World Cup recap, Day 7: France are first via to Round of 16

On day seven of the World Cup in Qatar, France has turn into the primary nation to earn their spot within the knockout levels after beating Denmark 2-1 on Saturday in a recreation that noticed Kylian Mbappe put two objectives away for the French.

With their victory over Denmark, world champions France now have six factors on the prime of Group D and are the primary group to be assured a spot within the Round of 16.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez earned Argentina a 2-Zero win over Mexico and saved their World Cup goals alive, whereas the Mexicans should now beat Saudi Arabia to have any likelihood of coming into the Round of 16.

It was additionally 2-Zero for Poland of their tense match towards Saudi Arabia, which noticed the Saudis dominate the sport for lengthy intervals, however the gritty Poles held the backline, and wonderful goalkeeping saved them the day.

Australia earned their first World Cup victory in 12 years in a 1-Zero win over Tunisia. The Tunisians are nonetheless hoping to advance from their group stage however should now beat France to achieve that purpose.

Here is a fast information recapping all you should know from day seven — Saturday, November 26, 2022 — of the Qatar World Cup 2022.

Argentina'S Marcos Acuna Kicks The Ball During The World Cup Match Between Argentina And Mexico.
Argentina’s Marcos Acuna kicks the ball through the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Mexico on the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on November 26, 2022 [Hassan Ammar/AP Photo]

France vs Denmark

France’s Kylian Mbappe scored two objectives and put the defending champions into the knockout stage of the World Cup with their 2-1 win over Denmark in a recreation that early on appeared as if it may finish in a impasse.

Les Bleus attacked with would possibly from the kickoff, and Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel nearly tipped a harmful header from Adrien Rabiot. Denmark additionally had their first likelihood with Andreas Cornelius capturing huge proper.

It was France who lastly broke via with high-quality attacking when Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe gave his group the lead within the 61st minute. The French ahead swapped passes with Theo Hernandez down the left flank and poked the ball previous Schmeichel for the primary purpose.

But that was rapidly cancelled out by Denmark’s Andreas Christensen, who scored an equaliser simply seven minutes later.

France'S Kylian Mbappe Celebrates After Scoring His Side'S Second Goal.
France’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his aspect’s second purpose through the World Cup group D soccer match between France and Denmark at Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar, on November 26, 2022 [Thanassis Stavrakis/AP Photo]

Not to be outdone, Mbappe then scored the winner within the 86th when he jumped acrobatically to information within the second after a cross from Antoine Griezmann to make Les Bleus the primary group to advance to the spherical of 16.

Mbappe scored 4 objectives when France gained the World Cup 4 years in the past, together with one within the closing. He now has 31 objectives for France, shifting him one forward of Just Fontaine — the all-time main scorer at a single World Cup with 13 objectives on the 1958 event.

“I’m very happy with the way my players have responded,” France Coach Didier Deschamps informed broadcasters TF1. “We are sure to be qualified after two games. It brings peace of mind,” he stated.

“We have a strong and solid group of players who want to do great things.”

Denmark defender Victor Nelsson stated after the match: “Right now I’m very disappointed with the late goal. It is unacceptable to let in a goal so late in the game … We need to win over Australia on Wednesday.”

Denmark'S Andreas Christensen Celebrates Scoring Their First Goal.
Denmark’s Andreas Christensen celebrates scoring their first purpose towards France at Stadium 974, Doha, Qatar on November 26, 2022 [Hannah Mckay/Reuters]

Argentina vs Mexico

Argentina had been conscious that one other defeat would have despatched them out of the event on Saturday, they usually began poorly towards Mexico as they struggled to deal with the strain the Mexicans unleashed from the primary kick of the ball.

That wrestle continued at Lusail Stadium till Lionel Messi discovered the bottom-right nook of the Mexican internet from greater than 20 metres (66 toes) out within the 64th minute, firing a low shot via a crowd of defenders into the again of the purpose.

Messi was almost in tears as he grabbed and shook his jersey in entrance of Argentina’s celebrating followers, then blew a kiss and seemed to the sky. It will go down as probably the most vital objectives of his profession because it has reignited his group’s World Cup possibilities.

Argentinian followers contained in the 89,000-seat Lusail Stadium hugged one another. Some cried. Argentina defender Lisandro Martinez fell to the bottom and appeared to bury his face within the turf.

Argentina'S Lionel Messi Celebrates Scoring Their First Goal.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first purpose towards Mexico at Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar, on November 26, 2022 [Pedro Nunes/Reuters]

Argentina’s substitute Enzo Fernandez then added a second purpose within the 87th minute, guaranteeing the group has bounced again from their 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia that now ranks as one of many World Cup’s biggest-ever upsets.

Fernandez — who’s 21 years of age — additionally turned the youngest participant to attain at a World Cup for Argentina since Messi himself in 2006.

“It’s a weight off our shoulders,” Messi stated after the match. “It gives us joy and peace of mind to start again.”

