London, Europe Brief News – This year’s World Cup was a tournament of firsts – the first to be held in the Middle East, the first to be held in November-December and the first where a woman refereed a men’s World Cup match.
Here are the most memorable moments from the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
Referee makes history
Stéphanie Frappart made history this tournament as the first woman to referee a men’s match.
Alongside assistants Neuza Back from Brazil and Karen Diaz from Mexico, the Frenchwoman formed part of an all-female refereeing trio officiating Costa Rica vs. Germany in their Group E match.
Saudi Arabia beats Argentina
The first major upset of the 2022 FIFA World Cup was the third day of the tournament.
Saudi Arabia, ranked 51st in FIFA’s men’s rankings after defeating Argentina.
Morocco makes history
This tournament will stay in the collective memory as a tournament of upsets. This year, Morocco’s Atlas Lions ripped up the history books by becoming the first African country to reach the final four. They beat European heavyweights Belgium, Spain and Portugal in the process.
Their run – ended by a 2-0 defeat to France – upended all expectations. Morocco won its first World Cup match since 1998 – and its third ever – by securing a sensational 2-0 victory over Belgium, knocking the world’s second-ranked team out of the competition.
Japan beats Germany
Japan has never been a favourite at the tournaments. But the Blue Samurai do give their all to the beautiful game. No matter the opponent, their never-give-up attitude has always been incredible.
Japan first displayed their grit in their first match on 23 November against Germany — the winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Japan beats Spain
The Japanese rewrote history at this tournament by conquering not one but two world champions. The one vanquished this time was world no.7 Spain — the winner of the 2010 tournament.
Japanese fans clean-up stadiums
While the Japanese team surprised everyone with their performance on the field, the Japanese fans won everyone’s hearts.
True to how they behave both at home and any country they visit, scores of Japanese spectators were cleaning up the stadiums after matches. And they did this for any match they attended — whether or not Japan was playing.
Argentina wins World Cup
Nothing perhaps would match the joy of watching Lionel Messi hold aloft the 2022 FIFA World Cup trophy in his hand as he is hoisted by his team-mates following their win against France in the final of the quadrennial showpiece. It was a sight to behold — one that reminded an entire generation of fans from the 1980s the moment when Diego Maradona lifted the World Cup in 1986.