Lusail: Saudi Arabia’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 campaign was brought to an end at the Lusail Stadium after a 2-1 defeat to Mexico in their final Group C match on Wednesday.
With both teams needing a win to guarantee they remained in the mix for progression to the round of 16, a depleted and injury-stricken Saudi Arabia lost footing under constant attacks from Mexico which eventually were converted into goals.
There was, however, heartbreak for Mexico as they missed out on a place in the knockout stage with Poland - despite suffering a 2-0 defeat to Argentina - finished second on goal difference to advance.
Al Wakrah: Mathew Leckie’s sensational 60th minute strike took Australia into the knockout rounds of the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 2006 as Graham Arnold’s Socceroos claimed second place in Group D at Qatar 2022 with a 1-0 win over Denmark at Al Janoub Stadium on Wednesday
Leckie slotted past Kasper Schmeichel on the hour mark after Riley McGree’s incisive pass to give Arnold’s side the win they needed to advance as runners-up behind defending champions France and set up an enticing Round of 16 meeting with Group C winners Argentina.
This is the first time the Australians have won two games at a single FIFA World Cup, surpassing the achievements of 2006 and 2010, when the country won once.
The win means Australia finished Group D with six points, level with the French and two ahead of Tunisia with Denmark bottom and they are first team from the Asian Football Confederation to confirm their place in the Round of 16 at Qatar 2022.
Al Rayyan: French-born Wahbi Khazri scored the only goal of the game as Tunisia claimed a famous 1-0 win over FIFA World Cup defending champions France on Wednesday.
However, they needed Australia to drop points in the day's other Group D game to stand a chance of reaching the last 16 for the first time, but the Socceroos' 1-0 win over Denmark means it is they who go through with France.
The world champions and Australia finished level on six points, but France top the section on goal difference and meet Group C runners-up Poland in the last-16 on Sunday.
Doha: Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda will be looking to push aside the disappointment of the Samurai Blue’s surprise loss against Costa Rica to secure a place in the knockout rounds of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 with victory over Spain when the nations meet on Thursday.
The Japanese have three points from their opening two games after claiming an impressive 2-1 win over Germany only to slip to the 1-0 loss against Costa Rica when victory would have sealed them a spot in the Round of 16.
Defeat against the Costa Ricans was greeted with despair among Japanese fans and the fate of Hajime Moriyasu’s team now hangs in the balance going into the game at Khalifa International Stadium.
'Injustice' fires up 'sorry' Son and Korea Republic
Doha: A "united" Korea Republic will be fired up by a burning sense of injustice when they face Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal on Friday as they fight to keep their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 campaign alive.
Head coach Paulo Bento and his players were left fuming at the conclusion of Monday's 3-2 defeat to Ghana after English referee Anthony Taylor blew the final whistle before they could take a corner.
The defeat, having stormed back from 2-0 down before Mohammed Kudus's 68th-minute winner for Ghana, left Son Heung-min's side on the brink of elimination ahead of their final Group H game against Portugal.
Queiroz only has praise for heartbroken IR Iran players
Doha: Carlos Queiroz paid tribute to his players’ efforts to pull themselves back into their clash with the United States at Al Thumama Stadium on Tuesday as the Islamic Republic of Iran crashed out of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic scored the only goal of the game eight minutes before the end of the first half to take Greg Berhalter’s side into the Round of 16 as runners-up in Group B behind England with the Iranians having to settle for a third place finish.