Match of the day: Mexico 2 – 1 Saudi Arabia
It was a tough choice for the slot, because none of today’s four games are great displays of the sport. But considering how much tension and drama they bring in relation to each other, this makes for some of the best viewing a World Cup can offer. For weirdos like us who keep two TVs in the living room, this is our reward, justification, or reason for being.
Anyway, Mexico went home because they failed to score one more goal needed. For the first time at this tournament, and indeed for the first time after more, Mexico looks like a real attacking threat. Saudi Arabia tried to adopt the same move, at least from the start, as they did with Argentina, with a line-up going crazy behind their striker in the midfield, basically surround the midfield line and try to squeeze the play into the 10-15 yard area. But while Argentina is built on short, complex passes, patiently moving up the court, Mexico has more room to play direct, hit through the ball and take the lead. And let’s make it clear again, the Saudi scheme only worked on Argentina thanks to Lautaro Martinez is offside by two inches, possibly. It was just a stroke of luck as well as a cunning scheme.
So Mexico created loads of chances, but that’s been their taboo for most of the cycle, or at least since Raul Jimenez was injured two years ago, they haven’t had a striker. what for sure. Jesus Corona’s injury before the tournament only exacerbated this problem, making Chucky Lozano their only world-class offensive player. No wonder Mexico’s two goals in the second half came from set pieces.
However, Mexico has given their fans a thrill, if only a cheap thrill in the end. As they threw most of the country’s time into Saudi Arabia’s goal, they scored twice in five minutes, giving both Group C games the advantage. Thanks to Argentina leading 2-0, the overall goal difference of both Mexico and Poland returned to zero. That means that Poland’s plan has since been entangled in the mentality of just kicking an own goal. home to take advantage of the terrifying goal difference. giving Argentina more space to score again. Or they can sit idly by, try to knock out Argentina and take advantage of fair-play points (yellow cards and red cards). It was easier for Mexico to attack, which was to score again against a Saudi team that was basically eliminated. And if that doesn’t work, they can hope Graham Zusi suddenly became the Argentinian, came on as a substitute in the match against Poland, and defended them again. Both did not happen.
There is, of course, another turning point. Saudi Arabia scored an own goal in injury time, thereby helping Poland have the goal difference again. But, Mexico still only needs one more goal, because if they get it, they will go through thanks to the scoring rule. But they couldn’t find it, and I guess they might have felt better going through on goal difference instead of fair-play points, as most of the second half was ready to take them away. next. Though most of us would chuckle forever and probably break a kidney if Mexicans ate it because they’re a bit dirtier than Poland.
Argentina 2 – 0 Poland
As we said, Poland almost got a place in the knockout round with them more than they did anything to win it. Nobody expected Poland to try to hold the ball on par with Argentina, and it wasn’t a bad plan to knock them down and try to counter-attack. After all, it worked for someone in this league. The point of that is that you have to at least try the second part, or even think about the second, or it seems like you know how the second part works, or you’ve tried the second part in the near past. this.
Poland had nothing to offer in this match, and Robert Lewandowski was so isolated by his teammates that he began to paint his face on the volleyball. The Poles can only slam the ball in the direction they hope Lewandowski will come, and if he can somehow do it, he will have to hold the ball for three minutes before any of his teammates can join. join him. This is basically Poland in every league they attend, which seems a pity because there are players here. They should be able to more than just see if they cast a shadow outside of their 18s every seven minutes.
Poland can thank their goalkeeper for coming forward. Wojciech Szczęsny It looks like he could surpass Tim Howard’s record of saves in a World Cup game, and he might have had to if Argentina hadn’t called the dogs most of the time in the last 10 minutes. . He saved a Messi penalty, that’s how Poland got past the group stage, and made eight other saves.
Panic over Argentina is always magnified after the opening loss. After all, Spain lost their first game in 2010. They’re in the final stages of lightning being put in a bottle, and have grown in the last two games and look pretty sharp. The first half against Mexico was terrible. The second half is better. The first half against Poland was pretty good, the second half was better. Today’s big change was that Martinez was dropped from the starting line-up to make way for Julian Alvarez, and he responded with six shots and a second goal. Enzo Fernandez, Rodrigo De Paul, and Alexis Mac Allisterthere’s not really much to do in midfield, given how eager Poland are to play, but it’s a scary steel wall for the real teams in the next league to bandage.
