2022 World Cup draw: USMNT draw England, Iran; Spain gets Germany; Lionel Messi will face Robert Lewandowski

The 2022 FIFA World Cup draw took place in Doha on Friday and this year’s event in Qatar promises a dramatic start after a number of intriguing group draws.

The USMNT will meet England, Iran and possibly also Scotland, Wales or Ukraine in Group B while the hosts have drawn the Netherlands, Ecuador and Senegal in group A.

Reigning champions France will face Denmark again after their 2018 meeting and could also find Peru or Australia as well as Tunisia in Group D while Mexico will face Argentina, Poland and Arabia Arabia in a spicy group C.

Group E is the heavyweights with Spain and Germany together as well as Japan and Costa Rica winner against New Zealand while Canada are in Group F with Croatia and Morocco.

In Group G, Brazil secured Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon while Portugal are joined by Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.

Qatar will open the World Cup against Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

World Cup groups

  • Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
  • Group B: England, Iran, USA, Scotland/Ukraine or Wales
  • Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
  • Group D: France, Australia/UAE or Peru, Denmark, Tunisia
  • Group E: Spain, Costa Rica or New Zealand, Germany, Japan
  • Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
  • Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
  • Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

Winners and losers

Now that the World Cup groups have been drawn, we can take a look at the composition of the eight pools and assess who received the best and worst scenarios. Group B with the USMNT and England, Argentina and Mexico in Group C, Spain and Germany in Group E as well as Canada in Group F with Belgium, Croatia and Morocco are all fascinating.

Some winners and losers.

Winner: Netherlands

The Dutch will be very happy with their draw, but hosts Qatar will be equally grateful that the Oranje are perhaps their greatest opponents on paper. Anything can happen with Senegal and Ecuador, but Louis Van Gaal’s men certainly feel like favorites here.

Loser: Iran

Although the result of Scotland, Wales and Ukraine qualifiers is yet to be known, it already looks tough for the Iranians. This group will have no shortage of talking points around any of Iran’s games, but they’ll really have to get going to have any chance of making it out.

Winner: England

USMNT rivalry aside, the Three Lions will be happy with their group as Iran and the winner of Scotland, Wales or the eventual UEFA qualifier shouldn’t be too scary. The Scots and Welsh will have that extra incentive given the rivalry that could make the Americans their main opponents.

Loser: Tunisia

France, Denmark, then potentially Peru, Australia or the United Arab Emirates is a difficult task for Tunisians. The Blues are a bit of a rivalry as Denmark have become an extremely tough side to beat. Depending on who joins this group, third place could be considered an achievement.

Winner: France

The defending champions won’t be intimidated by attracting strong Denmark qualifiers they’ve known well since 2018. However, they also lured the Danes in 2002 when they crashed out as titleholders from 1998, so there is that to consider. Tunisia are an intriguing pairing given the important links between the two countries as the winners of the qualifiers could see the Blues face two of the three teams they faced in their Russia group in 2018. Will it be enough for them to become the first holders of the title to escape their group since Brazil won in 2002 and then qualified in 2006.

Loser: Japan

Getting Spain and Germany is pretty brutal with a playoff team to add to the mix as well. On paper, we expect the Germans and Spaniards to advance, but Samurai Blue have shown in the past that they can create an upset, another one is needed here.

Winner: Brazil

Despite the improvement in Serbia and the solid nature of Switzerland, the South Americans will face all their opponents. On paper, at least, this is likely to get brutal for Cameroon unless they can build quickly under Rigobert Song.

Loser: Cameroon

Undoubtedly favorites to finish bottom of their group given the strength of Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia, the Africans must use the coming months wisely. Changing coaches in a World Cup year is never easy, but now it’s done and the Indomitable Lions will at least be motivated to play for such a legendary figure.

Winner: USMNT

It’s a good draw for the United States. They won’t be close to a lock for the Round of 16 by any means, but they should be happy with their chances. They will want Scotland, but it will probably be Wales or Ukraine, and it could really go both ways. England are expected to beat the United States, but the Americans have a knack for scoring big results in the group stage. They got by far the best draw of any Concacaf team. Mexico must face Argentina and a formidable Polish team. Canada have two 2018 semi-finalists in Belgium and Croatia in their group, and if Costa Rica make it through, they only have Spain and Germany to worry about. –Roger Gonzalez