The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is less than two months away. The chalking out of strategies and fine-tuning of set-ups is nearly complete as teams played their last set of international friendlies before the quadrennial event gets underway on November 21.
READ | How teams in Groups E-H performed in the latest international matches before Qatar 2022
Although, a few teams play more friendlies before the tournament starts, this past week was the last chance for most teams to sort out any problems or work on their strengths.
We take a look at how teams from Group E to Group H performed in the latest round of international games.
Lost 0-2 vs Canada
Drew 2-2 vs Chile
The host nation has had underwhelming friendly outings before the Fifa World Cup which is slated to kickstart from November 20. In its first game against Canada, the Qatar defense failed to restrict Canadian strikers and conceded two goals within the first 15 minutes of the game.
Against Chile though, it seemed like a much improved side. Alexis Sanches opened the account for Chile but Qatar found the net twice in quick succession, courtesy of goals from Akram Hafif and Hassan Al Haidos, in the second half and controlled the game until Arturo Vidal equalled things with 12 minutes on the clock.
Drew 0-0 vs Saudi Arabia
Drew 0-0 vs Japan
Ecuador played out two goalless draws in its recent international friendlies. In match one against Saudi Arabia, Ecuador was out of luck. It had 11 shots with six on target but couldn’t capitalise on any. The Ecuadorian strikers need to step up their game as they couldn’t find the net in the second game against Japan as well. They had 12 shots throughout the game but just six on target.
Won 2-0 vs Bolivia
Drew 1-1 vs Iran
18th ranked Senegal downed a lowly Bolivia 2-0 in its first international game, thanks to strikes from Boulaye Dia and the new Bayern Munich recruit Sadio Mane. Dia opened Senegal’s account in the fifth minute of the game, handing his side an early advantage with Mane finding the net from a penalty right at the half time whistle. Its second outing was against Iran where the spoils were shared 1-1 with a blunder from Iranian center back Morteza that found his own net.
Won 2-0 vs Poland
Won 1-0 vs Belgium
Skipper Van Dijk is ecstatic after scoring the winner against Belgium
| Photo Credit: AFP
The dutch had a successful international outing in the UEFA Nations League, winning 1-0 against Belgium with the winning goal coming from captain Virgil Van Dijk. Netherlands had the upper hand statistically too with five shots on target. Earlier, Louis van Gaal’s side registered a comfortable 2-0 win against Poland.
Lost 0-1 vs Italy
Drew 3-3 vs Germany
Germany’s Kai Havertz came to Germany’s rescue in the dying minutes of the match to make it 3-3 vs England.
| Photo Credit: AP
Gareth Southgate’s side has had a string of below-par performances. England is yet to find a win in its last five international games. Its most recent, against 11th ranked Germany, wasn’t any different. The teams played out an entertaining 3-3 draw in the UEFA Nations League group stage. England held the lead till the final minutes of the game – with goals coming in from Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Harry Kane – but Chelsea’s Havertz came to Germany’s rescue at the stroke of the 87th minute to level things up. In its previous outing, England lost 1-0 against Italy. Football pundits have constantly criticised Southgate for not playing the best possible playing 11.
Won 1-0 vs Uruguay
Drew 1-1 vs Senegal
Iran produced a brilliant display to down a star studded Uruguay 1-0 in its recent international friendly match. In a match where Uruguay held a 67 percent ball possession, it was Mehdi Taremi who did the trick for Iran in the 79th minute of the match. In the last five international matches, Iran has seen two wins, two losses and the most recent draw against Senegal was due to an own goal by defender Morteza.
Drew 0-0 vs Saudi Arabia
Lost 0-2 to Japan
14th ranked USA played out a nil-nil draw against 53rd ranked Saudi Arabia in its latest international fixture. Prior to this, USA went down to Japan 0-2 Merkur Spiel-Arena in Germany with goals coming in from Kamada and Mitoma. Gregg Berhalter’s side have seen all kinds of results in their last five games with three draws, a win and a loss. Not the World Cup warmup that the USA would’ve expected.
