Want more soccer? The World Cup has got it — more than 100 minutes of stoppage time soccer, actually.

Lionel Messi‘s chase for his first World Cup trophy started with a stunning defeat to Saudi Arabia, which makes things interesting in Group C. Mexico held off Poland thanks to the heroics of veteran keeper Guillermo Ochoa in a scoreless draw. 

The reigning champion France dominated Australia to wrap Day 3 of the World Cup group stages. Olivier Giroud made history with two goals for Les Bleus to put them at the top of Group D.

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MEET THE TEAMS: Every player on USA, Mexico and Canada

Despite Australia taking the initial lead, defending champion France dominated the final 81 minutes of the game even without Karim Benzema and other key players. Olivier Giroud scored two goals for Les Bleus to tie Thierry Henry for the most goals in national team history. Kylian Mbappe had several shots on goal and his first score of the tournament, a header in the 68th minute. 

France will play Denmark while Australia takes on Tunisia on Saturday. Denmark and Tunisia tied in their Group D opener.

Group D standings:

  • France, 3 points, +3 GD
  • Tunisia, 1 point, 0 GD
  • Denmark, 1 point, 0 GD
  • Australia, 0 points, -3 GD

After several missed attempts, Kylian Mbappe finally got his first goal of the 2022 World Cup, a header in the 67th minute.

The 23-year-old star then tossed an assist to his teammate Olivier Giroud for a header that put France up 4-1. This is Giroud’s second goal of the game after he failed to score at all in Les Bleus’ winning campaign in 2018. Giroud is now tied with Thierry Henry with 51 goals, the most in France team history.

DOHA, Qatar — Welcome fans of the U.S. men and Wales. It’s going to be a bit crowded because we didn’t expect the Argentina contingent to be joining us, but we’ll make do.

Your first game at the World Cup didn’t go quite as planned. Or at all as planned for Lionel Messi and the Albiceleste. But fear not. There’s still a path out of the group — to the final even! – and one bad result doesn’t necessarily have to derail your entire World Cup.

I know you know this, but it’s worth repeating: The top two teams in each group after three games advance to the knockout rounds. Yes, whether you win the group or finish second plays a role in your title hopes but, for now, let’s just worry on getting out of the group.

Drawing against England would mean the USMNT would likely have to beat Iran on Tuesday. Though that’s also dependent on what happens in the Wales-Iran game earlier Friday, and the USMNT will have the benefit of knowing that result before it kicks off against England.

Now, as for Argentina. Go ahead, have a good cry, eat your feelings and do whatever else you need to do to forget about that 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, perhaps the biggest upset in World Cup history.

“The truth? Dead,” Messi said afterward. “It’s a very hard blow because we did not expect to start in this way.”

I know it seems like a tall ask, but remember that Spain lost its first game in 2010 and things turned out pretty well for Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta and Co.

— Nancy Armour, USA TODAY Sports

Read the full column here.

Despite Australia taking the early lead, France stormed back with two goals for the 2-1 score. Les Bleus had several other opportunities with 11 total shots on goal. Kylian Mbappe almost had a score of his own that he overkicked right at the net. Australia’s Jackson Irvine had a shot at the equalizing goal in extra time, but his header bounced off the post.

Olivier Giroud took the lead for France with a strike from the center of the box to capture a 2-1 lead. He got the assist from Adrien Rabiot, who scored Les Bleus’ first goal. This is Grioud’s 50th career goal.

France scored its first goal of the World Cup to tie Australia 1-1 in the 26th minute. Adrien Rabiot scored with a header to the center of the goal.

Australia scored the first goal of its World Cup against defending champion France. In the ninth minute, Mathew Leckie passed the ball across the field to Craig Goodwin, who kicked in the goal to put Australia up 1-0.

France is led by 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe as it seeks to defend its World Cup title. Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema will not play in the tournament due to a leg injury. Goalkeeper Mathew Ryan serves as Australia’s captain.

The daunting prospect of having to face defending World Cup champion in his team’s opening match certainly hasn’t affected Australia coach Graham Arnold’s sense of humor.

A day after France defender Ibrahima Konaté said he didn’t know any of the names in Australia’s squad, Arnold questioned the player’s television habits.

“Doesn’t he have Paramount Plus?” Arnold said Monday, referring to the media platform that broadcasts A-League soccer.

The response drew plenty of laughter.

Arnold said his players should soak up the occasion at Al Janoub Stadium.

“These kids have a lot of talent and I know their mentality,” the 59-year-old Australian said. “They don’t step back from anybody. They look forward and go forward.”

— Associated Press

Saudi Arabia was an 18-1 underdog against Argentina when they beat Lionel Messi and company 2-1 in their World Cup opener. The victory snapped Argentina’s 36-game winning streak in what is reportedly the biggest upset in World Cup history.

To celebrate, King Salman declared Wednesday a national holiday in Saudi Arabia. All offices, public or private, will be closed for work. Schools will be closed as well.

