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LIVE BLOG: Fifa World Cup, Day 7 – Messi inspires Argentina against Mexico

LIVE BLOG: Fifa World Cup, Day 7 - Messi inspires Argentina against Mexico

Welcome to day 7 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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FULL TIME: Argentina 2, Mexico 0

Lionel Messi thumped in a 64th minute goal and Enzo Fernandez added another late in the game to give Argentina a 2-0 victory over battling Mexico in their World Cup Group C match on Saturday and reignite their tournament hopes.

Argentina’s #FIFAWorldCup hopes stay alive! 🇦🇷@adidasfootball | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 26, 2022

HALF TIME: Argentina 0, Mexico 0

Neither side has been able to break the deadlock in the World Cup clash between Argentina and Mexico.

#ARG v #MEX remains scoreless at the half!#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 26, 2022

NEXT UP: Can Lionel Messi and Argentina get their World Cup campaign up and running when they take on Mexico?

The #ARG and #MEX starting XIs are in! #FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 26, 2022

Argentina (4-4-2): Emiliano Martinez; Gonzalo Montiel, Lisandro Martinez, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Rodrigo De Paul, Guido Rodriguez, Alexis Mac Allister, Angel Di Maria; Lionel Messi (capt), Lautaro Martinez

Mexico (5-3-2): Guillermo Ochoa; Jesus Gallardo, Hector Moreno, Cesar Montes, Nestor Araujo, Kevin Alvarez; Luis Chavez, Andres Guardado (capt), Hector Herrera; Alexis Vega, Hirving Lozano

FULL TIME: France 2, Denmark 1

Reigning champions France became the first team to advance to the next round of the World Cup after beating Denmark 2-1 at Stadium 974 in Doha on Saturday evening.

France get the win! 🇫🇷
The holders are the first team into the last 16 at #Qatar2022@adidasfootball | #FIFAWorldCup

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 26, 2022

HALF TIME: France 0, Denmark 0

Neither side has been able to break the deadlock in the clash between world champion France and Denmark.

Level at the break ⚖#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 26, 2022

FULL TIME: Poland 2, Saudi Arabia 0

After their improbable win against Argentina earlier this week, Saudi Arabia have been brought back down to Earth. Piotr Zielinski’s first half strike, and a late second half goal by Robert Lewandowski saw Poland pick up all three points from the clash.

HALF TIME: Poland 1, Saudi Arabia 0

Piotr Zielinski’s 39th minute strike sees Poland go into the break ahead during their World Cup clash against a Saudi Arabia side looking for their second win after their improbable win against Argentina earlier this week.

⏱ Poland lead at the break after an action-packed first half! #FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 26, 2022

Teams for Poland v Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia named Salem Al-Dawsari, the player whose goal earned them a famous victory against Argentina in their World Cup opener, as captain for their second match against Poland on Saturday.

Poland are captained again by Robert Lewandowski, the Barcelona forward who is still looking for the first World Cup goal of his career after he missed a penalty in his side’s opening 0-0 draw with Mexico.

Salman Al-Faraj, who usually captains Saudi Arabia, is not in the starting line-up after suffering an injury in the team's opening match.

Argentina face Mexico in the other Group C match later Saturday.

Poland (4-4-2)

Wojciech Szczesny; Kamil Glik, Jakub Kiwior, Matty Cash, Bartosz Bereszynski; Grzegorz Krychowiak, Piotr Zielinski, Przemyslaw Frankowski, Krystian Bielik; Arkadiusz Milik, Robert Lewandowski (capt)

Coach: Czeslaw Michniewicz (POL)

Saudi Arabia (4-1-4-1)

Mohammed Al-Owais; Abdulelah Al-Amri, Ali Al-Bulayhi, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Saud Abdulhamid; Abdulelah Al-Malki; Sami Al-Naji, Mohamed Kanno, Feras Al-Brikan, Salem Al-Dawsari (capt); Saleh Al-Shehri

Coach: Herve Renard (FRA)

Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)

Up next … Poland v Saudi Arabia

Fulltime : Tunisia 0-1 Australia

Tunisia pushed hard for a equaliser against Australia but it just didn’t come. Mathew Lecki came agonisingly close to doubling the lead at 71 minutes but it wasn’t meant to be. The African side not face a tough battle to ensure they qualify out of the group.

Halftime: Tunisia 0-1 Australia

It was a goal close to perfection as Mitchell Duke scored the opener against Tunisia and it turned out to be the only goal of the half. Soccerros defender Harry Soutarr make a goal saving in the 40th minute tackle to preserve their lead going into the break. Tunisia have had their moments but didn’t take their chances.

💥 𝗗𝗨𝗞𝗘 💥#FIFAWorldCup | #AUS pic.twitter.com/HQxviw1bZe

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 26, 2022

Here’s team news for the first game of the day …

Australia coach Graham Arnold made one injury-enforced change for Saturday's World Cup clash against Tunisia with Fran Karacic coming in for Nathaniel Atkinson.

Right-back Atkinson picked up an ankle knock in the 4-1 defeat to holders France which opened Australia's campaign in Qatar.

The 26-year-old Karacic, who plays for Brescia in Italy's second tier, made his Socceroos debut in June last year and wins his 12th cap.

Tunisia started their World Cup with a 0-0 draw against Denmark and they also make one change, as left winger Naim Sliti replaces Anis Slimane.

The 30-year-old Sliti plays in Saudi Arabia and wins his 70th cap for his country. He has scored 14 goals.

