(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Doha, Qatar: Twelve months on from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, beIN Sport takes a stroll down memory lane to relive a few of the most memorable moments from a tournament now spoken about as one of the best in its 93-year history.
To mark 12 months since the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 captured the attention of the world, beIN Sports has been broadcasting every match from the historic tournament as-live on the day it took place last year. As the knock-out stages begin, beIN Sports highlights five of the best storylines from the elimination rounds, which subscribers can live all over again on beIN Sports' free-to-air channel.:
1. Atlas Lions Roar (Morocco vs Spain, Tomorrow, 18:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 16:30 MECCA):The first Arab World Cup felt destined to see strong Arab representation on the pitch, yet even the most optimistic fans likely would not have predicted an Arab side would reach the final four. Morocco, having not won on the world stage in more than 20 years, tore up the history books to become the first Arab and first African team to reach the semi-finals. Morocco certainly did not have an easy route, overcoming Belgium, Spain, and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal on the way; each victory being greeted by players falling to their knees in prayer.
2. The Battle of Lusail (Netherlands vs Argentina, December 9, 22:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 20:30 MECCA): Billed as the Battle of Lusail, Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz set a record for cautions at any official FIFA international tournament by issuing 18 yellow cards and one red during the quarter-final match between the Netherlands and Argentina. And remarkably, Lahoz did not show a card of any colour until more than a third of the way through regular time. Leading by two goals with less than 10 minutes remaining, Argentina looked comfortable. But a Wout Weghorst goal in the 83rd minute spiced things up a little, and when Weghorst netted again in the 11th minute of added time, it looked like Messi's dream was not meant to be. Holding on though, Argentina won the shootout 4-3 to set up a semi with Croatia.
3. Crying Cristiano (Morocco vs Portugal, December 10, 18:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 16:30 MECCA): While Morocco earned the backing of neutral fans around the globe, the collateral damage of their run to the semi-finals meant the end of a dream for Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal's 37-year-old talisman, who had been reduced to a bit-part role from the bench in his side's 6-1 defeat of Switzerland in the previous round, was caught leaving the field in tears after Portugal was eliminated 1-0 in the quarter-finals by the Atlas Lions. The defeat curtailed his quest to equal Eusebio's record as Portugal's all-time leading scorer at the World Cup. Ronaldo did however become the first male player to score at five successive World Cups when he netted a penalty against Ghana in the group stages.
4. Kane Pays Penalty (England vs France, December 10, 22:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 20:30 MECCA): It was coming home... until it wasn't. When Harry Kane equalised from the penalty spot for England in their quarter-final contest with France, the Three Lions seemed to have everything in place to go and put the game to bed. Much the better side, momentum was with Gareth Southgate's side, but Olivier Giroud had other ideas edging France back in front. Yet in the 84th minute, Kane found himself stood over the penalty spot once again, facing his Tottenham teammate Hugo Lloris once again.
This time though, rather than net to become his country's all-time leading goal scorer, he blasted over the crossbar and England's hopes of winning the game – and the World Cup – slipped away once more.
5. Messi Crowned King (France v Argentina, December 18, 18:00 MECCA with studio analysis from 16:00 MECCA): In any other match, Kylian Mbappé's extraordinary hat-trick would have stolen the spotlight, yet despite his remarkable feat, including two goals in two minutes during regular time and a decisive third in extra time, France lost, Argentina won, and Lionel Messi fulfilled his destiny by leading his country to victory. The iconic image of Messi, draped in a black bisht, joyfully kissing the World Cup trophy, marked the climax of a historic tournament, widely hailed as the greatest World Cup final in history.
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