Javier Hernandez’ nickname, Chicharito, was trending on Twitter after Mexico ended its opening World Cup game with a draw against Poland. The 34-year-old striker is El Tri’s leading scorer and was left off the team after scoring 18 goals for the MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy thi. He appeared in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cup tournaments.

Hours after Group C favorite Argentina suffered a stunning upset at the hands of Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland fought out a goalless draw at Stadium 974 in Doha, putting both teams on one point after the first round of games.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saved Robert Lewandowski’s penalty kick in the 58th minute, which was awarded to Poland after a video review.

This Saturday, Mexico faces Lionel Messi and  Argentina, looking to rebound from their flop in the opener. Poland meets group-leader Saudi Arabia.

Group C standings:

  • Saudi Arabia, 3 points, +1 GD
  • Mexico, 1 point, 0 GD
  • Poland, 1 point, 0 GD
  • Argentina, 0 points, -1 GD

After VAR awarded a Poland a penalty kick, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa stopped Robert Lewandowski’s shot from the spot in the 58th minute.

The 37-year-old Ochoa is one of the oldest players in the tournament and has played hero in goal for Mexico in past World Cups.

Lewandowski is one of the most prolific scorers in soccer history, but the Barcelona man couldn’t find the back of the net after being held scoreless at the 2018 World Cup.

It was one way traffic in the first half with Mexico dominating possession (63%) and El Tri took five shots in the first half to Poland’s one attempt on goal.

Mexico came close to opening the scoring on several occasions.

DOHA — Still lot of empty seats at 974 Stadium but of those folks who are here, almost every single one of them is in a green jersey. Mariachi music is playing on the PA, the Mexican fans are singing and waving flags and, in true El Tri form, they loudly booed every Poland starter as he was introduced. This stadium is really freaking cool. it’s made of shipping containers!

– Nancy Armour, USA TODAY Sports

A controversial selection for Mexico, Raul Jimenez will begin his World Cup journey on the bench against Poland. El Tri coach Tata Martino took some heat when he selected the 31-year-old striker to his squad. Jimenez has not played a game for his club team Wolverhampton Wanders since August due to a groin injury. 

Instead of Jimenez, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Henry Martin and Alexis Vega will start up front. 

Get to know the rest of Mexico’s team with USA TODAY Sports+ Meet the Team.

Despite the strength of Denmark and the leadership of Eriksen, the Danes have not been able to create many chances on goal. Tunisia goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen late effort from Andreas Cornelius inside th esix yard box is blocked.

The five minutes of extra time has being par for the course this tournament.

The 90-minute soccer match is turning into 100-plus at the World Cup — and that is what FIFA wants to give fans more entertainment.

The nearly 14 minutes added at the end of Argentina’s shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday meant the five longest periods of stoppage time for a single half of soccer at any World Cup were all played in Qatar since Monday, according to statistics site Opta Joe.

Contributing: Associated Press

The red jerseys of Denmark look familiar at first glance, but a second view shows something different.

The country unveiled jersey’s with muted logos, including their crest and sponsor, along with a black jersey prior to the World Cup. The move is a subtle protest against Qatar and the reported human rights issues across the country. The black shirts, with maker Hummel’s logo faded out, honor migrant workers who died during construction work for the tournament.

Contributing: Associated Press

Entering the tournament as a favorite, Argentina fell to Saudi Arabia 2-1 in a thrilling match that ended Argentina’s 36-match unbeaten streak. At the half, Lionel Messi and company were up 1-0 and had three goals disallowed after offside calls. 

Lionel Messi, 35, is playing in his fifth — and likely his final — World Cup for Argentina. He will have to lead Argentina again against Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

With no margin for error, Argentina’s Group C loss leaves their fate pending on what Mexico and Poland do in their first match of the World Cup. 

Sound defense. Five saves from goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais. And second-half goals from Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari in a five-minute span. Saudi Arabia celebrates one of the biggest World Cup surprises of all time against Lionel Messi. 

The Tunisia front three forwards — Yousseff Msakni, Issam Jebali, Anis Ben Slimane — have made it difficult for Danish goalkeeper Schmeichel, despite only 38% of possession.

Eriksen controlled the midfield for Denmark, but the attack just isn’t there for the Danes. Jebali’s attempt, assisted by Msakni, in the 43rd minute was Tunisia’s best chance of the half. 

Tunisia goal called offside

Tunisian forward Issam Jebali went on a streaking run toward Denmark’s goal, getting the ball past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. But the goal was disallowed after the line judge raised his flag for an offside call.

The offside rule has been a source of innumerable controversial calls in soccer, in large part because they were left completely to the whims of human error.

FIFA only began allowing World Cup officials the ability to review video replays to confirm calls in 2018. This year it rolled out a new semi-automated, offside technology to enhance its Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Eighteen months after his heart stopped for five minutes and he received CPR on the pitch during the 2020 European Championship, Christian Eriksen leads Denmark against Tunisia. The Manchester United midfielder has 39 goals in 117 international appearances and is an importance chance-creator for the Danes.