Teams for today:

Tunisia (5-3-2)

Aymen Dahmen; Montassar Talbi, Dylan Bronn, Yassine Meriah, Mohamed Drager, Ali Abdi; Aissa Laidouni, Ellyes Skhiri, Naim Sliti; Issam Jebali, Youssef Msakni (capt)

Coach: Jalel Kadri (TUN)

Australia (4-3-3)

Mathew Ryan (capt); Kye Rowles, Fran Karacic, Aziz Behich, Harry Souttar; Aaron Mooy, Riley McGree, Jackson Irvine; Mathew Leckie, Craig Goodwin, Mitchell Duke

Coach: Graham Arnold (AUS)

Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)

12pm: Tunisia vs Australia

Australia's Socceroos and Tunisia's Carthage Eagles will start Saturday's World Cup fare at the Al Janoub Stadium. The unfancied Socceroos were humbled by France in their opening game and need a result to keep their hopes of making it out of the group stage alive.

Tunisia surprised Denmark by securing a draw and that would have boosted the confidence in the ranks of the North Africans. They will be determined to claim a result in this match because their next match is against France, and they are unlikely to come away with points then.

Victory over the Aussies could set them up well for a first-ever trip to the last-16 phase. Form points to a stalemate in this clash and that could work to the advantage of the two other sides in the group, France and Denmark. The outcome of this match could be an early indication of which of the teams in the group will reach the last 16 round.

Players to watch:

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

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

Head-to-head record:

Tunisia and Australia have met twice previously. In October 1997 Australia won 3-0 and in June 2005 Tunisia exacted their revenge to secure a 2-0 victory.

3pm: Poland vs Saudi Arabia

After their colossal win over second favourites Argentina, Saudi Arabia will attempt to bag a second famous win in a row when they face Poland. It is hard to believe that the Arabic nation Saudi Arabia is capable of another upset by defeating Poland.

Saudi Arabia's win has sparked hopes that for the first time in World Cup history a Middle East team has a decent chance of reaching the knock-outs stage.

Poland underwhelmed in a goalless draw against Mexico and will target a win against the Saudis to bolster their chances of making it through to the last-16 round. Poland spurned the chance to win against Mexico when their star player Robert Lewandowski missed a penalty. Lewandowski will want to make amends and that spells trouble for the opposition.

Players to watch:

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

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

Head-to-head record

The teams have never played competitively, but played four friendlies and Poland enjoyed four wins.

6pm: France vs Denmark

After their 4-1 win over Australia, the reigning World Cup champions France need a win against Denmark to seal a place in the knock-out stages. Denmark, on the other hand, started off with a goalless draw against Tunisia.

The Danes will be desperate to avoid defeat because it could spell the end of their chances of making it through to the knock-out stages. Denmark will take a psychological advantage into the game because they are unbeaten in their last three games against France, picking up two wins and a draw.

The French have to avoid overconfidence in this game, as the Danes are well-equipped to hurt them. Denmark are a much better side than Australia and will offer the French defence a stern test. Denmark will battle to contain France’s attacking talent and despite its successes in recent clashes, France are favourites to win.

Players to watch:

France: Kylian Mbappe (forward), Olivier Giroud (striker), Aurelien Tchouameni (midfielder)

Denmark: Joakim Maehle (full-back), Yussuf Poulsen (forward), Simon Kjaer (centre-back)

Head-to-head record:

In 16 encounters between the two sides, France won eight games, lost six and two ended in draws.

9pm: Argentina vs Mexico

After their unexpected demise at the hands of unfancied Saudi Arabia, this is a must-win game for Argentina. Their game against Mexico represents Latin America's greatest football rivalry. Argentina's talisman, Lionel Messi was off-colour against the Saudis but there is little chance of him having two poor games in a row.

Let's say the Saudi result was a wake-up call and Argentina will come out firing on all cylinders we could see one of the more enthralling games of the tournament, with both teams desperate for a win. Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa was the hero against Poland, saving Robert Lewandowski's penalty to secure a point for his team. If he is in good form again, the Argentinians could be in for a hard time.

Players to watch:

Argentina: Lionel Messi (forward), Emiliano Martinez (goalkeeper), Rodrigo de Paul (midfielder)

Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa (goalkeeper), Andres Guardado (midfielder), Raul Jimenez (forward)

Head-to-head record:

Argentina and Mexico played 10 times previously. Argentina won 7, Mexico won 1 and two ended in draws.

Gareth Southgate urged England's players to block out the noise after they were booed off following a limp 0-0 draw against the United States.

"We controlled the game from the back but couldn't really open up for that really clear-cut chance."
The boss looks back on tonight's @FIFAWorldCup encounter:pic.twitter.com/kkxUm2hc8S

— England (@England) November 25, 2022

Ecuador’s “Superman” captain led a feisty fightback as the South Americans drew 1-1 with the Netherlands in Group A to keep both teams in the running for the last 16 while ending hosts Qatar’s chances of qualifying.

🙌 ¡Vamoooooooos euatorianos!
🏖️ El malecón de Al Corniche, en Doha, fue el epicentro de una fiesta Tricolor que dio la vuelta al mundo por el sentimiento de una hinchada que hoy alentará sin parar ante Países Bajos.#HaremosHistoria🇪🇨 pic.twitter.com/0AccK9bE86

— FEF 🇪🇨 (@FEFecuador) November 25, 2022

“Gutted” Gareth Bale could not hide his disappointment after Iran scored two goals in injury time to leave Wales in deep trouble.

A superb finish to seal the win for IR Iran! 🇮🇷#LetItFly with @qatarairways pic.twitter.com/0JKljHPM9k

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 25, 2022

Here’s Friday’s Live Blog if you missed any of the day’s action or just want to recap what unfolded.

IOL Sport

Original Article