar.

    “Diego is immortal, he is still with us,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Friday in front of a real-size statue of Maradona unveiled at an event in Qatar organized by South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL.

    “What this man has done to get people to fall in love with this sport, maybe nobody else has been able to do,” he said.

    Infantino said that at every World Cup going forward will be a day reserved to celebrate Maradona.

    “Everyone knows about the unique sincerity and charisma that Diego had,” Infantino said. “He was a great leader in Argentina, South America and the entire world. We have to keep celebrating him.”

    Several former Argentina teammates of Maradona were at the event in Qatar. Argentina fans planned to gather in his honor later Friday in Doha.

    In Buenos Aires, a huge mural had already emerged of Maradona wearing a national team jersey and holding his right hand in a fist, a defiant expression on his face. The massive piece of artwork climbs 148 feet high and 131 feet wide (45 meters by 40 meters) and was painted on the side of a 14-story building in the Argentine capital.

    Another mural with images of Maradona was put together in Doha not too many kilometers (miles) from where Messi and Argentina were shocked by Saudi Arabia in the team’s first group stage match.

    Messi, playing in his fifth World Cup, had told FIFA ahead of the Qatar tournament that it was “strange, different” not to see Maradona in the tribunes or the “people going crazy when he appears.” He said he felt Maradona would always “be present somewhere.”

    Maradona played in four World Cups from 1982 to 1994, and was the coach of the national team in 2010.

    Some of his best — and worst — moments came at the World Cup, from the “Hand of God” goal against England in 1986 to his failed doping test that got him expelled from the tournament in 1994.

    Maradona led Argentina to the title in 1986, when his hand goal in the quarterfinals against England became one of the greatest — and most controversial ones — in tournament history. In that same match, he also scored one of the best World Cup goals ever after a run past opponents that began on Argentina’s own field.

    स्रोत : sports.mynorthwest.com

    Wales snatch draw with U.S. thanks to late Bale penalty – FBC News

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    Wales snatch draw with U.S. thanks to late Bale penalty

    Reuters

    November 22, 2022 9:24 am

    [Source: Reuters]

    Wales’ all-time top scorer and talisman Gareth Bale scored a late penalty as the Welsh rallied in the second half to secure a 1-1 draw with the United States in an enthralling World Cup Group B clash at a raucous Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Monday.

    It was the proverbial game of two halves as the U.S. went into the break with a deserved 1-0 advantage handed to them following a superb finish by Timothy Weah, the son of former World Player of the Year and current Liberia president George.

    But a switch in tactics by Wales at the break to introduce target man forward Kieffer Moore changed the game and brought them back into the contest, allowing Bale to score the 82nd minute penalty he had earned after being fouled himself.

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    The match was played in a fantastic atmosphere. Forget the valleys, the Welsh fans were drowning out Al Rayyan but met their match in the typically vocal United States supporters, whose drum barely stopped beating.

    Wales were fortunate not to be behind early on when Weah’s cross deflected off a helpless Joe Rodon and hit Wayne Hennessey with the Wales goalkeeper knowing little about it. Seconds later Antonee Robinson headed wide with a good near-post opportunity.

    The pattern of the first half was U.S. possession and Wales trapped in their own half, unable to find an escape route without a recognised number nine to hold up the ball.

    Instead Bale and Dan James alternated down the middle with little joy and whenever Wales cleared the ball it came straight back. The pressure finally took its toll after 36 minutes.

    Christian Pulisic picked up the ball just inside the Welsh half and surged forward, spotting the clever run of Weah and providing a superbly weighted pass that was expertly finished by the winger as he slipped his shot past Hennessey.

    Wales manager Rob Page made the key change at halftime when he replaced the ineffective James with the tall and muscular Moore, who was exactly what they had been missing in the opening period.

    It was, suddenly, a different ball game.

    Wales were able to apply pressure at the other end and went close twice in quick succession. First Ben Davies forced a superb stop from goalkeeper Matt Turner before Moore headed the resultant corner just over with a chance he should have buried.

    Wales’ pressure paid dividends as they won a penalty when Tim Ream, already on a yellow card for a cynical challenge earlier in the half, went through the back of Bale, who made no mistake from the spot as he thrashed the ball wide of Turner.

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