Here are the top talking topics from the World Cup, ranging from injury time to protests and upsets.
The World Cup in Qatar has reached the semifinal stage, and either Argentina, France, Croatia, or Morocco will be crowned champions at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
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Iran’s players refusing to perform the national anthem.
Iran’s players took the audacious move of not performing their national anthem before beginning in their opening game of the tournament against England. It was a demonstration of sympathy for the widespread protests taking place in their country following the murder of Mahsa Amini, 22, in the hands of the morality police.
Their silence spoke loudly and increased pressure on the Iranian government, which last week halted the morality police.
Argentina’s defeat from Saudi Arabia.
Argentina’s World Cup campaign has been so dramatic that it’s simple to overlook that it began with a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in their first game.
The tournament’s second-lowest-ranked club staged an astonishing comeback after falling behind by one goal to score twice in the second half. The outcome shook the football world to its core. It didn’t matter that Saudi Arabia lost their next two group games. It was more than just a victory for the national squad. Furthermore, it was a national victory.
German players’ mouths covered
The captains of England, Wales, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Denmark chose to wear OneLove armbands in their first group games as a symbolic protest against prejudice. However, FIFA outlawed the armband and vowed to fine any club whose captain wore it on the field.
The whole German national team posed for their pre-match photo with their hands covering their mouths in protest of their freedom of expression being restricted.
Messi’s strike vs Mexico
Argentina is one win away from winning the World Cup after Emiliano Martinez’s heroics in the penalty shootout against the Netherlands. Martinez stated after their loss to Saudi Arabia in the first game that every game after that is equivalent to a final. The first was against Mexico, when a loss would have sent Argentina home.
Lionel Messi’s left boot blew the lid off this pressure cooker of a game in the second half. It was a tremendous finish from the edge of the box into the bottom corner. In retrospect, here is when their World Cup actually began.