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Argentina, Poland Recover From Poor World Cup Starts, France Reach Knockout Stage

Australia pips Tunisia as North African side on the brink of elimination

4 mins read

Second round of matches in Group C and D were played on Saturday with strong pre tournament favourites reclaiming some pride after their first group defeats.

Prime Business Africa here presents how things went down in the games and the impact those results have as teams chase knockout berths.

Tunisia on Saturday lost 1-0 to Australia in their second Group D match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar which could ominously mean a group stage elimination.

The Carthage Eagles had held Denmark to a goalless draw in their first game on Tuesday and will face holders France in the last group match.

The defeat and the quality of opposition to come next means that there is little or no hopes for the north African team to advance to the round of 16 stages.

In the second game of the day, Saudi Arabia who had caused a huge upset against one of the tournament favourites, Argentina, prompting a national holidays in their home country were defeated 2-0 by Poland in the second game of the day.

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The Poland versus Saudi Arabia match prior to the start of the World Cup was never considered a game to cause a considerable amount of curiosity but following the superb performance of the Green Falcons against Argentina who they defeated 2-1, most football faithful had eyes on the Saudis.

The upset was never repeated as the Poles claimed all three points through Piotr Zielinski and Robert Lewandowski in the second half.

 

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Saudi Arabia will need to win their last game of the group stage against Mexico and hope that Argentina do them a favour by winning against Mexico.

In the evening fixture which kicked off at 5pm Nigerian time on Saturday, tournament champions France avoided an embarrassing outcome as they beat Denmark 2-0, Kylian Mbappe with the double.

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The Les Bleus as defending champions in 2002, after winning in 1998 as hosts, exited the tournament hosted by Korea and Japan after loading to supposedly weaker teams like Senegal in the group stages.

The French side at this World Cup are keen to avoid such a humiliation and have taken charge of their destiny even in the face of a number of absences of star players through injuries.

There are plenty of candidates for a second place finish at this World Cup and it will be difficult to ascertain who gets it.

 

Mbappe celebrates brace against Denmark

 

Only France is well above the qualities of the other three teams.

Argentina bounced back from an opening group match with a laboured win against Mexico albeit the quality of the goals by Lionel Messi and Enzo Hernandez whom ace commentator Peter Drury aptly described as “worthy of praises after tiptoeing the mercurial midfielder’s shoes.”

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The round of 16 looms large for the French side but the Danes are on a spot of bother.

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