Three of the worst performing teams at the 2022 World Cup

By Swindon Link - 5 December 2022

Clubs & ActivitiesSport

As the World Cup rumbles on through the knockout stages and the final at the state-of-the-art Lusail Stadium on December 18 appears on the horizon, all the talk is about who is going to win this year’s tournament in Qatar — as those looking for a bet on World Cup remain stumped ahead of the showpiece match.

However, while the world remains fixed on the latter stages of the competition, we’re going to take a step back and take stock of some the worst performing teams in the Middle East — not letting them fly under the radar for their mediocre at best displays any longer.  

Qatar

Not only are Qatar officially the worst team at this year’s World Cup, but they will also go down as the worst host nation of football’s premier competition on record — failing to pick up a single point as they lost all three of their Group A games.

All eyes were on the Maroon in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup, as they went head-to-head with Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium. But they got off to a terrible start, as Enner Valencia scored a 16th-minute penalty after already having a controversial goal ruled out — and the former Everton and West Ham forward made it two around 15 minutes later.

They went two goals down to African champions Senegal next time out as well, with Boulaye Dia and Famara Diedhiou scoring either side of half-time. But a Mohammed Muntari header with around 10 minutes to spare gave Qatar hope, only for Bamba Dieng to make it 3-1 and put the game back out of the host’s reach.

It was unlikely Qatar were going to get anything from their final matchup against the Netherlands, so they perhaps went out with the onus on keeping the scoreline respectable — and they did that, with Cody Gakpo and Frenkie de Jong scoring as the Dutch won 2-0.

Canada

O Canada. Another team to finish the group stages with zero points, the Reds’ 36-year wait for their second appearance at World Cup finals ended in disaster as they did themselves no justice with three straight defeats to Morocco, Croatia and Belgium.

Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies missed the chance for a dream start from the spot just 11th minutes in to their opener against Belgium, and that set the tone for the game as Canada were wasteful throughout. Michy Batshuayi took what was pretty much the Red Devils’ only meaningful chance before the break to seal the 1-0 win for Belgium.

In their second game, Davies did get them off to the perfect start — scoring just two minutes in against Croatia. But the 2018 finalists fought back to win 4-1 thanks to a fantastic display and a brace from Andrej Kramaric.

While Canada had nothing more than pride to play for in their final game, Morocco could top the group with victory — and they flew out of the blocks thanks to goals from Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En Nesyri. A Nayef Aguerd own goal got the Reds back into the game before half-time, but the Atlas Lions managed to hold on for top place.

Luckily for Canada, their lacklustre displays in Group F were overshadowed by the fact World No.2 Belgium didn’t progress to the round of 16.

Denmark

Perhaps the most surprising name on this list, Denmark appeared to be everybody’s dark horses ahead of the World Cup — a title the Danes themselves actually found rather insulting given that they reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and beat France home and away in their recent Nations League campaign.

However, the Red and Whites were sent home with their tails between their legs as they finished a disappointing last place in Group D which really shouldn’t have been the case as it contained France, Australia and Tunisia.   

It was apparent from the off that this Denmark side lacked any real firepower going forward, as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Tunisia despite dominating possession. A 2-1 defeat to a Kylian Mbappe-inspired Les Bleus made life very difficult for the Red and Whites to progress going into the match with Australia, and a 1-0 defeat to the Socceroos was the final nail in the coffin.

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Wales, who also picked up just a point after being expected to compete in Group B, Belgium and Germany — who both suffered shock group stage exits — also need a mention.

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