The start of the third day of the group stage of the World Cup rhymes with the end of the matches at 11 a.m. and those at 2 p.m. This Tuesday’s program will therefore begin at 4 p.m. with the Group A matches where Qatar, already eliminated from its competition, will face the Dutch leader. Ecuador and Senegal will also compete for a ticket to the round of 16.
In group B, everything remains to be done since the four selections can still access the final phase. The British duel between England and Wales will follow, while Iran or the United States can qualify if they win.
Big game: Wales-England
It’s a duel that smells like the Premier League which will be held this Tuesday evening on the lawn of the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium. No less than 34 players playing in the English top flight appear in the squads of the Three Lions and the Red Dragons. We can also add twelve elements of the second, third or fourth English division present in the Welsh list!
Behind these simple figures, the two selections have the round of 16 of the World Cup in their sights. The task looks simpler for Harry Kane’s teammates. England, leaders of the group with 4 points, have their destiny in their hands and a success would ensure their first place synonymous with qualification for the next round. Brilliant when they entered the fray against Iran (6-2), the Three Lions had disappointed against the United States (0-0) and will have to let go more against their British neighbor.
The Welsh, bottom of the group with a single point, are in bad shape after their defeat conceded at the very end of the match against Iran (2-0). Unexciting in the game for their second participation in the World Cup, Gareth Bale’s partners will have to beat England and hope that the United States and Iran draw a match to see a new qualification in the round of 16 of the World Cup, 64 years after the previous one.
Note that the last clash between England and Wales in an official match ended in victory for the English in a group match of Euro 2016 (2-1).
Player to watch: Cody Gakpo
Attention nugget! In a Dutch collective not always inspired since the start of the World Cup, the young Cody Gakpo (23) acts as a thinner in the formation led by Louis Van Gaal. The striker, capable of playing winger, is one of the revelations of the competition with two goals scored in two games. Performances in line with those achieved with PSV Eindhoven where he compiled 12 goals and 15 assists this season. From the top of his 93 meter, he amazes with his ease with the ball, his vivacity and his vision of the game. Coveted by the biggest European clubs before the World Cup, Gakpo arouses even more the interest of the continent’s leaders like Manchester United.
“As things stand, I will still play for PSV after the winter break. But as I said before the start of the World Cup: we will see what will happen, ”explained the prodigy. The Netherlands will once again rely on his talent to defeat Qatar in this last group match.
The number: 2
Twenty years later, is it time? Opposed to Ecuador this Tuesday afternoon (4 p.m.), Senegal will try for the second time in its history to reach the round of 16 of the World Cup. We have to go back to 2002 and the memorable epic of Bruno Metsu’s men to find traces of the presence of the Lions of Teranga in the final draw of the World Cup (elimination in the quarter-finals against Turkey).
Beaten by the Netherlands (2-0) before overcoming Qatar (3-1), Gana Gueye’s partners will see the 8th in case of victory in this « final » of group A against Ecuador. “It’s a very important match for this generation which has already done exceptional things. It is up to us to prepare this lucidly, ”announced coach Aliou Cissé.
The phrase: « You can’t imagine how strong a soccer ball can be »
“Our only mission is to create entertainment for 90 minutes and make people happy. The events surrounding this World Cup will be a good lesson for all of us in the future. You can’t imagine how strong a soccer ball can be. These words come from Carlos Queiroz, coach of Iran before facing the United States. A match of symbolic and geopolitical significance between two countries that have very tense relations. At a time when 700 detainees were released on Monday after the victory against Wales, a qualification for the round of 16 of the World Cup would be doubly historic for all the Iranian people.