Lost 1-2 vs Belgium
Lost 0-1 vs Poland
Gareth Bale’s Wales side has suffered back-to-back losses, one against Belgium and another against Poland. In the first match, Belgium netted twice in the first half as former Chelsea players Kevin De Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi found the net. Wales pulled one back via a header from Kieffer Moore but it was not enough. In the second match, Robert Lewandowski fed Karol Swiderski in the 58th minute to secure a win in the UEFA Nations League group stage fixture.
Won 3-0 vs Jamaica
Won 3-0 vs Honduras
Argentina’s Lionel Messi, in the match against Jamaica, reacts as an invader ran on the pitch to ask for his autograph.
| Photo Credit: AFP
Argentina is yet to lose a game in its last 35 matches and is on its way to beat Italy’s record of 37-game unbeaten streak. Lionel Messi’s side got identical results in the last two international matches winning 3-0 against Honduras and Jamaica. Julian Alvarez opened Argentina’s account vs Jamaica and super-sub Messi piled misery with a brace in the final five minutes of the game to seal the deal. Argentina’s last five games include four wins and a draw.
Drew 0-0 vs Ecuador
Drew 0-0 vs USA
Saudi Arabia was held to a goalless draw by the United States in Murcia, Spain in its final warmup game ahead of the start of the World Cup. Earlier, the game against Ecuador also ended up in a 0-0 draw.
Won 1-0 vs Peru
Lost 2-3 vs Columbia
For a good part of the 90 minutes against Peru, Mexico looked weaker but a late strike from Hirving Lozano turned things around as it edged past its opposition.In the last five games, Mexico has registered two wins, three losses and a draw. Its latest outing against Columbia started off well as it opened the scoring in the fifth minute and added another in the 29th minute, just to concede three goals in the second half and lose the match. Luis Sinisterra’s brace helped Columbia scrape past Mexico 3-2.
Lost 0-2 vs Netherlands
Won 1-0 vs Wales
Steven Bergwijn, who scored twice in the stoppage time to secure a win for Tottenham against Leicester in January this year, and Cody Gakpo were among the scoresheet as Poland suffered a 0-2 loss at the hands of Van Dijk’s Netherlands. In the second game, Robert Lewandowski’s men brushed 1-0 past Wales in the UEFA Nations League group stage.
Won 2-0 vs Austria
Lost 0-2 vs Denmark
The defending champion has had a rather rocky set of international fixtures in the recent past.Didier Deschamps’s side registered a 2-0 win against Austria courtesy of second half goals from Kylian Mbappe and A C Milan star Olivier Giroud in the UEFA Nations League group stage. France, which is also the Nations League defending champion, suffered a shock 0-2 loss against Denmark. In its last five games, France has suffered two losses, salvaged two draws and won just one match. France starts its World Cup defence against Australia on November 23.
Won 1-0 vs New Zealand
Won 2-0 vs New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand played a two-match friendly series recently and Australia came out on top on both occasions. Considering their FIFA rankings, 39 and 103 respectively, the results are understandable. In the first match forward Anwar Mabil’s 33rd minute strike was enough for the ‘Socceroos’ to register a victory. Riding on the previous match’s confidence, Australia cruised 2-0 past New Zealand in the second friendly as well with goals from Mitchell Duke and Jason Cummings.
Lost 1-2 vs Croatia
Won 2-0 vs France
Denmark’s world cup warm-up came to a close with a commanding 2-0 win over defending champion France. Kasper Dolberg and Andres Skov Olsen were the goalscorers against a star studded France. Kasper Hjulmand’s side has seen three wins and two losses in its last five fixtures. Earlier, Croatia churned out a 2-1 win against Denmark where Christian Eriksen levelled the scores only for his side to concede a goal two minutes later.
Won 3-0 vs Japan
Lost 1-5 vs Brazil
Tunisia – who was reduced to 10 men as Dylan Bronn got straight red for his foul on Neymar – suffered a crushing 0-5 defeat against Brazil with Raphinha scoring twice and setting up another goal in its last game before the World Cup. Earlier, Tunisia scored three past the Japanese defense to collect an easy win.