“We lived with discomfort and kept the defeat in the opening match in our minds,” Messi stated. “We were eager to have the chance to turn the situation around and luckily we won,” he stated.

“All of our matches are finals now. We can’t mess up.”

Argentina'S Julian Alvarez Jumps Up To Block Mexico'S Cesar Montes From Controlling The Ball.
Argentina’s Julian Alvarez in motion with Mexico’s Cesar Montes on November 26, 2022, in Qatar [Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters]

Poland vs Saudi Arabia

It seemed like Saturday’s Group C match was not going to go Poland’s method, with Saudi Arabia driving on a wave of confidence after their historic defeat of Argentina earlier this week.

Poland had been enjoying earlier than a deafening, overwhelmingly Saudi crowd that was excited, rapturous and raucous, booing and jeering nearly each Polish move.

In a primary half dominated by slick Saudi counterattacking and huge quantities of gamesmanship from the Gulf aspect, Poland obtained three yellow playing cards within the house of 4 minutes and had been on the incorrect finish of a VAR penalty determination the Poles will deem harsh.

Poland And Saudi Arabia Players Contest For The Ball.
Poland and Saudi Arabia gamers contest for the ball on November 26 at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

But it was Piotr Zielinski who opened the scoring for Poland within the 39th minute with a sensible end towards the run of play.

Salem Aldawsari had an opportunity to deliver Saudi Arabia again on degree phrases in direction of the top of the half, however his penalty kick was fantastically saved by Wojciech Szczesny. The Polish keeper then saved a follow-up by Mohammed Alburayk, too.

With simply eight minutes left within the recreation, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski dispossessed Abdulelah Almalki of the ball and slotted home the second of Poland’s 2-Zero win.

Saturday’s win mattered. Poland wanted not less than a draw to face any actual likelihood of attending to the final 16 for the primary time since 1986, and with Argentina left to play, few would fancy their possibilities.

“I think the older I get, the more emotional I get, and I’m aware that when it comes to the World Cup, it might be my last World Cup actually,” Lewandowski stated after the sport and what was his 77th worldwide purpose.

“The result of the team was most important … There’s another day and we need to get ready for the next match because we don’t know what’s going to happen next. We need to do all we can.”

Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard stated he was happy with his group’s efficiency; Saudi Arabia had twice as many photographs at purpose as Poland did.

“I don’t think a lot of people [thought] Saudi Arabia was able to play this kind of football,” he stated. “This is the reason why I’m proud of them,” he stated after the match.

Polish And Saudi Arabian Players Surround A Referee Holding The Ball During Their Match.
Polish and Saudi Arabian gamers throughout their match in Group C of the World Cup on November 26, 2022, at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Renard referred to the vocal assist the Green Falcons obtained at Education City Stadium, the place the enthusiastic Saudi followers turned the sport right into a home one, and he hopes for extra of the identical for the ultimate group recreation towards Mexico on November 30 again at Lusail, the place his group beat Argentina.

“I hope they won’t give up,” Renard stated of the Saudi followers.

“Because when you are fans, you need to support your team when it’s a fantastic day, but you also need to support your team to make the history during the third game.”

Tunisia vs Australia

It was a scrappy begin to the match between Tunisia and Australia till the “Socceroos” went forward when striker Mitchell Duke scored halfway via the primary half with a glancing header previous keeper Aymen Dahmen to provide Australia the lead.

Duke’s purpose got here after he collected a goalkeeper’s move near the center of the sector and made a rapid contact to set Craig Goodwin down the left flank. Duke then sprinted ahead to nod Goodwin’s deflected cross into the far nook together with his again to the purpose.

Tunisian And Australian Players Race For Possession Of The Ball.
Tunisian and Australian gamers race for possession of the ball at Al Janoub Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on November 26, 2022 [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Duke celebrated scoring Australia’s successful purpose by forming a “J” together with his fingers in a tribute to his son Jaxson, who was within the stands.

The rating quieted the big contingent of Tunisia followers among the many crowd of 41,823 inside Al Janoub Stadium and despatched the small pockets of Australian supporters wearing yellow into delirium.

Tunisia had impressed after they held European Championship semi-finalist Denmark to a 0-Zero draw of their opener, however solely sometimes threatened towards Australia till the Aussies sat again and defended in direction of the top.

Tunisia’s greatest likelihood got here when skipper Youssef Msakni shot simply huge.

It was an emotion-filled day for Australia, whose 1-Zero victory over Tunisia was solely their third win in 18 World Cup matches.

Tunisia continues to be looking for to advance from the group stage for the primary time in its six World Cup appearances however now must beat France.

“This edition of the World Cup has had surprises for everyone. The larger squads have been defeated,” Tunisia coach Jalel Kadri stated.

“We still have one more match to go and we’ll play our hearts out.”

Tunisians Fans Cheer At Al Janoub Stadium.
Tunisians followers cheer at Al Janoub Stadium on November 26, 2022, in Doha, Qatar [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]