Qatar 2022: A round up of day three of the 2022 Qatar World Cup which saw an incredible upset, and possibly the most boring match in World Cup history.

Herve Renard's Saudi Arabia gets one over Messi's Argentina, Ochoa reigns supreme, and France mauls Australia as Denmark and Tunisia play out the worst game at the World Cup so far.

Day three at the Qatar 2022 World Cup was one for the history books

The old betting phrase "don’t back the early kickoff" rings true again as the Qatar 2022 World Cup saw its first major upset, amidst other predictable results, another Guillermo Ochoa World Cup masterclass, and yet another scoring record.


The result that no one saw coming, well, except that one guy on Twitter. Argentina were expected to dominate the Arabs in a show of strength and intent, but instead they were outclassed by a team led by the brilliant Herve Renard of Saudi Arabia, who executed his game plan flawlessly to end Argentina's 36-match unbeaten streak under Lionel Scaloni.

Their combination of a high line and a high press caught Argentina off guard, and La Albiceleste could not cope with either. Lautaro Martinez and Lionel Messi were repeatedly caught out by Saudi Arabia’s offside traps, and although they had the ball in the net on three occasions, only Messi’s 10th-minute winner counted, while the rest were ruled out for offside.

After the break, Saudi Arabia came out with the type of energy that had people questioning their midgame snacks, as they dominated the Argentines in a tightly packed midfield while showing a serious attacking threat of their own.

Within three minutes of the restart, Saudi Arabia had equalised, and with less than 10 minutes played after halftime, they took an improbable lead against themighty Argentina. It was a lead that would not be relinquished.

After taking the lead, they limited Argentina to mostly speculative chances, employing every trick in the dark arts of football playbook. They finished the match with six yellow cards, all earned in the second half, all earned after they took the lead, with two being for time-wasting, two for fouls, and two for arguing with the referee about those fouls.

With only their second win at the World Cup since 1998, Saudi Arabia have now set themselves up to do something special if they can get just one more point from their remaining two games.

Easily the most drab game so far at the World Cup, this game barely deserves a roundup, as both teams served up the first goalless draw of Qatar 2022.

Denmark, who were billed as one of the dark horses for the title, were as bleak in their attempts to breach Tunisia’s defence as the barely visible badge on their shirt.

It appears they spent more time worrying about the best ways to protest against the Qatari state and stick it to the World Cup organisers than they did training for the tournament itself.

Had they faced a better team with quicker forwards on the day, they could have suffered a blowout defeat, as Tunisia failed time and again to take advantage of the many gaps left in behind as Denmark overexerted themselves with stale passes in the middle third trying to force a chance against the North Africans.

That is not to say Tunisia were terrible; they fashioned better chances in the first half before their legs and fitness gave out in the second period.

One would expect that the Eagles of Carthage would be more used to the conditions in Qatar, but they struggled for fitness and just managed to hang on in the final moments of the game, surviving a missed goal line chance by Denmark and a VAR penalty review in the 94th minute that would have put paid to all their hard work throughout the match.

In the end, a 0-0 score was probably a just result for a match the likes of which nobody hopes will be repeated at the World Cup.

The Guillermo Ochoa show once again at the World Cup for Mexico. Despite turning 37 years old this July, Ochoa showed that there is still some magic left in the gloves as he pulled off a man of the match performance to earn Mexico a draw against Poland.

In a keenly contested fixture at the temporary Stadium 974 in Ras Abu Aboud, Qatar, the teams appeared to be evenly matched and headed for a draw until Hector Moreno brought down Robert Lewandowski in the penalty area and referee Chris Beath pointed to the spot after consulting the Video Assistant Referee.

Ochoa denied Lewandowski with a brilliant feint before his dive in the right direction, leaving Poland's record goalscorer still searching for his first World Cup goal in what could be his final World Cup tournament.

From then on, both teams continued to cancel each other out, resulting in the most predictable 0-0 draw in football history. It ended with spoils being shared and Argentina and Saudi Arabia left to play for both sides; I suppose there could be worse ways to start off your World Cup campaigns.

France overcame an early scare to beat Australia comfortably in the first match of their World Cup defence with a routine 4-1 win over the Socceroos.

This is already going better for them than their last World Cup defence, which saw them fail to pick up a win or score a goal.

After conceding in the ninth minute to a Craig Goodwin goal, France held their nerve and proceeded to beat the fear of God into their Tuesday night opponents, as goals from Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud (assisted by Rabiot) had France in the lead even before half time.

The second half was a complete show of dominance.

In addition to Kylian Mbappe’s goal and Giroud’s second goal (also assisted by Mbappe), France limited Australia to zero shots on goal for the second 45 minutes while holding on to 64% possession and creating three big chances.

It was an unfair matchup on paper, and for the only time in today's fixtures, that is exactly what played out as France ran out convincing winners while amassing 4.18xG to Australia’s 0.43xG.

The only blight on the night for France was another injury blow that saw Lucas Hernandez replaced after only 13 minutes by his brother Theo Hernandez, but on the bright side, Giroud’s brace saw him equal Thierry Henry’s record for France, becoming the joint top scorer in the country’s history.


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