Archbishop uses Advent message to address crime situation
December 15, 2022
Market Day at Santa Cruz RC School
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And the winner is…

By Nth Degree

And then there were four. Godspeed Brazil, Netherlands, Portugal, and England. Last weekend’s quarter final matches were really exciting!

Croatia showed more mettle than the perennial favourites Brazil, outlasting them in a penalty shootout. At least, for now, Brazilian centre forward Richarlison leaves with the Goal of the Tournament.

Argentina had their hearts in their mouths as they allowed the Dutch to equalise to take them to penalties as well, after comfortably leading 2-0. That Dutch extra-time free kick caught everyone by surprise!

As for Portugal, well, they huffed, puffed, and complained to the ref, but could not score on the resilient and defensively disciplined Moroccans, even with ‘CR7’ aka Ronaldo coming on at half time. He left the field in tears (imagine a camera crew followed him all the way into the players’ tunnel – Really?)

And then the so-called final of the quarter finals, England versus France – tension. Poor Harry Kane, blasting the second penalty overbar. That trophy ain’t coming home any time soon, mate. More tears.

So it’s Croatia v Argentina, and Morocco v France in the semis.

Europe v South America, and Africa v Europe.

Croatia – much respect. I like their never-say-die attitude. If the consistent Luka Modric recovers well from their extra-time exploits in the last two games (Japan and Brazil), Croatia will be hard to beat.

Argentina – they overcame the embarrassment of losing to Saudi Arabia in their first game and have grown in confidence. Their captain and talisman Lionel Messi could lead them to the finals and hopefully lift the trophy for Argentina’s third time.

Morocco – I’m thankful the ‘Atlas Lions’ reached this stage! The first African/Arab nation ever to make it this far. They’re the dark horses for the trophy. Their defense is depleted due to injuries, but never underestimate a wounded ‘lion’.

France – they’re missing top players like Benzema, Pogba and Kante but they’ve still made the semis. That says something about their depth. Did I mention they have speed master Kylian Mbappé, the next possible football megastar?

Here then are the permutations for the finals:

Argentina v France – The ’78 and ’86 champs want to win it for their retiring captain Messi, while France want to successfully defend the title. It will be the first time this will happen since Brazil did it in the ‘58 and ‘62 World Cups.

Argentina v Morocco – Break the domination of the Europeans who have been winning the Cup since 2002 when Brazil won it last. In 2006 it was Italy, 2010 Spain, 2014 Germany and 2018 France.

Croatia v France – the sequel to the 2018 final in Russia. An opportunity for the Croatians to get revenge and add their name to the winners list? Or for the French to repeat?

Croatia v Morocco – This would be wonderful for world football as it’d mean a new winner.

The semis were being played on Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday 14, so depending on when you read this, we’ll know which of the permutations happened.

A word on the 2026 World Cup which will be jointly hosted by Mexico, USA, and Canada. FIFA, the world’s governing football body, intends to increase the number of competing nations from the current 32 to 48! I remember the days when it was just 16, then they increased it to 24.

FIFA says the increase is for the people, the increased popularity of football, and it would give other national teams a chance to display their talent on the world stage…So noble. They didn’t mention the financial aspect (Shhh!….)

Anyways, enjoy this Sunday’s final – Action. Controversy. Drama. Emotion. Passion. Excitement. Skill. What else but the FIFA World Cup!


Nth Degree has begun saving money so he can see Angus Eve take the ‘Soca Warriors’ to the 2026 World Cup. We have to be among the 48! Who’s praying with me!