World Cup 2022: Saudi Arabia loses to Mexico, Tunisia says goodbye to the tournament despite defeating France
The Saudi national team dropped out of the group stage after losing 2-1 to Mexico, and Tunisia said goodbye despite beating France, the holders of the 2018 edition Qatar.
Argentina also qualified for the round of 16, leaders in Group C, along with Poland, who qualified ahead of Mexico on goal difference.
In the Saudi-Mexico game, Mexico took the lead in the second half by scoring two goals against Saudi Arabia and stayed in the lead by two goals throughout the game until injury time.
The goals were scored by Mexico’s Henri Martin and Luis Chavez, while Saudi Arabia’s only goal came from striker Salem Al-Dosari in added time.
The first half of the game ended without a goal despite efforts by both sides to equalize early on, but the Mexican team were closer to goal than their Saudi opponents.
Argentina, leaders of Group C, qualified for the round of 16 after beating Poland with two clean goals from Max Allister and Julian Alvarez.
Poland became the second qualifier from the group on goal difference from Mexico after they tied on points.
Tunisia hit France
The Tunisian national team had said goodbye to the World Cup despite the 1-0 win over France.
The French national team qualified as leaders of Group D with six points, followed by the second-placed team Australia, also with six points but on goal difference after they defeated Denmark by a goal without conceding.
The Tunisian national team went into the game against France with no choice but to win to advance to the round of 16, while the French national team had already secured qualification after winning the opening two games against Australia and Denmark.
Tunisia coach Jalal Al-Qadri made six changes to his side’s starting line-up against France, the most prominent of which was left-back Ali Maaloul, playing for Egypt’s Al-Ahly.
France coach Didier Deschamps decided to rest his most prominent players after qualifying and made nine complete changes to his squad against Tunisia.
Tunisia started the game with great enthusiasm and was the best in the first 15 minutes and scored a goal, but the referee canceled the game for offside, but France soon entered the atmosphere of the game and the first half ended in a goalless draw.
Tunisia scored the only goal of the game in the 58th minute through Wahbi Khazri, who became the most Arab player to score in World Cup history with three goals, along with Saudi star Sami Al-Jaber.
France scored a goal in the eighth minute of calculated time instead of being lost by Antoine Griezmann, but the referee voided it for offside after returning to mouse technique.
Tunisia have never skipped the group stage at a World Cup in their last five appearances.
In the past, Tunisia and France have met in four games in which France won two games and two games ended in a draw.
In the second game of the same group, Australia defeated Denmark by a goalless goal and qualified as runners-up for the round of 16.
France and Australia play with the Group C qualifiers, which include Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Poland and Mexico.
The Saudi national team is third in the group with three points, on goal difference behind second-placed Argentina national team.
Poland tops the table with four points while Mexico is bottom of the group with one point.
The Saudi team must achieve a positive result to qualify for the round of 16 as a defeat means they are eliminated from the final.
Saudi Arabia’s win over Mexico secures qualification for the second round regardless of the outcome of the second game between Poland and Argentina.
However, in the event that the game between Saudi Arabia and Mexico ends in a draw, Saudi Arabia’s chances depend on the outcome of the other game, since then Poland must win and Argentina must not achieve a positive result.
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