World Cup 2022 in review: Day 3 - Messi and co swept away by Saudi storm, Lewandowski's World Cup drought continues and Giroud makes history

A daily report from the 2022 World Cup, reviewing the day's matches, saves, goals, gaffs and moments of magic from Qatar

By Callum Davis Published: 23 November 2022 - 12.24pm

Qatar 2022 burst into life on Tuesday morning as Saudi Arabia sprang one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history. 

Elsewhere Christian Eriksen made a miraculous return to major tournament football less than 18 months after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

Holders France began the defence of their crown in style against Australia, while ITV pundits Roy Keane and Graeme Souness almost came to blows on live on TV in an eventful day of World Cup action.

Read on for the latest instalment in BT Sport's daily World Cup review.

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Day 3 results

Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia 

Denmark 0-0 Tunisia 

Mexico 0-0 Poland 

France 4-1 Australia 

Match summaries

Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia

Argentina suffered one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history as their 36-match unbeaten run came to an end in dramatic fashion against Saudi Arabia in Lusail.

Lionel Messi looked to have put the Albiceleste path to victory by scoring his 91st international goal from the spot inside 10 minutes.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner also had an effort ruled out for offside in the first half, while Lautaro Martinez was himself denied twice by the linesman's flag. 

Galvanised by manager Herve Renard's half-time team talk, the Green Falcons stunned their illustrious opponents twice within the space of five second-half minutes to claim a famous win. 

The victory was just the third for the Kingdom at a World Cup, following wins over Belgium and Morocco in the USA in 1994.

In recent years, the tournament has been synonymous with disappointment, including a demoralising 8-0 thrashing at the hands of Germany in 2002.

But now, the 51st-ranked side in the world can look forward to a meeting with Poland on Saturday believing that anything is possible. 

Saudi Arabia sprung one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history

Denmark 0-0 Tunisia

Christian Eriksen completed an emotional return to international tournament football as Denmark began their World Cup campaign with a goalless draw.

Denmark hit the post and had a late penalty appeal turned down as their World Cup Group D opener with Tunisia ended in stalemate.

Eriksen made his first appearance in a major international tournament since suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, an incident which threatened to end his professional playing career.

The 30-year-old was named in Denmark's starting XI by manager Kasper Hjulmand and notably wore the captain’s armband during the second half when regular skipper Simon Kjaer was taken off.

The Euro 2020 semi-finalists thought they had earned a penalty in stoppage time for handball that was checked at the VAR screen by referee Cesar Arturo Ramos, but he instead gave a free kick to Tunisia for a foul in the build-up.

Denmark's best chance came late in the second half when defender Andreas Cornelius only had to nod the ball over the line at the back post, but instead flicked it onto the woodwork.

Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand will be sweating on a knee injury to midfielder Thomas Delaney that forced him off in the first half.

Christian Eriksen represented Denmark at a major tournament for the first time since his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020

Mexico 0-0 Poland

Robert Lewandowski failed to end his World Cup goalscoring drought, missing a penalty as Mexico and Poland played out an entertaining goalless draw.

Lewandowski earned the penalty after a VAR check 11 minutes into the second half when Hector Moreno tugged at his shirt. However, the striker, who has never scored at the World Cup, saw his shot saved by Guillermo Ochoa.

"Today I feel sorry for Robert, because I know how much he wanted to score at the World Cup," Poland head coach Czeslaw Michniewicz said.

"So far he has not succeeded, but I hope that in the next opportunities that lie ahead of him he will convert them into goals."

The result leaves Saudi Arabia as surprise group leaders following their stunning 2-1 upset of Argentina, one of the pre-tournament favourites, earlier on Tuesday.

Olivier Giroud equalled Thierry Henry's record to become France's joint-leading goalscorer of all time

France 4-1 Australia

Champions France began their World Cup title defence in style with a 4-1 comeback win against Australia in the final game of day three.

Olivier Giroud scored twice to join Thierry Henry as France's all-time record goalscorer.

The AC Milan striker scored either side of a Kylian Mbappe goal after Adrien Rabiot had levelled for France following Craig Goodwin's shock early opener.

Les Bleus are the first defending champions to win their opening match since Brazil in 2006, which has already put them in a good position to advance from the group phase, something Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014 and Germany in 2018 failed to do.

France, whose defender Lucas Hernandez was ruled out of the World Cup after picking up a serious knee injury in the first half, have three points and lead Tunisia and Denmark by two after they played out a 0-0 draw.

Goal of the day

Salem Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia)

Ranked 51st in the world, Saudi Arabia could have been done and dusted in the first half as Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Argentina had three goals ruled out for offside.

But the Green Falcons flipped the game on its head in a stunning 10-minute period after half-time.

Saleh Al Shehri levelled with a low effort before Salem Al Dawsari, the golden boot of Saudi Arabian football, fired the winner past Emiliano Martinez to spark pandemonium in the stands.

Mohammed Al-Owais

Save of the day

Mohammed Al-Owais (Saudi Arabia)

Al Dawsari may get all the headlines, but Mohammed Al-Owais was Saudi Arabia's hero of the hour, withstanding a second-half barrage from Argentina to win the Player of the Match award.

Alowais' most telling contribution came just after the hour mark, denying Nicolas Tagliafico from close-blank range to keep the Green Falcons on course for a historic scalp.

Player of the day

Olivier Giroud (France)

So often derided during his time in England, former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud made history on Tuesday evening.

The handsome marksman scored a brace to take his internationall tally to 51, equalling Thierry Henry's record as France's all-time leading goalscorer.

With Karim Benzema sidelined through injury, Giroud quickly becomes one of the frontrunners for the World Cup Golden Boot.

Magic moments

  • ITV's Graeme Souness and Roy Keane almost came to blows over the decision to award Argentina a first-half penalty in their defeat to Saudi Arabia.

    “I'm here to give my opinion I don't think that's a penalty!” said Keane.“I've heard you say it 10 times, let someone else speak!” Souness replied. Awkward.

 

  • 18 months on from collapsing at Euro 2020, Christian Eriksen returned to a major tournament for his third World Cup with Denmark.

 

  • Saudi Arabia ended Argentina's 36-game unbeaten streak. Lionel Scaloni's side had not tasted defeat since losing to Brazil in the final of the 2019 Copa America.

 

  • Saudi Arabia's King Salman has declared a public holiday on Wednesday to mark the national team's historic win.

 

Quote of the day

A typically forthright Roy Keane delivered his verdict on Qatar and the decision to award the Arab nation with the 2022 World Cup.

Image of the day

Upcoming fixtures

Wednesday 23 November: 

Group F -  Morocco vs Croatia - 10am KO

Group E - Germany vs Japan - 1pm KO

Group E - Spain vs Costa Rica - 4pm KO

Group F - Belgium vs Canada - 7pm KO