Saudi Arabia stun Argentina and France start in style


A shock for the ages, more Qatar criticism and the defending champions began with a win – Tuesday was quite a day at the World Cup.

Saudi Arabia stunned one of the tournament favourites Argentina but it was business as usual for France, while Denmark versus Tunisia and Mexico against Poland both ended goalless.

Here, the PA news agency rounds up events in Qatar.

Saudi stars stun Argentina

Saudi Arabia pulled off one of the greatest World Cup shocks with a 2-1 victory over Argentina (Adam Davy/PA)

Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in one of the biggest World Cup upsets.

Despite Lionel Messi’s first-half penalty, Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari scored soon after the interval and a resolute defensive effort secured a 2-1 victory.

Saudi coach Herve 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 this is football. Sometimes things completely crazy can happen.”

Messi, after becoming just the fifth player to score in four different World Cups, said: “It is a very hard blow for everyone.”

Keane Qatar blast

Roy Keane 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 being awarded the tournament in controversial circumstances, with 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’re on about spreading the game but to dismiss human rights flippantly because of a football tournament is not right. It shouldn’t be here.”

Giroud levels up

Olivier Giroud equalled France’s all-time goalscoring record as his brace helped the holders recover from an early scare to make light work of Australia and begin their World Cup defence with a comfortable victory.

A number of injures rocked the France squad heading into the finals and they were stunned as Craig Goodwin opened the scoring after nine minutes before rallying to record a 4-1 win.

Story continues

Adrien Rabiot levelled before setting up Giroud for his 50th France goal. Kylian Mpabbe headed in the third before Giroud struck again to level Thierry Henry’s record.

Even with Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe, Christopher Nkunku and Paul Pogba all missing the finals through injury and Raphael Varane only fit enough for the bench, Les Bleus showed their tournament credentials.

Picture of the day

Lionel Messi’s bid for a first – and probably last – World Cup with Argentina was dented by Saudi Arabia (Luca Bruno/AP)

Tweet of the dayWho’s up 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)



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