Asia FIFA World Cup

Al-Dawsari Breaks Mexican Hearts as Argentina and Poland Qualify

Saudi Arabia have been eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup after losing 2-1 to Mexico in their final Group C match on Wednesday, however the Green Falcons contributed massively towards the group’s outcome as a last-minute goal from Salem Al-Dawsari meant that the Mexicans were also knocked out of the World Cup on goal difference, with Argentina and Poland qualifying out of Group C as group winners and runners-up respectively.

After an uneventful first half at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, Mexico raced into a 1-0 lead two minutes into the second half after Henry Martin blasted home a Cesar Montes flick from close-range.

Around the same time at the Stadium 974, Argentina took a 1-0 lead after Alexis Mac Allister managed to fire home past Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who had earlier saved a Lionel Messi penalty in the first half of their match.

Mexico then made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, with Luis Chavez landing a superbly-taken free-kick into the top corner of Mohammed Al-Owais’ goal, much to the jubilation of the Mexican fans.

With Julian Alvarez doubling Argentina’s lead in the 67th minute, both Poland and Mexico were neck-and-neck in 2nd and 3rd place respectively, with only fair play points separating the two.

Mexico knew that one more goal would leapfrog them above the Poles and with that in mind El Tri proceeded to bombard Al-Owais’ goal relentlessly. Hirving Lozano had an effort being chalked off for offside, before Martin was denied his brace after his volley went over.

Al-Hilal goalkeeper Al-Owais then denied another superb free-kick from Chavez, before Orbelin Pineda went agonizingly wide with his shot.

Late into the game, Uriel Pineda managed to stroke the ball past Al-Owais to make it 3-1 Mexico, however much to the despair of the El Tri fans, the goal was also ruled out for offside.

This sets the stage for Al-Hilal ace Al-Dawsari to send a sucker punch to the Mexicans, slotting home coolly past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the fifth minute of injury time to send Mexico packing home alongside the Saudis.

Argentina’s 2-0 win over Poland assures them of top spot in Group C, and they will face Group D runners-up Australia in the round of 16. As for the Poles, Al-Dawsari’s last-minute goal meant that they are through to the knockout in Mexico’s expense, but Robert Lewandowski and his colleagues will face the daunting challenge of defending champions France in the round of 16, with Les Bleus having won Group D.