World Cup 2022 Day 10: The schedule, what’s at stake for teams | Qatar World Cup 2022

Four matches are scheduled for Day 10 – Tuesday 29th November – of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The schedule:

Netherlands v Qatar (Group A): 18:00 (15:00 GMT), Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Ecuador-Senegal (Group A): 6pm (15:00 GMT), Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

Wales v England (Group B): 10pm (19:00 GMT), Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

Iran-USA (Group B): 22:00 (19:00 GMT), Al Thumama Stadium, Al Thumama

There were many firsts for host nation Qatar, competing in their first World Cup on home turf: they were the first host team in history to lose their opener – they were also the first side to be eliminated after losses to Ecuador and Senegal .

Mohammed Muntari (right) of Qatar celebrates with Pedro Miguel after scoring his team’s first goal during their FIFA World Cup match Qatar v Senegal, Group A on November 25, 2022 at Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Qatar face a heavily favored Dutch squad who are in good shape with four points. The Netherlands only need a draw or a win to qualify for their eleventh knockout round after beating Senegal 2-0 and drawing Ecuador 1-1. They could still end up at the top of Group A.

Not much is at stake for Qatar – but they could potentially spoil things for the Dutch only if the team can overcome their stage fright.

Dutchman Virgil van Dijk in action with Ecuadorian Michael Estrada
Netherlands’ Virgil van Dijk in action with Ecuador’s Michael Estrada during the FIFA World Cup Group A match at the Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar on November 25, 2022 [Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters]

Another loss on Tuesday would see the first host team in history go through the group stage of the World Cup without a win.

Speaking of firsts, it’s worth noting that the Dutch have yet to win a World Cup, having finished runners-up in 1974, 1978 and 2010.

Players to watch:

Leading Dutch attacker Memphis Depay is likely to make his debut at the 2022 World Cup after being sidelined for two months with a hamstring injury. He came on in the second half against Senegal and Ecuador.

Dutch player Cody Gakpowho found the goalkeeper in the first two World Cup games is also hoping for an improvement in performance against Qatar.

“I know what I’m capable of, but it’s always a challenge to reach the highest possible level. And I don’t think I’m there yet. I think I can improve in many things,” Gakpo said.

Cody Gakpo
Cody Gakpo of the Netherlands (centre) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the World Cup Group A soccer match between Netherlands and Ecuador at Khalifa International Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Doha, Qatar [Martin Meissner/AP Photo]

Ghana-born Mohammed Muntari made history last week when he scored Qatar’s first World Cup goal. Unfortunately, Muntari’s conversion was his team’s only goal of the tournament.

Watch as golfing legends, including Qatari captain Hassan al-Haydos, control the ball.

Qatar's Hassan Al-Haydos controls the ball. |  Qatar v Senegal, Group A, FIFA World Cup 2022, November 25, Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
Qatar’s Hassan al-Haydos (centre) controls the ball during the Qatar vs Senegal, Group A match at Al Thumama Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Doha, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Ecuador, participating in their fourth World Cup, are close to securing a place in the last 16 for the second time in history if they can defeat Senegal at the Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday.

A draw gets them there too. On the other hand, a defeat for the young and hungry South American side will almost certainly mean a premature farewell to Qatar unless Qatar achieve an unlikely unilateral win over the Netherlands.

“We have a bigger fight ahead of us,” said coach Gustavo Alvaro after the 1-1 draw with the Netherlands, in which Ecuador were the better team.

Senegal are also trying to snag a ticket to the knockout rounds of the World Cup – a win against Ecuador would secure their place. A draw could be enough to put them in the last 16, but only if Qatar are able to beat the Netherlands by two goals or more.

“We need to concentrate better,” said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse. “We have to win to qualify for the last 16.”

Boulaye Dia (21)
Boulaye Dia (left) of Senegal in action against Netherlands in their Group A match at Al Thumama Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Doha, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Players to watch:

Enner Valencia’s hot phase continues. The star striker, Ecuador’s all-time top scorer, has scored his team’s last six goals – in Qatar and back to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Valencia sparked panic after being pulled off the field late in the game against the Netherlands for a knee strain he sustained in the opening game against Qatar.

“He’s the only one with World Cup experience,” said Ecuador coach Alfaro. “The rest are children.”

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group A – Netherlands – Ecuador
Ecuador’s Enner Valencia celebrates after scoring the first goal in a Group A match against Netherlands at the Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar, November 25, 2022 [Pedro Nunes/Reuters]

After an impressive 2-0 defeat by Iran and a 1-1 draw with the United States, Wales have slim chances of progressing to the knockout stages as they enter their final Group B game against rivals England, who have just conceded a 0-0 draw against the USA and a 6-2 draw against Iran.

