Argentina Still Alive

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Qatar 2022: Matchday 7


By Gerald Lutchman

ARGENTINA kept the dream alive, France qualifies for the next round, Australia collects all three points and Poland is on the brink as Day 7 of the Qatar 2022 World Cup came to an end on Saturday.

France became the first team to qualify for the second-round lead by a double from Kylian Mbappe the prolific young striker from France.

Argentina 2 vs Mexico 0

In a must-win match, Lionel Messi stepped up at the Lusail Stadium in front of 88,966 fans and punched Argentina ahead and then a stunning strike from Enzo Fernandez sealed the win.

Initially, Argentina seemed to be unsettled and could not break the Mexican defence. The Mexicans seemed the more accomplished team in the first 45 minutes with the better chances.

One touch to control the ball and another to fire it across the turf into the net. These two touches kept the World Cup dream alive for Messi (63rd) and a brilliant strike from Fernandez (87th) ensured the South Americans attained their first three points.

This win still may not be enough to get them out because Mexico can beat Saudi Arabia, but more importantly, if Saudi Arabia get the better of Mexico then they will have six points. Poland at four points will qualify with a draw against Argentina. Remember Saudi have three points from a victory over Argentina.

Saturday’s was not a game with a lot of goal-mouth action with only nine shots in total at the goal from both sides. Argentina had two shots on target and both were goals.

France 2 vs Denmark 1

A double strike from Kylian Mbappe in the 61st and 86th was enough to steal a win for France in a game where they were seriously tested. France had an amazing 21 shots at goal with seven on target as Denmark replied with ten and two on target in an exciting encounter.

Anderas Christensen equalised in the 68th and it seemed that Denmark would have pressed on and troubled France. It was not to be as Mbappe again stole the show. At only 23 years Mbappe has seven World Cup goals. Antoine Griezmann’s contribution should not be taken lightly as the Atlético Madrid man has created nine chances in two games for France.

This was an exciting game with lots of action and twists. At one-point Denmark seemed the more likely winner.

Australia 1 vs Tunisia 0

In an energetic and thrilling game Australia came out on top with a goal from Mitchell Duke in the 23rd minute. Tunisia will feel that they deserved better- sometimes the football gods are not with your team. They dominated with 59% of the possession and had 24 shots with four on target compared to Australia’s two.

Like so many other teams in this competition, Tunisia was unable to convert possession into goals and this was a serious issue as they had to give up all the points. They are yet to get on the scoresheet.

Australia vs Denmark will determine the second-placed team because it is unlikely that Tunisia will defeat France.

Poland 2 vs Saudi Arabia 0

Robert Lewandowsky (82nd) finally got a goal in the World Cup helping Poland to gain all three points. He had a great game with a goal and an assist. Piotr Zielinski 39th minute strike gave Poland the lead. They never looked as though they would lose this game knowing that Argentina had suffered to the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia dominated this game with 64% possession and 16 shots at goal. In football, goals win matches and not possession. This Saudi team has shown that it can stand up to any team and will always fight to the end. This is what we love to see.

Tomorrow’s games and predictions:

Japan 2 vs costa Rica 0           6 am Group E

Belgium 2 Vs Morocco 1           9 am Group F

Croatia 1 vs Canada 2             12 noon   Group F

Spain 2 vs Germany 2               3 pm Group E


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