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LIVE BLOG: Fifa World Cup, Day 3 – France’s title defence starts as they face Australia

LIVE BLOG: Fifa World Cup, Day 3 - France’s title defence starts as they face Australia

Welcome to day 3 of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. IOL Sport will bring you all the live updates on match days from the biggest sports event on the planet!

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The world champions are up next

France begin their World Cup title defence against Australia. Kickoff is at 9pm.

Last one for the day 🇫🇷🆚🇦🇺#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 22, 2022

FULL TIME: Mexico 0, Poland 0

Both Mexico and Poland drew a blank as they gave is the second goalless draw in a row during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Ochoa saves the day again! 🇲🇽🧤@adidasfootball | #FIFAWorldCup

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 22, 2022

Can Robert Lewandowski break his World Cup duck?

Poland will hope Robert Lewandowski can break his World Cup duck when they take on Mexico. The game kicks off at 6pm.

📋 Here are your #MEX and #POL squads ahead of our third game of the day!#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 22, 2022

FULL TIME: Denmark 0, Tunisia 0

Denmark and Tunisia each earn a point as they give us the first goalless stalemate of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

It ends all square at the Education City Stadium 🤝@adidasfootball | #FIFAWorldCup

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 22, 2022

HALF TIME: Denmark 0, Tunisia 0

Denmark have struggled to get into their rhythm, while Tunisia have created a few chances, but have been thwarted by Kasper Schmeichel.

How Argentina fell to a shock World Cup defeat to Saudi Arabia

Tournament favourites Argentina suffered a shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their first game of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, ending their 36-game unbeaten streak in the process.

IT TRULY WAS …

One of the biggest shocks in #FIFAWorldCup history

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 22, 2022

FULLTIME! ARGENTINA 1 SAUDI ARABIA 2!

UPSET FOR THE AGES! The favourites Argentina beaten by Saudi Arabia. Messi and co in the mud, as the Saudis produced a phenomenal second-half effort of grit and quality! Wow!

Saudi Arabia beat Argentina. @adidasfootball | #FIFAWorldCup

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 22, 2022

HALFTIME: Argentina 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Lionel Messi scored a penalty to open his World Cup account, but the South Americans could have had more if they had studied the offside rule before kickoff.

HERE ARE THE TEAMS FOR ARGENTINA V SAUDI ARABIA

Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez returned to the Argentina starting line-up on Tuesday as coach Lionel Scaloni made five changes for their World Cup Group C opener against Saudi Arabia.

Argentina (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico; Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Alejandro Gomez; Lionel Messi (capt), Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria.

Saudi coach Herve Renard kept the same team that lost 1-0 to Croatia in a friendly last week. Salman Al-Faraj captains the team despite a recent shoulder injury.

Saudi Arabia (4-3-3): Mohammed Al-Owais; Saud Abdulhamid, Hassan Al-Tambakti, Ali Al-Bulayhi, Yasser Al-Shahrani; Mohamed Kanno, Abdulelah Al-Malki, Salman Al-Faraj (capt); Salem Al-Dawsari, Firas Al-Brikan, Saleh Al-Shehri

12 Noon: Argentina v Saudi Arabia

Since the 35-year-old Messi and company are among the favourites they will savour the chance to play at the Lusail Stadium in Al Daayen, the stadium which will host the final of the tournament on Sunday, November 18. It will be Messi's final chance to win a World Cup medal and he’ll be looking to pull out all the stops for his beloved Argentina.

Argentina cannot afford to slip up against the lowest-ranked Group C nation Saudi Arabia in their opening match. If they do, they will battle against Poland and Mexico.

The Saudi Arabia team is drawn strictly, bar one, from the domestic league and they will need a miracle to score an upset win. Defence Saudi Arabia has been the team's strong point but their attack lacks bite. However, against an attack spearheaded by Messi, they must expect to leak a few goals.

Players to watch:

Argentina: Lionel Messi (forward), Emiliano Martinez (goalkeeper), Cristian Romero (defender)

Saudi Arabia: Abdulelah Al-Amri (centre-back), Yasser Al-Shahrani (left-back), Salman Al-Faraj (midfielder)

Head-to-head record

The two sides have met on four occasions, with Argentina winning twice and two draws.

3pm: Denmark v Tunisia

Dangerous Denmark open their Group D campaign against Tunisia and this match should allow them to ease into the tournament. They are overwhelming favourites to win and if they do, it will set them up conveniently for later clashes including one against defending champions France.

