Renard – Saudi Arabia are not at the World Cup “just for a jolly”

Poland take on Saudi Arabia in Group C of World Cup 2022 this afternoon and will be hoping to improve on their goalless draw against Mexico which saw Robert Lewandowski mess up an opportunity to earn the European side three points when he missed a penalty in the second half. Group C is delicately poised and Poland will realise that a win today puts them within touching distance of the knockouts ahead of a difficult final group game versus Argentina.

Saudi Arabia meanwhile produced the shock result of the tournament so far when they came from behind to defeat Argentina 2-1 in their opening game. Such was the surprise of the result that a public holiday was called in their country to celebrate. That win means that the Saudis will reach the last 16 if they also defeat Poland today.

Reaching the knockout stage would be a historic landmark for Saudi Arabia. They did so on their World Cup debut in 1994 but haven’t made it out of the groups in their previous four campaigns.

Yet, injuries could be a factor in deciding which way the game goes. Poland’s Krystian Bielik and Bartosz Bereszynski both picked up knocks against Mexico and are doubts for the game whilst Saudi Arabia will be without defender Yasser Al Shahrani who is expected to miss the rest of the tournament.

Follow all the action from Qatar with our live blog below:


Australia beat Tunisia to claim first World Cup win in 12 years and keep last-16 hopes alive

With the reigning world champions up against every expert’s pick for dark horses in Group C’s other outing, this was always going to be billed as the battle of its also-rans, in its rightful place as first up and firmly on Saturday’s undercard. But if either Tunisia or Australia could beat the other, they would have a good chunk of the points required to have a shot at a surprise last-16 spot, and would only need a result against their European rivals to sneak in.

Tunisia started the day in the stronger position but, courtesy of Mitch Duke’s deft first-half header, Australia ended it in the ascendancy. Their World Cup 2022 campaign was always likely to come down to this specific game and by just about edging it, Graham Arnold’s side know that a win against Denmark will see a limited but organised group of players emulate 2006’s ‘Golden Generation’ by reaching the knock-out stages.

That may still be a tall task but it is no taller than Tunisia’s. The Eagles of Carthage impressed in holding Denmark to a point earlier this week but now have to beat France – and perhaps beat them handsomely – in order to have any hope of extending their stay in Qatar.

Michael Jones26 November 2022 12:19


FT Tunisia 0-1 Australia

Australia recorded their first win at the World Cup since they defeated Serbia in 2010. They are now just one win away from a place in the last 16.

(Getty Images)


Michael Jones26 November 2022 12:15


FT Tunisia 0-1 Australia

That victory is massive for Australia. They now have destiny in their own hands and know that if they defeat Denmark in the last group game they will secure a place in the knockout rounds.

Michael Jones26 November 2022 12:11


Poland vs Saudi Arabia

Reaction from Australia’s victory over Tunisia still to come but we’re looking ahead to the next game of the day now as Poland take on Saudi Arabia.

Here’s a look at the two line-ups:

Poland XI: Szczesny, Bereszynski, Glik, Kiwior, Cash, Bielik, Krychowiak, Frankowski, Zielinski, Milik, Lewandowski

Saudi Arabia XI: Al Owais, Abdulhamid, Al Amri, Al Bulayhi, Al Burayk, Al Wahbi Al Malki, Al Brikan, Al Naji, Kanno, Al Dawsari, Al Shehri

Michael Jones26 November 2022 12:05


Full-time: Tunisia 0-1 Australia

90+6 mins: There’s the full-time whistle. Australia take all three points, what a win this is for the Socceroos. They respond brilliantly from their 4-1 defeat to France and keep themselves in contention for a spot in the knockout rounds.

Tunisia have it all to do. They play the world champions in the final group game and need to win to have any chance of progressing.

Michael Jones26 November 2022 11:58


Tunisia 0-1 Australia

90+3 mins: Tunisia have persisted with crosses from wide as their main method of attack but they’ve not been successful. Mat Ryan comes out and claims the most recent attempt before Harry Souttar belts the ball as far down the pitch as he can.

Michael Jones26 November 2022 11:56


Tunisia 0-1 Australia

90 mins: Six minutes of added time! There’s still time enough for some late drama in this game. Will Australia hold out or can Tunisia score an equaliser?

Michael Jones26 November 2022 11:52


Tunisia 0-1 Australia

87 mins: Montassar Talbi has a dart from outside the box but sends his effort straight into the hands of Mat Ryan.

Naim Sliti then dribbles into the area but doesn’t find a way around Harry Souttar who makes two good blocks in succession to keep Australia ahead.

Michael Jones26 November 2022 11:49


Tunisia 0-1 Australia

84 mins: There’s an optimistic penalty shout for handball as Australia deal with a Tunisian corner. VAR takes a look but says that play should go on.

The Aussies send a throw in down the right wing where it gets chested over to Hrustic who wins the Socceroos a free kick in the middle of the park.

Michael Jones26 November 2022 11:45


Tunisia 0-1 Australia

81 mins: More stoppages as more changes are made. Taha Yassine Khenissi and Wajdi Kechrida are on for Tunisia with Australia sending on Milos Degenek to shut up shop.

Michael Jones26 November 2022 11:43

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