The World Cup 2022 Final is Finally Upon Us

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Ashley Huynh

The culmination of the greatest soccer tournament in the world is upon us. The 2022 World Cup Final. Read to hear how we got to this point and the potential impact on the legacies of every player involved.

After losing 2-1 to the incredible Saudi Arabian underdogs, Argentina was a team that everyone thought was endangered. Argentina’s 36 game unbeaten streak was snapped, and everyone thought that after the loss to Saudi Arabia, Mexico was going to easily dominate them.

They should regret saying that.

In the first half, both Argentina and Mexico struggled with scoring and ended the first half of the game tied 0-0. In the second half, Argentina played with heart and passion and knew that they had to win the game in order to have a chance to get past the group stage.

Argentina came through on top with two goals ending the game 2-0. The first one came from an outside-the-box goal right into the bottom right corner by Lionel Messi, and the second one came from a curling right footed shot by Enzo Fernandez that rocketed right past the Mexican goalie Memo Ochoa. This was the turning point for Argentina and would help them go on to be successful. After the Mexico game, Argentina had a game against Poland where they ended up winning 2-0. This would secure their place in the Round of 16 and would also mean that they finished at the top of Group C.

Argentina would then play the second place in Group D which was Australia. Of course, Argentina beat Australia 2-1 but it wasn’t an easy win for the Argentines. They would later play the Netherlands in the Quarter-Finals and would be perceived as the underdogs. Argentina would shut everyone up though and would end up scoring two goals that almost secured the win. Right where it seemed that Argentina would win 2-0, Netherlands came back in the dying moments of the game though two goals by Wout Weghorst and took the game into extra time that would eventually lead to penalties.

Argentina finally secured the win in the penalty shootout with a score of four-to-three after heroics from Argentine goalie Dibu Martinez. Argentina headed to the semi-finals to face off against Luka Modrić and his Croatian teammates. Argentina pulled off an amazing performance, Lionel Messi would show why he’s called the GOAT (Greatest of All Time), and they would secure their way to the Finals with a 3-0 victory over Croatia.

On the other side of the bracket, Didier Deschamps’s French side has been one of the most dominant national teams of all time, winning the finals in 1998 and again in 2018. After making the finals this year, France became the first team to reach the finals in back-to-back tournaments since Brazil did in 1998 and 2002. 

Deschamps has been able to keep the core of his 2018 side intact for this tournament, and even if the French camp has been plagued with lots of injuries, they’ve been able to dominate their competition thus far. France was drawn into a group featuring one of the top dark horses in Denmark, qualifying playoff winners in Australia, and one of the top African teams in Tunisia. 

Les Bleus were able to easily dispatch the Socceroos in a 4-1 thrashing and booked their ticket to the round of 16 after a 2-0 win against the Danes. A slight scare came against the Tunisians in a 1-0 loss, but the French maintained their position at the top of Group D and faced off against Robert Lewandowski and Poland in the round of 16. 

Kylian Mbappe and Co. looked like they were having fun out on the field as they dominated the Poles on their way to a 3-0 victory. However, the real challenge was yet to come as they came face to face with Euro 2021 finalists England in the quarterfinals. The match didn’t end without controversy, as is customary in such a high-stakes battle, but a late goal from Olivier Giroud was able to secure the semifinal spot for France.  

In the semifinals Les Bleus were matched up against one of the greatest Cinderella stories in World Cup history, the first African team to ever reach the World Cup semifinals. The beginning of the game was very back and forth, but the youngster Randal Kolo Muani scored the winning goal only 44 seconds after coming on as a substitute. 

Now, after 32 days of some of the most exciting soccer games of our lives, the 2022 World Cup Final is upon us. The story has already been set: One of the GOATs in Messi matched up with one of the best young players in the world in Mbappe. Messi is hunting for the only trophy he’s yet to win, and Mbappe is looking to win back-to-back World Cups at only 23 years old. 

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below with your score predictions as we await kickoff on Sunday, December 18, 2022 at 10am.

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