This year, Denmark have beaten France twice in the UEFA Nations League and after the two matches, they enjoyed a 4-1 aggregate. This will serve as a huge confidence booster for the Danes, led by star Christian Eriksen.

Tunisia will be no walk-over and have enjoyed a splendid nine-match sequence with only one defeat, which was a 5-1 thumping by favourites Brazil. Tunisia played most of the match with 10 players, and that contributed to the heavy defeat. They enjoyed wins over Mali, Chile, Iran, and Japan.

Players to watch:

Denmark: Christian Eriksen (midfielder), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (midfielder), Simon Kjaer (centre-back)

Tunisia: Dylan Bronn (defender), Ellyes Skhiri (midfielder), Aissa Laidouni (midfielder)

Head-to-head record

Denmark and Tunisia met for the first time in a pre-World Cup friendly back in May 2002. Denmark came out on top with a 2-1 win.

6pm: Mexico vs Poland

Not an easy one to predict because neither country has an overly resolute defence, and this clash could produce a few goals. Since Argentina are expected to top Group C this match could well be a shoot-out for the runner-up slot and the chance to progress to the knockout phase.

All eyes will be on the Polish striker Robert Lewandowski could single-handedly decide the outcome of this match if he is one song. Mexico would have done their homework and he will be a marked man, if not, Barcelona's Lewandowski will swing it for Poland.

Mexico will pin their hopes on Raul Jimenez who has been on the comeback trail after picking up an injury a few months ago. The Wolves striker may need a match or two before he returns to peak form. He has not played a full match in Mexico's warm-up games.

Players to watch:

Mexico: Dylan Bronn (defender), Ellyes Skhiri (midfielder), Aissa Laidouni (midfielder)

Poland: Wojciech Szczesny (goalkeeper), Jan Bednarek (centre-back), Grzegorz Krychowiak (defensive midfielder)

Head-to-head record

Mexico and Poland have played 8 times. Each have 3 wins, while there have been 2 draws.

9pm: France vs Australia

Two-time World Cup winners (1984, 2000) France have been haunted by the defending champion's curse after the loss of stand-out players. First to go in the injury list were midfielders Pogba and N'Golo Kante and then the hammer blow followed. Ballon D'Or winning striker Karim Benzema was ruled out of the tournament by a thigh injury.

The injury-hit France side begin the defence of their global title when they tackle Australia in the Group D opener at the Al Janoub Stadium. The two nations met in a group match in Russia and a late own goal handed France a 2-1 win. Later they would go on to win the World Cup.

Australia's Socceroos are aiming to end a run of three successive group-stage exits. They have enjoyed an excellent run of victories in warm-up matches could none of the opponents were of France's calibre.

Players to watch:

France: Raphael Varane (centre-back), Aurelien Tchouameni (midfielder), Kylian Mbappe (forward)

Australia: Martin Boyle (forward), Ajdin Hrustic (attacking midfielder), Awer Mabil (winger)

Head-to-head record

France and Australia have met 5 times. France won 3 times, Australia once. and one ended in a draw

Fifa continues to face backlash as gay footballer Josh Cavallo says he has lost respect for the soccer body given their stand on not allowing teams or players to don the rainbow-themed armband.

Fifa has shown football isn't a place for everyone, says gay Australian footballer

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A post shared by J O S H C A V A L L O (@joshua.cavallo)

The clamp down on any sort of message from teams or players continues. This time Fifa’s rejected Belgium’s kit for having the word ‘Love’ in the collar …

LOOK: Fifa rejects Belgium's away shirts due to the word 'Love'

FIFA have demanded that the Belgium team remove the word "love" from the collar of their away shirt, sources have told ESPN.
More: https://t.co/I1rMfeZQmS pic.twitter.com/cvBGFRjbSs

— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 21, 2022

Missed last night’s action? Don’t worry we got you covered!

Wales got a fortuitous draw against the USA in their first game of the tournament. None other than Gareth Bale got a match saving penalty in a game that had 9 minutes of extra time!

Earlier, late goals by Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen gave the Netherlands a 2-0 victory over African champions Senegal on their return to the World Cup stage.

England fans meanwhile, I am sure can’t help but think ‘it’s coming home’ after yesterday’s 6-2 win over Iran.

Iran's players did not sing their national anthem before the game, in apparent support for anti-government protesters in their homeland.

Here’s our Live Blog from Monday, the first day with a lot of football action but today also promises to be action packed as there are four games on.

IOL Sport

Original Article