The World Cup is getting into the more interesting phase of the tournament. The matches in the final round of the group stage are being played and now we know the first matchups in the round of 16. The good news for Manchester United players in the tournament is that most of them are doing well. With the exception of Christian Eriksen’s Denmark and Hannibal Mejbri’s Tunisia, all the other United players who played so far, progressed in the next round of the competition. Let’s see what happened in these past two days.
Rashford Shines Again For England
England did not excite anyone with their 0-0 draw against the United States, but the final group stage match against Wales brought the best out of them. The team dispatched their neighbouring rival 3-0, with the big help of Marcus Rashford. Manchester United forward was man of the match, after he scored twice, putting him up to three World Cup goals so far this tournament. Phil Foden also added one in an England performance which brought much more zest and final third quality. Harry Maguire marshalled the defence for full 90 minutes impeccably, while Luke Shaw did well at left-back before Kieran Trippier replaced him after 65 minutes.
Netherlands Top Their Group
While England learned they will face Senegal in the round of 16, the Netherlands have topped their group and they will face USA. A 2-0 win against Qatar did not need too much energy, with Man United target Cody Gakpo scoring again. However, Tyrell Malacia did not get his first World Cup appearance in this match either, against a much weaker opponent.
Argentina Beat Poland
Another team with a Man United player to finish top of the group is Argentina. Their 2-0 win against Poland was enough to see them book a round of 16 clash against one of the surprises of the tournament, Australia. Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez scored the goals, while Man United’s Lisandro Martinez came on for the last 15 minutes or so, replacing Alvarez. Argentina may not have started this tournament well, but this performance was their best so far in Qatar and with the good draw in the knockouts, they could be set for a better run than in Russia 2018.
Denmark Disappoint Throughout
And the fact Australia got out of the Group D alongside France means Denmark are one of the biggest disappointments of this tournament. Christian Eriksen played full 90 minutes, but was unable to help his team, as they lost 1-0 to Australia, their direct rival for a place in the knockout rounds. Eriksen’s team ended the tournament with a solitary point and just one goal scored, against France. This will be a World Cup to forget for the Red Devils’ midfielder and his country.
France Lose Without Consequences
And finally, there was France. After beating Australia and then Denmark, the reigning world champions knew they would ultimately finish top of the group and get themselves a good draw, considering Argentina were favourites to top their group. The match against Tunisia was used for changing the entire starting 11, giving way for the likes of Steve Mandanda, Axel Disasi and Youssouf Fofana. Raphael Varane played full 90 minutes and captained the team too, but Tunisia won 1-0, which ultimately did not help their cause of reaching the round of 16. Hannibal Mejbri once again did not get the opportunity to enter the pitch for the winning team.