The Qatar 2022 semi-finals are underway and Argentina are the first team confirmed for Sunday’s World Cup final after beating Croatia 3-0 at Lusail Stadium.
Lionel Messi put in a superb performance to lead his side to victory and will now be playing in his second World Cup final, having lost his first, against Germany, in 2014.
All eyes are now on the clash between France and Morocco at Al Bayt Stadium, where Kylian Mbappé will look set to lead his side to a second consecutive World Cup final after their victory in Russia in 2018.
The 22nd edition of the quadrennial tournament, which began in 1930, is also the first to be held in an Arab country. The State of Qatar is the smallest country by size (11,600 km2) and population (2.7 million) never received.
The World Cup featured eight groups of four teams before the top two from each advanced to the round of 16, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
This format will change for the 2026 World Cup when the tournament expands to 48 teams as co-hosts USA, Mexico and Canada.
France vs Morocco, Wednesday December 14 (7 p.m., BBC)
Our France-Morocco forecast
From Jason Burt to Doha
Score: France 2 Morocco 1
Morocco can defend and should not be underestimated. They only conceded one goal and beat Belgium, Spain and Portugal. Meanwhile, France have conceded in every game they have played but have an incredibly powerful attack that should see them through to the final.
Key battle: Sofyan Amrabat vs Antoine Griezmann
All the attention will be on Kylian Mbappe against his friend Achraf Hakimi but the key could be which of these two midfielders controls the game. Both were a revelation in this tournament.
When did the round of 16 start?
This year’s World Cup round of 16 kicked off on Saturday December 3 with the round of 16, before moving on to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
A total of 16 teams qualified for the round of 16. These were the Netherlands, Senegal, England, the United States, Argentina, Poland, France, Australia, Morocco, Croatia, Japan, from Spain, Brazil, Switzerland, Portugal and South Korea.
The teams that reached the quarter-finals were the Netherlands, England, Argentina, France, Croatia, Brazil, Morocco and Portugal.
The teams that reached the semi-finals were Argentina, Croatia, France and Morocco.
Argentina is the first team confirmed in the World Cup final.
What is the date of the 2022 World Cup final?
The final match of the World Cup will take place on Qatar’s National Day, Sunday, December 18. It will start at 3:00 p.m. (GMT), 6:00 p.m. local time, at the 80,000-seat Lusail stadium.
Where will the next World Cup take place?
The 2026 World Cup will be held in three host countries – America, Canada and Mexico – in a first tournament after the trio’s bid rebuffed a strong proposal from Morocco. The competition matches will be played in 16 different cities – 11 in America, two in Canada and three in Mexico.
This article is updated with the latest information