- Mustafa Yahya
- BBC, Cairo
16 minutes ago
Four Arab teams are participating in the 2022 World Cup, and the Arab public wishes themselves to see the teams of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco and Qatar as they go far in the World Cup, and are not content with honorable representation and exit from the group stage, especially since this great football wedding is being held in an Arab country for the first time.
The hopes and aspirations of the fans of the round witch in the Arab world increased after the good results achieved by the Arab teams so far, as Saudi Arabia achieved the biggest surprises in the World Cup by defeating Argentina, which is one of the strongest candidates to win the title, and Tunisia tied with Denmark, which ranked third in the recent European Nations Cup. Morocco also tied with Croatia, the runners-up of the last edition of the World Cup.
The only exception to those good results was the Qatar national team, which lost in the opening match against Ecuador with two unanswered goals.
The Arab teams reached the round of sixteen only three times in the history of the World Cup – Morocco in 1986, Saudi Arabia in 1994, and Algeria in 2002 – so will any of the Arab teams succeed in repeating the same achievement, or even going beyond that, in Qatar World Cup, taking advantage of the great public support?
The Saudi national team qualified for the 2022 World Cup for the sixth time in its history and the second in a row, and is in a difficult group alongside Argentina, Poland and Mexico.
Saudi Arabia opened its tournament with a big surprise when it beat Argentina, led by its star Lionel Messi, who many believe is among the best soccer players ever, with two goals to one, reviving its hopes of advancing to the second round.
With this result, the Saudi national team tops Group C with three points, after a goalless tie between Mexico and Poland.
This is the fourth victory for the Saudi national team during its participation in the World Cup tournaments, while it lost 11 times and tied twice. Can the Saudi green qualify for the second round?
Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian sports journalist, told the BBC: “Saudi Arabia was the most prepared Arab team for the World Cup in Qatar, and began reaping the fruits of the project it started with French coach Hervé Renard. Saudi Arabia made it half way to the round of sixteen with a historic victory over Argentina”.
He adds: “Saudi Arabia may need a draw with Poland or Mexico to advance to the next round, especially after Poland and Mexico tied in the match that brought them together in the first round, and Argentina’s need to win the next two matches in order to guarantee promotion to the next round, away from direct confrontation accounts and goal difference.”
And he continues, “I think that the chance of Saudi Arabia reaching the elimination rounds may reach 90 percent.”
Moroccan sports journalist Hamza Shteiwi agrees with Abd al-Rahman that Saudi Arabia’s chances of advancing to the second round are strong, “provided that what happened against Argentina is forgotten and focus on the next two matches, especially since Poland and Mexico will prepare strongly for Saudi Arabia after the result it achieved against Argentina.”
In response to a question about whether Saudi Arabia can reach beyond the round of sixteen, Abdul Rahman said: “This will depend on the identity of the team that you will face in the event of promotion to the round of sixteen, and whether it will advance as the first or second of the group.” Moreover, The Saudi national team will be affected by injuries, after it was confirmed that Yasser Al-Shahrani was absent from the rest of the matches, and Salman Al-Faraj was injured, who may miss the next confrontation.
He added, “It cannot be ruled out that the Saudi national team will reach advanced roles in the World Cup, especially after the strong performance against Argentina and the big surprises that the tournament has witnessed so far, such as Japan’s victory over Germany.”
Tunisia tied goallessly with Denmark in the first round match of the group led by the defending champion France, after defeating Australia 4 goals to 1.
This is Tunisia’s sixth participation in the World Cup, but it never succeeded in crossing into the second round, so will it do it this time?
Abdel Rahman says, “I think that Tunisia’s task is very difficult despite the tie in the first match, given that the Tunisia group is very complicated. The Australian match will not be easy at all, as the Australian team is very strong, both physically and tactically.”
He added, “For Tunisia to advance to the next round, it must beat Australia and not lose by a large score against France, because it is likely that Denmark will beat Australia and may achieve a positive result against France, and even if it loses, it will not lose by a large number of goals. France will advance.” First, the second card will be left to the rest of the teams, and I think Denmark is the closest.”
However, Tunisian journalist Nazih Kerchaoui believes that Tunisia is able to advance to the second round, after snatching a valuable point from Denmark, indicating that Tunisia is able to achieve victory over Australia, which it had previously defeated, despite the difficult confrontation in the last round against defending champion France.
Morocco tied with the runners-up of the last edition of the World Cup, Croatia, without goals, while Belgium beat Canada in the same group matches.
The Moroccan national team is participating for the sixth time in the World Cup. This is the sixth tie for the “Atlas Lions” in their participation in the finals, against two wins and nine defeats.
Hamza Shteiwi describes Morocco’s chances of advancing to the second round as “strong” after the valuable draw against Croatia, indicating that the Moroccan team is able to achieve a good result against Belgium and Canada, especially after the Belgian team appeared poorly in its first match against Canada, and lost to the national team. Al-Masry in its last friendly match before the start of the World Cup.
But Abd al-Rahman believes that Morocco’s task will be “very difficult,” saying: “It was clear against Croatia that the Moroccan national team lacked a top scorer capable of scoring against the opposing teams. Moreover, Canada is a very good team and includes a strong offensive line, and therefore it will not be a match against it.” It is easy for the Moroccan national team, which suffers from clear offensive problems and inconsistency, especially since Hakim Ziyech has not played for the national team for a long time, and it is clear that there is a misunderstanding between him and Youssef Al-Nusairi. Even Al-Zalzouli plays individually and does not know what is required of him on the field. .
He added, “The Moroccan national team has players with tremendous technical capabilities and they play in big clubs in Europe, but it does not play in the same spirit as the Saudi national team, or even the Tunisian national team.”
Qatar opened its campaign in the tournament with a disappointing defeat, as it lost to Ecuador with two unanswered goals, making it difficult for its mission in the tournament.
“The loss to Ecuador greatly reduced Qatar’s chances of qualifying for the next round, especially since it will play in the second round against Senegal, the African champions, who lost to the Netherlands,” Karchaoui says.
Karshawi described Qatar’s chances of passing to the second round as “very slim”. He added, “The pressure was great on the Qatari team in the first round as the host of the tournament, but I think the pressure will be greater in the second round against Senegal, because this is the last chance to continue playing in the World Cup.”
Shteiwi agrees with Karshawi that Qatar is “just around the corner” from leaving the World Cup, but Qatari journalist Muhammad Al-Jazzar believes that “a miracle may happen” in the event of a victory over Senegal, but he stresses that Qatar’s chances have greatly weakened by losing to Ecuador.
However, Abdul Rahman believes that the Qatari team, against all expectations, is able to pass the group stage, and he says: “The Qatari team appeared in such a bad way because of the great pressure in the opening match of the World Cup, and I think that it is much better than that and can achieve good results in The next two matches are against Senegal and the Netherlands.
He added, “The Qatari national team is able to perform at better levels than those it showed in the opening match against Ecuador, and I believe that its level will be completely different during the next two matches. No player from the Qatari national team showed 10 percent of its real level against Ecuador. It is possible for Qatar to reach The next round, especially after the loss of Senegal and its need to beat Ecuador, the Netherlands national team will qualify first and is likely to win its three matches, and will leave the second qualification card for the other three teams, including Qatar, which still has a chance, especially if it beats Senegal. “.