France 0 – 1 Tunisia, Denmark 0 – 1 Australia
Like the heck of Group C, the morning saw two must-see games together in Group D. Neither game was great. France sent team B out because they had it ready for all intents and purposes. The Australian plan has always been the same, it’s to work hard, defend and see what they can compete for if given the chance. The boy did them.
The headline here is that Denmark are out after reaching the semi-finals of the European Championship just 16 months ago (and have a very questionable penalty to knock them out). But they can’t really have any arguments, because they look tasteless for most of the tournament. Their hopes really hinged on what they would do in the opening game against Tunisia, and they were never really threatened. The Danes’ worry has always been that they don’t have a striker, or even a striker, that they can count on to finish off any chance they create.
And Christian Eriksen the whale is a great story, we’ve said before great stories don’t win on their own. Australia did not find it too difficult to deal with the Danish plan. They simply always had one or two people standing around Eriksen. Eriksen is not Luka Modric, in that he cannot dribble into space to then unleash his sublime vision and pass. He’s pretty quiet. Denmark does not have a Plan B.
Without Eriksen at the Euros, the Danes had to find different ways to score, whether it was attacking the full-back or pushing Pierre-Emile H.ojbjerg into a more offensive role or anything else. We basically don’t see that in this tournament, with everyone waiting for Eriksen to get things going. In a game they were forced to win, against a very limited Australia, they produced only 0.65 xG and three shots on target. Compare that to Mexico who, in a similar situation, has piled up 11.
But let’s play fair with Australia, who know who they are and did it to the end. They were barely threatened by Denmark and took their only chance. And it turned out they needed that goal when Tunisia beat JV France. Only the most addicted kangaroo can get an Australian to collect six points in this group, but here we are. And hey, we get videos like this.
Goals for the day: Well, they could have gotten back on the plane but Mexico provided us with this Luis Chavez free kick. Soak, son:
Edict for the deceased – Mexico
I’ll try to keep my glee about America’s biggest rival bringing home their chewing gum…and fail miserably. One wonders if Memo Ochoa still thinks the US wants to see Mexico in the mirror now, dingus.
It’s really not that much of a shock when Mexico returns home, because it’s one of the least impressive Mexican teams in recent memory. As noted above, they have no outstanding strikers and Corona’s injury has stripped Lozano of the advantage on the other side. But this is Mexico, and they should have had more depth than witness an injury that left them running out of answers.
We saw them in four games against the US and Canada in qualifying. They didn’t win any of them. They scored a goal. In fact, they should have lost all four.
This will likely create a lot of self-reflection in Mexico, and it should. Mexico is said to be the third most populous country on the planet where football is the main sport, after Brazil and Nigeria. It has three times the population of Argentina. It has a hugely popular tournament. But either by their own stupidity, or corruption, or arrogance, or by some combination of the three, they stagnated. Mexico shouldn’t worry about reaching the quarterfinals as a form of their own Valhalla. They should be worried about winning that damn thing. And they haven’t been apart for a very, very long time.
Saudi Arabic – They managed, they got a result they’ll remember forever, but you can’t beat Argentina and then fall to the ground before Poland and look forward to going on. Anyway, let’s have one last Fred right moment before they go:
Denmark – Find a striker, or just try to convince FIFA that Norway and Denmark are the same and get Erling Haaland out there. It’s FIFA, it can work.
Tunisia – Victory over France probably feels great for several reasons. At least they will have that.
Did Alexi Lalas say anything stupid?: He’s still in the USMNT glow, and we can’t blame him.
Does VAR damage anything?: In the end it was a BALL DON’T LIE, but the penalty for Argentina was too light. Yex, Szczesny caught Messi with his hand after Messi’s header, but it was a light glide. Credit to Fox’s Mark Clattenburg, though, for pointing out that if an outfield player had caught Messi with their foot after he had played, it would have been a foul. Still feels really light, but once the referral is called through the screen, it seems he is forced to change his call just to justify the time spent. It didn’t matter in the end, thank god.
Should we laugh at Mexico again?: Let’s…