in Qatar is officially on the books. Saturday’s action began with Australia’s 1-0 victory over Tunisia. After losing 4-1 in their Group D opener to France, Australia managed to put three crucial points on the board against Tunisia, putting the Socceroos in good stead heading into the final match of the knockout phase. groups against Denmark Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET. Tunisia will face France at the same time.
The Blues are the first side to enter the knockout stage after a 2-1 win over the Danes thanks to a second-half brace from star Kylian Mbappe. Andreas Christensen had drawn the Scandinavians level, but Mbappe took his own life to join the top of the goalscoring charts with his brace to usurp Jean-Pierre Papin and Just Fontaine in the goalscoring charts. The French champion also equalizes Pelé on seven World Cup goals for the most scored by a player under 24 in the history of the tournament.
Argentina, after surprisingly losing to Saudi Arabia in their opening match, secured a well-deserved victory over Mexico to get back on track and avoid what would have been an unexpected and incredible elimination in the knockout stage. groups. It took a brilliant long-range strike from Lionel Messi in the 64th minute to break through against a stubbornly defensive Mexican side. And then Enzo Fernandez put the game aside in the 87th minute to seal the points.
Meanwhile, Poland beat Saudi Arabia for top spot in Group C. Robert Lewandowski scored his first-ever World Cup goal, while Wojciech Szczesny made a double save from a penalty. The results mean Argentina can control their destiny and win the group if they beat Poland.
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World Cup scores, results
Saturday November 26
Argentina 2, Mexico 0
Australia surprisingly resilient
The less publicized match of the day quietly produced one of the most surprising results of the tournament. After being burned down by France 4-1 in their opener, Australia came back and passed a tough test by beating Tunisia 1-0. It means Australia’s least-heralded side in recent memory, a side that only qualified for the tournament by rushing in their last qualifier against Peru, have their fate in their hands. A draw against Denmark would do the job for the extreme underdog. The result against Tunisia wasn’t pretty, but despite conceding 14 shots, they limited Tunisia to just 0.94 expected goals and netted a header from Mitchell Duke in the 23rd minute.
Lewandowski finally gets his goal
The final scoreline was comfortable for Poland with Piotr Zelenski scoring late in the first half and Lewandowski adding an insurance goal late in the second. It took just 136 appearances for Poland’s talisman to secure that coveted World Cup goal. But in the meantime, Saudi Arabia has given as much – if not better – than it has gotten. Football is a stupid old game and the fact that against Argentina Saudi Arabia had two goals from three difficult shots means you can only offer a sad smile in response to the fact that against Poland they have shot on goal 16 times, including one from a penalty. up and couldn’t buy a goal. But let Mexico be warned, if they think the Saudis are an easy opponent to close the group stage, they are going to have a nasty surprise waiting for them at the end of this group.
France looks formidable against Denmark
The match was not as close as the 2-1 scoreline suggested. France took the game aggressively against Denmark, a team that had beaten the French twice in the Nations League heading into this World Cup. Kylian Mbappe put in another great performance, scoring twice, but perhaps the most notable development was Theo Hernandez getting his second assist of the tournament from left-back. Hernandez, the brother of Lucas Hernandez whose serious knee injury in Game 1 opened the door for young Hernandez, is a more attacking option. His insistent overlaps have been unmanageable for teams so far in this tournament, and they mark a change in style for this France side. The side that won the World Cup four years ago were much more defensive and kept their full-backs in reserve. Their ultra-attacking style may not last, but it’s a refreshing change of pace for the defending champions. The defending World Cup champions haven’t made it out of the group for 20 years, but France have already clinched a place in the knockout stages. Hernandez’s injury forced a change of style and it was one of the main reasons why they became the first to drop out in Qatar.
Who else but Messi?
Argentina won, but it was not a performance that inspires confidence. Mexico smeared the game, committed a series of fouls and effectively took Argentina out of whatever they wanted to do. Now, to do that, Mexico sacrificed any semblance of an attack, so Argentina never doubted they would concede, but to win this tournament, Argentina will have to find better ways to circumvent dogged defensive performances. It took a major moment for Messi to break the deadlock, and despite his 20-yard greatness, the grass-cutting lasers don’t show up that often.