A shock for the ages, more criticism from Qatar and the defending champions started with a victory – Tuesday was quite the day at the World Cup.
Saudi Arabia stunned one of the tournament favourites, Argentina, but it was business as usual for France, while Denmark v Tunisia and Mexico v Poland both ended in draws. without any goal.
Here we summarize the events in Qatar.
Saudi stars stun Argentina
Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in one of the biggest upsets of the World Cup.
Despite Lionel Messi’s penalty in the first half, Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari scored soon after the break and a resolute defensive effort secured a 2-1 win.
Saudi coach Hervé Renard said: “We prepared very well and all the stars in the sky were in the same line for us. They have amazing players, but that’s football. Sometimes crazy things can happen.
Messi, after becoming the fifth player to score in four different World Cups, said: “It’s a very tough blow for everyone.”
Keane Qatar Blast
Roy Keane has said the World Cup should not be held in Qatar and accused the country of lacking “common decency” with its human rights record.
Qatar has come under increased scrutiny since hosting the tournament in controversial circumstances, with a focus on its treatment of women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and migrant workers.
Keane, working as a pundit for ITV, said: “The World Cup shouldn’t be here. It has been mentioned with corruption regarding FIFA. The country, the way they treat migrant workers, gay people.
“We all love football and we are about to broadcast the game, but casually dismissing human rights because of a football tournament is not right. It shouldn’t be here.
Giroud levels up
Olivier Giroud equaled France’s all-time goalscoring record as his brace helped the holders recover from an early scare to do some light work on Australia and start their World Cup defense with a comfortable victory.
A number of injuries plagued the French side ahead of the final and they were stunned when Craig Goodwin opened the scoring after nine minutes before rallying to register a 4-1 victory.
Adrien Rabiot equalized before setting up Giroud for his 50th goal in France. Kylian Mpabbe took the lead in the third before Giroud struck again to equalize Thierry Henry’s record.
Even with Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe, Christopher Nkunku and Paul Pogba all missing the final through injury and Raphael Varane just fit enough for the bench, Les Bleus have shown their tournament credentials.
Tweet of the day
Who’s next ?
Group E: Germany v Japan (1300, ITV1), Spain v Costa Rica (1600, ITV1)
Group F: Morocco v Croatia (1300, ITV1), Belgium v Canada (1900, BBC One)