The World Football Federation (FIFA) revealed the official match ball that would be used in the semi-finals and finals of the 2022 World Cup on their website on the evening of December 11.
Sponsor Adidas is responsible for manufacturing the ball, which incorporates the latest cutting-edge technologies and is designed to mimic the Al Rihla ball. Referees will have an easier time keeping track of the ball and calling offsides with the help of the video assistant referee (VAR) thanks to the core technology that is embedded into the ball. This technology includes a sensor that measures data such as passing speed and direction.
The Al Hilm is the first ball to be used in the World Cup semi-finals and finals, and it is made entirely of water-based glue and ink. It was also the first ball to be used in the tournament. The design of the ball features a rough yellow background with a delicate triangular pattern. This design was inspired by the shimmering deserts that surround the city of Doha, Qatar, along with the pattern of the national flag of the country that is hosting the tournament. The colors of the World Cup gold trophy are Qatar’s national colors.
“Al Hilm is a symbol of the unifying power of sport and football, and as such, brings people from all over the world together.” As a result of their shared enthusiasm for the competition, millions of people from virtually every nation on the planet will tune in to watch. According to Nick Craggs, the General Manager of Football for Adidas, “We wish all of the teams that have advanced to the final rounds of the competition the very best of luck as they play on the highest stage that football has to offer.”
Al Rihla was successful in his quest and established a record when he tied with 158 goals from the beginning of the 2022 World Cup. This number surpassed the total goals scored at the 2006 World Cup (145 goals) and the World Cup in 2010. (147 goals).
On the other hand, Al Rihla is the ball that has been linked to the World Cup having the fewest goals scored in it throughout the group stage since 2010. (120 goals). 136 goals were scored during the group stage of the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, but only 122 goals were scored during the group stage of the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
Argentina’s weakness before the semi-final: Poor physical distribution
Although the Dutch’s quarterfinal triumph did not demonstrate Argentina’s superiority, it did accidentally expose two of their weaknesses: small stature and uneven physical distribution.
Argentina had a two-goal advantage but Argentina allowed the Netherlands to tie the game at 2-2 in the dying seconds due to poor defense distribution. Up until the 73rd minute, Lionel Messi played exceptionally well. In the 35th minute, a pass to Molina completely caught the Dutch defense off guard. And it was he who fired an 11-meter strike into the net in the 73rd minute, forcing goalkeeper Noppert, who stands at 2m 3 tall, to do nothing but stand still and watch.
The defense Lionel Scaloni adjusted from the previous 4 games was a major factor in Messi’s sublimation. He set up the defense with five players and played very tightly. The Orange Dumfries spike was restrained by Acuna. Molina consistently outlasted Daley Blind to score the game’s first goal. Depay and Gakpo were unable to close Martinez’s goal because three center defenders, Lisandro Martinez, Otamendi, and Romero, closed the middle.
European teams typically played coldly, looking for an opening from the opposition, but the Argentine defense lacked strength distribution skills and became entangled in Dutch action in the closing minutes of the game. The Argentine defender becomes overly fixated on high balls because Dutch players who are 1m90 or taller frequently play high balls.
The Argentinian defense did not anticipate the Netherlands to have low-level balls to eliminate 2-2 after fitness declined due to the early game being very excited and entangled in a quarrel in the air. The goal opportunity in the eleventh minute of added time was particularly spectacular because it involved a free-kick and successfully took advantage of the Argentine defense’s distraction.
The players’ commitment to the game and Scaloni’s 5-man defense scheme was both highly praised by Argentina’s Ole newspaper. The newspaper claimed that the tango stars should evaluate the match’s power dynamics before the semi-finals, though.
Don’t worry about the ball; Croatia, who lacks tall strikers, will be the next opponent. The World Cup runner-up in 2018 had a fiercely competitive attitude, particularly in extra time and penalty shootouts. Paredes didn’t even enter the game until the 66th minute, yet he was quite efficient in the midfield battle.
The further into the competition Luka Modric plays, the more likely it is that the Juventus midfielder will be able to limit his influence from the outset. In an effort to defeat Croatia, Argentina aims to spread out its fitness while sticking with Modric. It will be a challenging situation for coach Scaloni on Wednesday because no opponent has “blocked” the 37-year-old Croatian midfielder since the start of the competition.