Argentina’s 36-match unbeaten streak comes to an end with a 2-1 loss against underdog Saudi Arabia. It is a major blow for Messi’s hopes of winning his first World Cup. 

Messi’s quest to win the one major title to elude him got off to a shocking start and brought back memories of Cameroon’s 1-0 win over an Argentina team led by Diego Maradona in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup.

Goals by Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari in a five-minute span in the second half gave the Saudis their greatest win. 

This also rivals shocking results such as Senegal beating then-titleholder France 1-0 in the 2002 tournament opener and the United States stunning England by the same score in 1950. — Associated Press

This Saudi Arabia team has been fighting all game. In stoppage time, Al-Owais’ knee collided with Aldawsari’s head in a scary moment. He spent several minutes receiving treatment before being stretched off the field. It could tack on an addition five minute to an already extended game. 

With eight minutes of stoppage time, Saudi Arabia is on the brink of their first World Cup opening win.

Messi hit a poorly placed free kick into the box. It was his second buffed set piece after a previous kick went over the crossbar. Al-Owais made a first save at the cost of a yellow card. Defender Abdulelah Al-Amri, minutes after he came on as a substitute, made a heroic goal-line save.

Saudi Arabia continues to frustrate Argentina, who have only been able to pull off sparse attacking efforts in the second half. Goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais has been solid when called upon. 

In the biggest stadium at the World Cup in Qatar, Saudi fans are showing up as a loud 12th-man. If Saudi Arabia hold on, it could be one of the biggest World Cup upsets in the near-century history. Argentina’s last World Cup loss after scoring first was against West Germany in 1958. 

Neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo has won a World Cup during their illustrious careers.

Former USMNT and MLS player Brian Dunseth, as well as Emily Olsen of USA TODAY Sports+, debate what this year’s World Cup might mean for the legacies of two of the most decorated players in the game’s history.


2022 World Cup: What’s on the line for legacies of Messi and Ronaldo?

Former USMNT player Brian Dunseth and USA TODAY Sports+ soccer insider Emily Olsen discuss how the World Cup could add or take away from the legacies of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sports Seriously, USA TODAY

The Saudi defense has been the MVP of this match. Playing a high-line to keep Argentina offside in the first half, the aggressive nature won Saudi Arabia a ball at midfield which led to the equalizer from Saleh Al Shehri. 

Five minutes later, Salem Al Dawsari, who took over the captains armband, created his own shot in front of goal to give Saudi Arabia the lead. Is an upset brewing in the Middle East? 

Three substitutions (Lisandro Martinez, Julian Alvarez and Enzo Fernandez) coming in for Argentina as Scaloni tries to get his side back in the game. 

Saudi Arabia held its own against the South American powerhouse Argentina. While Argentina dominated the first half with 63% possession, Saudi Arabia forced seven offside calls, including overturning three potential goals. 

The penalty conceded by Saud Abdulhamid for a foul in the penalty area was a critical officiating call and resulted in the lone score of the first half after Messi converted the spot kick. 

Saudi Arabia’s captain Salman Al-Faraj went down injured in stoppage time of the first half, limping off the field. The bright side for Saudi Arabia is he walked off under his own power. 

Argentina scored three goals in 35 minutes but all were ruled offside and did not count. Scaloni’s side has had seven offside calls against them so far. Saudi Arabia is pushing its backline of defenders higher up the field, taking advantage of the new semi-automated technology used by FIFA this tournament. 

The offside rule has been a source of innumerable controversial calls in soccer, in large part because they were left completely to the whims of human error.

FIFA only began allowing World Cup officials the ability to review video replays to confirm calls in 2018. This year it rolled out a new semi-automated, offside technology to enhance its Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Messi opened scoring for Argentina with a penalty kick.

Can you stop an 80 mph shot, the average speed of a professional penalty? Step in the shoes, or put on the gloves, of a World Cup keeper and get ready to “Make the Save.”

It took one of the World’s greatest players, Lionel Messi, just 10 minutes to get things going for coach Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina.

The referee jogged over to the video review stand in the eighth minute and called a foul inside the penalty box, which set up Messi for a penalty kick. Calm, cool and collected he converted. 

Argentina’s Lionel Messi has dominated the game of soccer over the past decade-plus. He has amassed an impressive résumé of career individual and team accomplishments. Yet, one prize — the grandest of them all — has eluded him. 

Messi is not alone. Many of the greatest players in the history of the game didn’t win a World Cup

Lionel Messi might be the best player in the world, but he hasn’t won a World Cup. Not yet, at least. His next, and maybe final, chance starts Tuesday.

Time: Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 5 a.m. ET

Stadium: Lusail Stadium

How to watch: FOX and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Time: Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 8 a.m. ET

Stadium: Education City Stadium

How to watch: FOX and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Time: Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 11 a.m. ET

Stadium: Stadium 974

How to watch: FOX and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Time: Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. ET

Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium

How to watch: FOX and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

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