The 2022 FIFA World Cup final will take place tomorrow at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar after the 32 teams whittled down to the final two, Argentina and France, over the course of the last month. France is looking to become the third team to win back-to-back finals after Italy and Brazil. On the other hand, Argentina is the reigning South American champion, having won the 2021 Copa America, making it their first Copa America victory since 1993.
Tomorrow’s FIFA World Cup final won’t be the first time the two sides have played against each other. They’ve met three times in World Cup matches, first in 1930, then in 1978 wherein Argentina won both times. However, in the only knockout match between the two, France won 4-3 in order to progress to the quarter finals in Russia.
How did Argentina reach the finals? Argentina topped Group C, but not without a major blip in their first game, when Saudi Arabia inflicted a humbling 2-1 defeat. Consecutive 2-0 victories over Mexico and Poland ensured the Argentines topped the group though. In the last 16, Argentina appeared to be cruising to victory over the Socceroos until a deflected goal from Craig Goodwin sparked a major revival from the Aussies, who were, in the end, unlucky not to take the game to extra time. That set up a ferociously bad-tempted quarterfinal against the Dutch, which ended 2-2 after 120 minutes, the Argentines going through on penalties 4-3, and letting the stricken Dutch know all about it to boot. Argentina then cruised past a well-beaten Croatia side to set up the spot in a sixth World Cup final and first since 2014.
On the other hand, France entered the finals through a 2-1 victory over Denmark that ensured their qualification, meaning their reserves’ 1-0 defeat by Tunisia meant little in the grand scheme of things. Poland offered little resistance in the last 16, setting up a massive quarterfinal clash with England. Despite being outplayed for long periods, the French managed to stick the dagger into English hearts thanks to Harry Kane’s late penalty miss and secure a 2-1 win. Surprise semifinalists Morocco stood between Les Blues’ and another World Cup final and, despite again failing to stamp their authority on the match, France had enough quality to secure a 2-0 victory.