Australian fans, the time is almost here as the Socceroos take to the field against France at 6am AEDT tomorrow morning.
The defending champions are the hot favourites but Australia are looking to shock the world as the perennial underdogs.
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It was a big day on Day 2 as the Netherlands and England claimed big wins while the USA and Wales drew 1-all.
There are four games on day three, starting at 9pm AEDT.
Day 3 World Cup matches (times in AEDT)
— 9pm: Argentina 1 – Saudi Arabia 2
— 12am: Denmark Vs Tunisia
— 3am: Mexico Vs Poland
— 6am: Australia Vs France
How to watch and stream the 2022 World Cup
Shattering miss as Denmark, Tunisia draw
Denmark and Tunisia played out a scoreless draw in the second match of the day, though it wasn’t without its drama.
Each team was denied a potential penalty for handball at one stage, with the referee deciding the defenders in question had their arms in a natural position.
Tunisia came closest to scoring in the first half by at least getting the ball into the net, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
And while Denmark had the better of possession throughout, it never really looked like finding the final touch.
Midway through the second half, striker Andreas Cornelius had a golden chance as the ball fell into his path at the far post. He only managed to head it onto said post before the defence cleared it to safety.
Denmark and Tunisia play in the same group as Australia and France, who face each other later this morning, so the shared points between them present an opportunity for the Socceroos to capitalise.
Sickening scene amid ‘unthinkable’ upset
Saudi Arabia have pulled off a World Cup upset commentator Martin Tyler has labelled “unthinkable” in a wild 2-1 thriller.
But the Asian powerhouse haven’t escaped without a brutal blow as defender Yasser Al-Shahrani was kneed in the head by his own goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais in a scary scene during injury time.
Al-Shahrani was left unconscious on the ground and stretchered off the field after the brutal moment as the Saudis successfully cleared the ball.
Al-Owais sat on his haunches as the medical staff looked into his teammate.
A-Leagues producer Sacha Pisani tweeted: “So much happening, the referee’s angle and concern for time wasting. But deeply troubling Saudi Arabia’s Al Shahrani was left motionless on the floor after a sickening blow to the head.
“Al Shahrani gave the thumbs up after being stretchered off but another disgraceful example of treatment around head injuries.
“Thankfully he’s okay. Even if referee was wary of time wasting, as we’ve seen at this tournament, they’ll just add on the time.”
Sports writer Joe Pantorno posted: “How that play wasn’t blown dead immediately is befuddling. Yasser Alshahrani was out cold.”
It was a sign of just how Saudi Arabia put their bodies on the line, turning the Argentinians away countless times late as the South Americans dominated every statistic except goals scored.
A worry for the Saudis in their next game will be the yellow card count, with six players getting booked as they threw everything at the Cup favourites.
Argentina took a 1-0 lead into the half-time break but should have been much further ahead after having three goals pulled back for offsides, but no one was expecting the start to the second half of the sides’ opening match of the tournament.
Saleh Al-Shehri equalised before Salem Al-Dawsari booted the world No. 51 Saudis into the lead within 10 minutes of the second stanza against the world No. 3 side.
“I almost can’t believe it,” Martin Tyler said in commentary.
Argentina have had twice the possession of the Saudis but have only a 10th minute penalty goal to show for it.
Code Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy wrote: “OH MY GOD WHAT IS GOING ON!? 2-1 Saudi Arabia!!”
SMH’s Jason Cadden added: “What the heck! Saudi Arabia is up 2-1 against Argentina after 58 mins.”
Incredibly, Saudi Arabia did enough to claim the win.
“This outcome was unthinkable,” Tyler said.
“Saudi Arabia have done it. Arguably the greatest achievement in the nation’s history.
“Argentina labelled favourites, joint favourite, second favourite, call it what you will but at the other end of the spectrum for the side that have beaten them here.”
Penalty goal ‘makes a mockery’ of World Cup
Argentina took the lead early in its game against Saudi Arabia, but it was not without controversy.
Argentina was awarded a penalty when VAR flagged a potential foul after Saud Abdulhamid hauled down Leandro Paredes in the box.
Lionel Messi stepped up in the 10th minute and easily slotted the penalty home to give his team an early lead and score in a fourth World Cup finals.
He became the first Argentina player to achieve that feat.
But fans were questioning the call, after an incident that looked worse was ignored in the England game last night.
England defender Harry Maguire was rugby tackled in the box against Iran, but the referee waved play on and VAR didn’t get involved.
The Daily Mail’s Jamie Phillips tweeted: “After the Harry Maguire challenge yesterday and the subsequent two penalties given to Iran and Argentina, I’m so confused over when grappling in the box is deemed a foul and when it isn’t.”
Nigerian journalist Ufuoma Egbamuno wrote: “The inconsistencies with referees gets on my nerves. England should have had one penalty early on yesterday. Same as one just given for Argentina.”
BBCs Wyre Davies added: “Ridiculous penalty for Argentina! Makes a mockery of the “rugby tackle” in the England game. If FIFA are consistent, fair enough but the Argentine player fell over looking for that.”
Argentina are one of the favourites for the World Cup and Saudi Arabia needed to stay with the South Americans to be any chance.
Since then, Messi was disallowed after being pinged offside by the sideline official, before Lautaro Martinez was also deemed to be offside by the VAR.
Martinez made it a third offside call minutes later, but it’s a sign of how dominant Argentina have been.
Brutal French truth hits Socceroos hard
Australia may have been waiting for four years for a shot at revenge against France at the World Cup but the Socceroos are hardly even a blip to the football heavyweights.
France are packed with superstar talent and Liverpool and French defender Ibrahima Konate has revealed how much the Socceroos factor in the defending champions’ plans.
“No, not at all. I don’t know any of them,” Konate said.
The French defender moved to Liverpool last year for $65 million.
He was followed by Eduardo Camavinga, who was an unused sub for Real Madrid against Aussie Aaron Mooy’s Celtic two weeks ago. Mooy played the entire match for the record.
Camavinga had no idea who Mooy was.
“We studied this team well with the coach and the staff, we expect a difficult match because they put us in difficulty four years ago,” Camavinga said.
“It’s a very good team. Already, if they were able to qualify for the (World Cup), it’s because it’s a good team.”
Australia took it to France at the last World Cup in a tight 2-1 result for the Europeans.
Asked about his opponents’ ignorance, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said: “Doesn’t he have Paramount+?”, which streams the A-League as well as Socceroos and Matildas matches outside of the World Cup.
Arnold added the comments give the Socceroos the impetus to go and show the superstar side who they are.
“It’s something that’s their point of view. It’s our job to go out there tomorrow and show them who we are as a nation,” Arnold continued.
“The players have the stage, it’s their stage. And this is an opportunity in life that can change their life even more than what they have now.”