Late to the party, go first? Wales, who are taking part in a World Cup for the first time in 64 years, struggled to impress in their group in Qatar. A loss to England will send the team home.

The story isn’t on the Welsh side either; England have beaten Wales in the last six competitions. Most recently, Wales lost 3-0 to England in a friendly in 2020.

Wales' Brennan Johnson reacts after missing a scoring chance
Brennan Johnson of Wales reacts after missing a scoring opportunity during their Group B match against USA at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on November 21, 2022 [Hannah Mckay/Reuters]

The two teams have played a total of 103 games since their first duel in 1879. England have won 68 of those games and lost just 14 games against the Welsh. 21 of those games ended in a draw.

If Wales can win on Tuesday it will be their first win against England since 1984; Even then, Wales’ hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages would rest on the outcome between the USA and Iran in a separate game.

“It’s a difficult task, it’s always uncomfortable when it’s obviously out of your hands and you’re relying on certain things to thrive,” said Wales midfielder Joe Allen. “But as long as there’s still a chance, it’s really easy for us. We are fully motivated, we will sacrifice absolutely everything to win.

England can reach the round of 16 with a draw. However, a win would cement their top spot in Group B. They will progress as long as they can cope with a four-goal loss to Wales. They would face a Group A challenger in either the Netherlands, Ecuador or Senegal in the knockout stages.

“When you win a game, you’re the best team in the world. If you lose, you’re the worst. This is soccer. As a player you have to keep your balance,” said England striker Marcus Rashford, beating back criticism of his team’s 1-1 draw against the USA.

England's Marcus Rashford comes on
England’s Marcus Rashford replaces Bukayo Saka in Group B against USA at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar on November 25, 2022 [Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters]

Players to watch:

Welsh star players Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have so far failed to impress in Qatar. They’ll be keen to redeem themselves on Tuesday – and find the scorers’ list. Bale netted just one shot against Iran.

Still, Bale remains the only Welsh player to ever score against England in the 21st century as he converted a 2-1 defeat at the 2016 Euros.

Phil Foden has been dubbed “the best footballer in England” by ex-Three Lions captain Wayne Rooney, who expressed dismay that the 22-year-old had been passed over for starting roles in the first two games.

“I think when you have a talent like Foden, you just have to play him,” Rooney wrote in his column for The Times. “He’s a different player now than the one we saw at Euro 2020 when he was struggling to make an impact.”

Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Manchester City v Chelsea - Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal - May 29, 2021 Manchester City's Phil Foden in action with Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger Pool via REUTERS/Pierre-Philippe Marcou
Manchester City’s Phil Foden (right) in action against Chelsea in the Champions League Final at Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal in May 2021 [File: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/pool/Reuters]

The US faces an ultimatum on Tuesday: overthrow Iran or go bankrupt.

“This prepares our first knockout game of the World Cup,” said US coach Gregg Berhalter. “We win or we’re out of the World Cup.”

Game favorites USA, third in their group with two points and a 0-2 record, are still looking for their first win in Qatar after back-to-back draws – 1-1 and 0-0 against Wales and England – respectively.

Iran, on the other hand, have never shot out of the group stage at a World Cup. The Iranians bounced back from their massive 6-2 defeat by England with a 2-0 win over Wales.

Wales vs. Iran Group B, 2022 FIFA World Cup at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, November 25 [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]
Two Iranian players battle for the ball with a Welsh soccer player during their FIFA World Cup Group B match at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar November 25, 2022 [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Tuesday’s game marks only the second time the two nations have met at a World Cup. Iran narrowly trumped the US 2-1 in 1998; The game, a major blow to the US men’s soccer program, was marked by political tensions between the two nations.

Ahead of Tuesday’s game, the US Soccer Association reignited geopolitical tensions when it briefly displayed the Iranian national flag on social media. The Islamic Republic’s emblem had been removed from the flag and the US said it supported protesters in Iran, where protests raged following the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.

“We wanted our graphic to show our support for women in Iran for 24 hours,” the association said.

In response, the Iranian government took action against the US, accusing American football officials of removing the name of God from their national flag.

Interactive - World Cup - Head to Head - Iran vs USA
(Al Jazeera)

Players to watch:

All eyes will be on “Captain America” ​​Christian Pulisic – the most expensive American footballer in history – to lead the team to the knockout rounds.

Wales and England kept Chelsea All-Star at bay but can Iran contain it?

Pulisian
USA’s Christian Pulisic (right) and Jordan Morris celebrate a goal against El Salvador during their Concacaf Nations League soccer match at Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador June 14, 2022 [File: Marvin Recinos/AFP]

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