Canada will have to defy all odds at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to get past the group stage for the first time ever.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is fast approaching and the whole world is gearing up in anticipation of the greatest football tournament in the world.
The teams that have qualified are also ramping up preparations to make a good outing at the global mundial.
While some top soccer nations that are considered as favourites have aspirations of winning the World Cup; smaller nations that don’t have the luxury of fielding world-class talent on the pitch will be more than satisfied to even advance past the group stages and get into the knockout rounds.
Some might have it easier than others due to the kind of groups they have been drawn in.
In this post, FootballOrbit looks at 5 countries that have been pitted in tough groups at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar (Group A)
Qatar is appearing at its first ever World Cup as the host nation, but it has a very slim chance of progressing beyond the group stage.
Qatar have been drawn in Group A alongside Netherlands (favourites to top the group), Senegal (a fast rising country and one of the dark horses) and Ecuador (a youthful and aggressive team of fair quality).
Qatar’s best bet is to take advantage of the atmosphere at the opening game against Ecuador and turn some heads as well as subsequently build on that momentum.
But it doesn’t look like they have the capacity of coming up with something like that……
Qatar’s opening match versus Ecuador is one of the exciting group stage matches you shouldn’t miss at the 2022 World Cup.
Saudi Arabia (Group C)
After a remarkable run to the Round of 16 on their World Cup debut in 1994, Saudi Arabia have failed to reach those heights again since then.
In four subsequent World Cup appearances after that (1998, 2002, 2006, 2018), they have won just 1 of 12 games — including 2 draws.
One of those losses includes a 8-0 humiliation against Germany in 2002.
Saudi Arabia have been handed a tough group in Qatar 2022 — getting drawn with Argentina, Mexico and Poland.
It will take another fairytale run for Saudi to get past the group stage.
Costa Rica (Group E)
Group E is the “Group of Death” at the 2022 FIFA World Cup — containing Spain, Germany, Japan and Costa Rica.
Spain and Germany are two historical international football powerhouses, having won the 2010 and 2014 World Cups respectively.
Japan made its World Cup debut in 1998 and has qualified for every tournament since.
Furthermore, the current Japanese squad contains players like Takehiro Tomiyasu, Takefusa Kubo, Maya Yoshida, Takumi Minamino and Ritsu Doan — who are all doing brilliantly at club level and will make the Blue Samurai tough to beat.
So the biggest losers in the group are Costa Rica, who made a fairytale run to the quarterfinals in 2014. They will need a miracle to replicate such feat in Qatar 2022.
Canada (Group F)
After a 36-year absence, Canada qualified for Qatar 2022 in what will be its second ever World Cup appearance.
During its last appearance at the quadrennial showpiece in 1986, Canada lost all three group stage games and was the worst of all the teams at that tournament.
It won’t be any easier for them in Qatar though as they have been paired up against 2018 runners-up, Croatia, along with Belgium and Morocco in Group F.
Alphonso Davies and co will have to defy all odds to get Canada past the group stage of the FIFA World Cup for the first time ever.
South Korea (Group H)
South Korea has 10 World Cup appearances to its name, with its best finish coming in 2002 on home soil when it controversially reached the semifinals.
There have been very little success on the grand stage since then, and they sometimes serve as whipping boys for the top teams.
This year, making it out of their group that includes Portugal, Uruguay and Ghana seems almost impossible.
Furthermore, Korea may be without their best player, Heung-min Son, who recently got injured and is set to undergo surgery.
Do you agree with this list and which other team(s) do you think have been handed a tough group at the 2022 FIFA World Cup?