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Quarterfinals reboot World Cup action this Friday

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LUSAIL CITY, QATAR: Portuguese and Swiss flags are seen ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Portugal and Switzerland, at Lusail Stadium on December 06, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Erçin Ertürk - Anadolu Agency)
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Dec 09, 2022 - 01:02 AM

ANKARA (AA) – Following a few days off the pitch, 2022 FIFA World Cup fever will resume on Friday with quarterfinal matches.

The last eight in Qatar 2022 will begin with the Croatia vs. Brazil and the Netherlands vs. Argentina showdowns.

These matches will be followed by the Morocco vs. Portugal and England vs. France clashes on Saturday, Dec. 10.

In the previous round, Croatia eliminated Japan 3-1 on penalties on Dec. 5.

Their opponents in the quarterfinals Brazil, who are the record holders, eased past South Korea 4-1 in the last 16.

Argentina previously beat Australia 2-1 in the Round of 16 to pair with the Netherlands. The Dutch national team eliminated the USA 3-1 to proceed to the quarterfinals.

Defending champions France trounced Poland 3-1 to book their place in the last eight.

England beat Senegal 3-0, Morocco knocked Spain out of the World Cup 3-0 on penalties, and Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6-1 in the previous round that ended on Dec. 6.

Brazil, Argentina, England ,and France have all won the World Cup trophy at least once.

Croatia were the 2018 runners-up, and the Netherlands played in the World Cup final on three occasions, the last in 2010. But they have never won it.

Morocco, the dark horse favorites in Qatar 2022, reached the quarterfinal phase for the first time in history.

The Atlas Lions, who will take on Portugal on Saturday, will try to extend their own record.

One of Europe’s notable teams, Portugal were third in the 1966 World Cup, still their best showings.

France’s Mbappe leading top scorers list

French superstar Kylian Mbappe scored five goals in the 2022 World Cup to lead the top scorers list before the quarterfinals.

Lionel Messi (Argentina), Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka (England), Olivier Giroud (France), Cody Gakpo (the Netherlands), Richarlison (Brazil), and Goncalo Ramos (Portugal) scored three goals each to nip at Mbappe’s heels.

Spain’s Alvaro Morata and Enner Valencia of Ecuador scored three goals as well. But Spain quit the World Cup in the last 16, and Ecuador were eliminated in the group stage.

At Qatar 2022, Mbappe, who tallied five goals, is eyeing his compatriot Just Fontaine’s record, but his task could be a challenging one.

Former France forward Fontaine, 89, is a record holder on the most goals scored by a player in a single World Cup, with 13 goals in six matches in 1958.

Quarterfinals:

Friday

Croatia – Brazil at 1500GMT (Education City Stadium)

The Netherlands – Argentina at 1900GMT (Lusail Stadium)

Saturday, Dec. 10

Morocco – Portugal at 1500GMT (Al Thumama Stadium)

England – France at 1900GMT (Al Bayt Stadium)

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