The World Cup has moved into the knockout stage and already Liverpool have one familiar face into the last eight, with more preparing for their shot this weekend.
Today at the World Cup
In the end it was all as expected on day one of the last 16, even if it almost got too close for comfort for the big guns.
- Netherlands dispatched with USA 3-1 in the afternoon game
- Van Dijk was skipper but had to watch on as a bizarre goal evaded him
- Argentina edged past Australia 2-1 later on in the day
- Messi’s 1000th game brought a goal and a big performance but the Socceroos almost spoiled the party
Reason No.72950 why you should never laugh at someone in football: Haji Wright’s first touch when through on goal for USA didn’t just escape him, it actually took on the goalkeeper to such an extent the striker couldn’t get a clear shot away afterwards.
Moments later he had miscontrolled again (we think), but the ball…somehow…scooped backwards off the top of his foot?! And flew past/over/behind Van Dijk, over the goalkeeper and into the net.
The United States’ resistance didn’t last long as Denzel Dumfries turned the clock back to Euro 2020.
For Argentina it was all calm and coasting until a wildly deflected Australia strike ended up flying past Emi Martinez and they very nearly forced extra time with the last kick of the game.
The right-back isn’t expected to play but there’s a chance our midfield captain could start, depending on whether Gareth Southgate decides Kalvin Phillips, Mason Mount, Hendo or a change of shape is the best approach.
Our skipper is hoping to take his club achievements onto the international stage either way though, with the mindset of always assuming a tough challenge is lying in wait standing him in good stead for consistently finding a way to win.
“We know any World Cup game, whether group stage, qualifiers, knockout stages like we are in now, it will be really tough,” Henderson said.
“Different challenges, different players, it always will be really, really tough, especially against a team who are African champions and a very, very good team in their own right.”
Not only that but his time with Liverpool losing a few finals before finally getting it right and starting to win everything certainly has some parallels with England, having finished as runners-up in the Euros.
“When you go through experiences together, especially good ones but at the end not what you wanted and they can really hurt, and we have suffered a little bit of that over the last few tournaments, for sure, and that can make you really stronger as a team.
“It makes you come closer together and want to put things right.”
Latest Liverpool FC news
- Sofyan Amrabat continues to be linked with a move to the Reds next year and latest reports suggest that could even be in January, with a £30m price tag noted by one journalist today
- A few Reds are already making sure they are back in training and in tip-top shape for the restart, while Diogo Jota made a quick stop in at the World Cup to take in Portugal’s defeat to South Korea
- Liverpool fans are remaining positive after Darwin Nunez’s unexpected early exit from the World Cup – and here’s when every Reds player left in the tournament could end up facing their teammates
Something you may have missed…
Most of the pre-match stats were (rightly) about the legendary Lionel Messi, his 1000th match as a senior pro and all the achievements which come with it.
just over 1.1 g/a per game across 1000 of them. insanity
— Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett) December 3, 2022
But after the game, another very notable number was up in lights for a very notable player.
Garang Kuol on the world stage ?
Born in Egypt to South Sudanese parents. Moved to Australia with his family as refugees. Now, becomes the youngest player to feature in the knockout stages of a #FIFAWorldCup since Pelé in 1958.
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) December 4, 2022
Kuol will be with Newcastle United in 2023, so watch out for him. And perhaps learn his story – there’s a never a limit on what can be achieved.
Sunday’s matches and LFC aspects
- 3pm: France vs Poland
- 7pm: England vs Senegal
From an LFC perspective, it’s all about whether two players get the nod: Ibou Konate at centre-back for France and Hendo in midfield for England.
Arguably the most talented of all, Trent, won’t be playing. Again.
Spare a thought for Sadio Mane, too…