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2022 World Cup Group F final standings: Who is through to the last 16?

By Harry Edwards

2022 World Cup Group F final standings: Who is through to the last 16?

Published: 17:00, 1 December 2022

Group F of the 2022 World Cup has provided plenty of drama and a huge upset with Belgium exiting, as Morocco seal an unlikely first-placed finish and Croatia join them in the last 16.

It was a frantic final matchday in the group, which contained two nations who finished in the final four at the previous World Cup — but only one has managed to sneak into the next phase, with Croatia drawing 0-0 against Belgium in their concluding game to extend their stay in Qatar.

Morocco have been one of the standout performers at this World Cup after keeping clean sheets against Croatia and Belgium, while securing a shock 2-0 result against the latter. They finished up in style — and first — against Canada, winning 2-1 despite a late resurgence from the eliminated nation.

All eyes, though, were on the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium as Belgium and Croatia slogged in out in a winner-takes-all contest. Zlatko Dalic’s side knew they only needed a result to guarantee their progression, and that is exactly what they got, but Belgium certainly gave it a good go in the second half.

After a stagnant a rather timid opening 45 minutes, Roberto Martinez rolled the dice at half-time and introduced the nation’s all-time top scorer, Romelu Lukaku. The Inter forward changed the dynamic, with Belgium looking a different attacking beast and creating plenty of openings.

Lukaku was guilty of squandering four gilt-edged opportunities during his time on the field. His first was a right-footed effort that cannoned off the post after a neat save from Dominik Livakovic, before he inexplicably headed over the bar from just a few yards less than two minutes later.

“It’s a sitter!”, Jermaine Jenas screamed during his commentary for BBC One. “I think this is easier than the first one. It’s on a plate for Romelu Lukaku, open goal. The header is poor, it has to hit the back of the net.”

Incredibly, more chances fell his way, with two balls firing straight into his path, but he was unable to control either, leaving Belgium goal-less and eliminated. “He wouldn’t have dreamt of having three chances like that when he came on at half-time,” Jenas added before his fourth effort.

Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ is over, but it could have been so different.

2022 World Cup Group F final results

Wednesday 23 November 2022

  • Morocco 0-0 Croatia, Al Bayt Stadium
  • Belgium 1-0 Canada, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium

Sunday 27 November 2022

  • Belgium 0-2 Morocco, Al Thumama Stadium
  • Croatia 4-1 Canada, Khalifa International Stadium

Thursday 1 December 2022

  • Croatia 1-2 Belgium, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
  • Canada 0-0 Morocco, Al Thumama Stadium

2022 World Cup standings

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