World Cup winners & losers: Day 3

World Cup winners & losers: Day 3

Give me a second. Simply attempting to work out if there have been any notable tales from all of yesterday’s motion on the 2022 Qatar World Cup, a match of inflated stadium attendances and stoppage time however in any other case a fantastic showcase for Harry ‘Slabhead’ Maguire’s aerial prowess at attacking corners.

There was the small matter of Saudi Arabia tipping the footballing world on its head by beating Argentina 2-1, leaving Lionel Messi barely on the point of group stage exit in what will probably be his remaining World Cup after solely a single recreation.

Given how abject each Mexico and Poland regarded in Group C’s different recreation, there’s nonetheless a slither of hope for Messi and firm. For now, let’s flip our consideration to one of many heroes on the day.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Grizz Khan and Jack Gallagher to look again on France ’98 as a part of the ‘Our World Cup’ sequence. We make a journey down reminiscence lane – be a part of us!

If you cannot see the podcast embed, click on here to obtain or hearken to the episode in full!

Herve Renard

Herve Renard one way or the other seems like this in each single picture / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages

On condition that Saudi Arabia supervisor Herve Renard already seems like this – a person who would not look misplaced stealing James Bond’s newest love curiosity, or pummelling him to dying in a stairwell – he ought to most likely be thought-about a winner each single day of the week and twice on Wednesday.

Actually twice this Wednesday after he masterminded one of many greatest upsets we have ever seen at a World Cup, with Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia!) getting back from behind to stun Argentina. Add to {that a} résumé containing two African Cup of Nations titles with each Zambia (Zambia!) and Ivory Coast and a wardrobe filled with the crispest, tightest white shirts you’ve got ever seen in your life, and Renard is simply killing all of it spherical.

Argentina players leave the field following their defeat against Saudi Arabia

Argentina’s 36-game unbeaten streak got here to an abrupt finish / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages

It was probably the most inauspicious of begins for Argentina, who landed in Qatar as one of many pre-tournament favourites together with Brazil. Whereas many below the age of 15 years previous could be fast to level out that Messi is the de facto loser right here and ‘wants to carry that L’, or one thing, I might fairly grant loser standing to your entire nation of 46 million individuals fairly than single out the best footballer of all time.

Oh, and simply so as to add, Jack Grealish’s aim in opposition to Iran additionally broke the report for many passes within the build-up to a World Cup aim. So maintain that L, Esteban Cambiasso, Argentina and your *checking notes, scoffing uncontrollably* in any other case beautiful 24-pass effort in 2006. That Hernan Crespo backheel does nonetheless belong within the Louvre, nonetheless.

Salem Aldawsari, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul

The second of the World Cup thus far / Stefan Matzke – sampics/GettyImages

Bringing the ball down on a velvet cushion, skinning two gamers and curling within the single most vital aim in your nation’s footballing historical past is, in distinction, ‘an enormous W’ and/or ‘a monstrous dub’. Cue the memes of Robbie from AFTV with a cigar in his mouth or sat on a aircraft or simply standing there wanting more than happy with himself.

Take a bow then, Salem Al-Dawsari, a participant as soon as described by (who else) Bafetimbi Gomis as the perfect in your entire continent of Asia. It is not my place as a soccer journalist to touch upon the validity of that assertion, however I’ll add that his nickname is ‘The Twister’, so… make of that what you’ll.

Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski missed a penalty for Poland for under the second time / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Whereas largely nameless for a lot of Poland’s opening recreation in opposition to Mexico, Robert Lewandowski had the prospect to place his staff in entrance from the penalty spot and rating a primary World Cup aim within the course of. Enter Guillermo Ochoa.

Guillermo Ochoa

It would not be a World Cup with out this man in aim / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

No World Cup is full with out North America’s best brick wall impersonator Guillermo Ochoa, nor his devastating hair and headband combo. That is now the Mexico captain’s fifth match and there was no higher method to rejoice that and cap quantity 132 than getting down low to his left to disclaim Lewandowski’s spot-kick. Ochoa is 37 years previous, but in addition, one way or the other, everlasting.

Olivier Giroud

36 years previous however nonetheless a nuisance within the field / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

With Karim Benzema out of the match by way of damage it was as much as probably the most good-looking carthorse in soccer Olivier Giroud to steer the French ahead line, as he did 4 years in the past throughout their triumph in Russia.

He did so in opposition to Australia with aplomb, bringing the perfect out of Kylian Mbappe to his left and scoring his 51st worldwide aim – bringing him stage with Thierry Henry as his nation’s joint all-time high goalscorer – as France ran away snug 4-1 winners.

Add to that famend lump Kieffer Moore’s spectacular show after approaching for Wales at half-time on Sunday, and it has been a fantastic begin to the match for one of many WWF’s most endangered species: the easy goal man. Let’s not discuss Andreas Cornelius’ miss from point-blank vary for Denmark, please. He would not depend.

Denmark v Tunisia: FIFA World Cup 2022

Denmark and Tunisia performed out a chaotic 0-0 draw, greatest summarised by Cornelius’ facial features right here / Anadolu Company/GettyImages

A World Cup would not be full with out sedative 0-0 attracts that make you yearn for membership soccer, would it not? We have been handled to 2 on Tuesday.

Reality be instructed, Denmark’s stalemate in opposition to Tunisia was about as enthralling as a 0-0 could possibly be, with thrills and spills at each ends, 10 minutes of stoppage time and late penalty drama. It did, nonetheless, include John Hartson, a co-commentator who talks about soccer with all the eagerness and enlightenment of an illiterate Medieval peasant describing methods to plough a area. No offence, John.

Mexico versus Poland, which didn’t include John Hartson, was one way or the other even worse.

Preserve religion, World Cup purists watching each recreation. We will probably be rewarded quickly sufficient. I sort, having simply watched Croatia and Morocco fumble their approach by way of Wednesday’s morning recreation out of the nook of my eye. With John Hartson on comms.

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