The group stage of the 2022 World Cup comes to a close on Friday, with Brazil and Portugal both looking for a top spot as they progress to the last 16.
ortugal are already assured of Group H qualification ahead of their final game against South Korea, who will be out if they lose or draw, while Ghana can progress if they beat Uruguay.
Having won their first two games in Group G, Brazil will want to sign off in style as they take on Cameroon, who need a win to have another chance, as will Serbia against Switzerland, currently in second place. state.
There was more drama on Thursday night as both Germany and Belgium failed to make the group stage as Japan and Morocco booked their places in the last 16.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what will happen on Friday and how Thursday’s action went.
Suarez has no regrets
Luis Suarez insisted he would not apologize for his handball in Uruguay’s 2010 World Cup quarter-final against Ghana as the sides prepare for another meeting on Friday.
Suarez was sent off in the closing stages of extra time, with the score tied at 1-1, after his hands deflected Dominic Adiyiah’s header on the line.
Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty and Uruguay went on to win the ensuing shoot-out.
“I don’t apologize for that because I did the handball, but the Ghanaian player missed the penalty, not me,” said Suarez.
No split loyalties for Bento
South Korean coach Paulo Bento will sing both national anthems before his side try to replicate their 2002 World Cup result and beat his native Portugal.
Bento – who is serving a touchline ban following a red card in the defeat to Ghana – admits he remains a proud Portuguese but is focused on South Korea getting the result they need.
“I was born Portuguese, I will die Portuguese and I am very proud of my nationality,” said Bento, “but I am also very proud that I have been coaching these players for more than four years now.”
Portugal’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo remains questionable about his fitness after missing Wednesday’s training.
Alves plays back years
Veteran defender Dani Alves becomes Brazil’s oldest World Cup captain in their final group stage match against Cameroon.
The 39-year-old, who now plays in Mexico for UNAM Pumas, will wear the skipper armband as Tite prepares for changes, guaranteeing first place in Group G if they avoid defeat.
“I have been with the Brazil squad for many years and it makes me very happy to finish this cycle playing a World Cup,” said Alves.
Stojkovic goes broke
Serbia, with just one point from two games, must beat the Swiss – whose preparations have been blighted by a virus in the squad – if it is to hold any hope of progressing to the last 16.
Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic has vowed to get on the front foot at Stadium 974.
“We must determine our fate,” he said. “You can’t win if you don’t attack.”
Germany sent packing
After a shock defeat to Japan in the opening game and a meager draw against Spain, the four-time world champions knew only victory would keep their dreams alive.
Serge Gnabry gave the Germans an early lead at Al Bayt Stadium, where France’s Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee a match at the men’s World Cup.
However, Costa Rica equalized through Yeltsin Tejeda in the second half before going through as Juan Pablo Vargas bundled the ball in.
Germany hit back on a double by substitute Kai Havertz before Niclas Fullkrug wrapped things up late, but the fate of Hansi Flick’s men was already sealed.
Samurai Blue strikes again
Japan produced a stunning comeback by beating Spain 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium to secure first place in World Cup Group E.
An early Alvaro Morata header put Spain in control, but Japan turned things around in the space of five minutes at the start of the second half.
Substitute Ritsu Doan equalized before Ao Tanaka scored another – which was allowed to stand after a lengthy VAR review after the ball appeared to have gone out of play.
The Samurai Blue held on for another memorable victory, settling a clash with Croatia for a place in the quarter-finals.
Morocco reached the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time in 36 years after beating Canada 2-1 at Al Thumama Stadium.
Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech was gifted the opener and Youssef En-Nesyri doubled Morocco’s lead.
A Nayef Aguerd own goal gave Canada renewed hope just before half time and substitute Atiba Hutchinson hit the crossbar during a much improved second half – but the Atlas Lions held on.
Belgium entered the tournament in second place in FIFA’s world rankings, but failed to impress and were stunned by Morocco in their final match.
However, the Red Devils played another blank draw against Croatia, with substitute Romelu Lukaku seeing a late chance on the post in the second half.
After the game, head coach Roberto Martinez confirmed his time was up. “We have been able to build a real legacy,” said the former Everton boss.
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Group H: Ghana v Uruguay (3pm, BBC Two)
Group H: South Korea v Portugal (3pm, BBC One)
Group G: Cameroon v Brazil (7pm, ITV1)
Group G: Serbia v Switzerland (7pm, ITV4)