Skip to content

Peak contest kicks off in correlation with World Cup of Soccer

Can your predictions top experts from Powell River Villa and Canada's Para Soccer National Team?  

The 2022 World Cup of Soccer kicks off on Sunday, November 20, when host Qatar takes on Ecuador in a Group A match at Al Bayt Stadium.

With the Canadian Men’s National Team qualifying for the tournament for the first time since 1986, interest in following the world’s most watched sporting event is even higher than usual in Canada, including locally.

The Peak asked qathet region experts to share their predictions for how the standings in each of the eight groups will end up, as well as picks for an overall champion, the eventual runner-up, a dark horse to watch out for, and who they will be pulling for when it comes to the heart.

Experts include Powell River Villa goalkeeper Matt Liknes, midfielder Niko Cristante, striker/midfielder Jake Kenmuir, centre back Joel Harry, coach Tony Leach and manager Chris McDonough, and Canadian Para Soccer National Team player Duncan McDonald and coach Drew Ferguson.

Any hardcore soccer enthusiasts, or casual viewers drawn in by the global scale of the event, who plan to enter a World Cup contest (including the Peak’s at the bottom of this page), take note of the predictions below before making your decisions.

Group A/Drew Ferguson
First: Netherlands
Second: Senegal
Third: Ecuador
Fourth: Qatar

Group B/Tony Leach
First: England
Second: Wales
Third: USA
Fourth: Iran

Group C/Niko Cristante
First: Argentina
Second: Poland
Third: Mexico
Fourth: Saudi Arabia

Group D/Jake Kenmuir
First: France
Second: Denmark
Third: Australia
Fourth: Tunisia

Group E/Duncan McDonald
First: Spain
Second: Germany
Third: Japan
Fourth: Costa Rica

Group F/Matt Liknes
First: Belgium
Second: Canada
Third: Croatia
Fourth: Morocco

Group G/Chris McDonough
First: Brazil
Second: Switzerland
Third: Serbia
Fourth: Cameroon

Group H/Joel Harry
First: Portugal
Second: Uruguay
Third: Ghana
Fourth: South Korea


Niko Cristante
Overall champion: Argentina 
Runner-up: Brazil
Dark horse: Denmark
Cheering for: Canada/Argentina

Drew Ferguson
Overall champion: Argentina
Runner-up: France
Dark horse: Serbia
Cheering for: Canada and Argentina

Joel Harry
Overall champion: Argentina
Runner-up: Brazil
Dark horse: Canada
Cheering for: Canada and Germany

Jake Kenmuir
Overall champion: Brazil
Runner-up: France
Dark horse: Switzerland
Cheering for: Canada and Portugal

Tony Leach
Overall champion: Brazil
Runner-up: Netherlands
Dark horse: Japan
Cheering for: Wales and Canada

Matt Liknes
Overall champion: Argentina
Runner-up: England
Dark horse: South Korea
Cheering for: Canada and Netherlands

Duncan McDonald
Overall champion: Argentina
Runner-up: England
Dark horse: Serbia
Cheering for: Canada

Chris McDonough
Overall champion: England
Runner-up: Brazil
Dark horse: Canada
Cheering for: Canada

Seems that the experts' consensus favours South American powerhouses Brazil or Argentina to win the World Cup. Top European countries will likely have something to say about that. What do you think?

Can one of the dark horses above make it all the way, or perhaps a dark horse of your choosing? Will you go with your head or your heart when it comes to decision time? Good luck!


Think you can come up with more correct selections than our experts provided for final standings after the group stage of the tournament?

Email your choices for how countries will finish from first to fourth in each group (A to H) to [email protected] and have a chance to win a prize package including a $100 local restaurant gift certificate, four Patricia Theatre movie passes, four passes to future Powell River Villa games and a one year subscription to the Peak.

Each entry that surpasses the number of correct final placements by the experts will be tabulated, and the entry with the most correct will win the prize package. First tiebreaker is how far your choice of overall champion advances at the tournament; the second tiebreaker is how far your runner-up advances, so include those choices with your entry. Further ties will be broken by random draw.

Entries must be received prior to the start of the first match (Qatar versus Ecuador) at 8 am on Sunday, November 20.

Prizes will have to be picked up at the Peak office after the World Cup final on December 18. The contest is only open to local residents. Include your name in the submission email.