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World Cup Day 3 – LIVE

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It’s day three of the World Cup and it’s time for Argentina, France, Mexico and Denmark to strut their stuff in the biggest tournament on earth.

Monday’s action saw England lay down a marker with a six-goal haul against Iran, and Gareth Bale step up to the plate once more to guide Wales to a draw with the United States.

It’s now over to Lionel Messi and his final attempt to win the World Cup with Argentina – they kick off the day’s action against Saudi Arabia.

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Denmark and Tunisia follow in Group D, Mexico and Poland then square off in Group C’s other game, before France round off the day against Australia – the team they faced in the opening game of the 2018 World Cup.

Preview

Argentina face Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning in the first match for one of the World Cup’s favourites.

Lionel Scaloni’s side are unbeaten in competitive matches since losing to Brazil in the semi-final of the 2019 Copa America. Argentina were crowned champions of South America in 2021 and come into the competition without the familiar maelstrom of unease which has accompanied their recent World Cup appearances.

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Saudi Arabia don’t boast quite the same lofty billing. The Green Falcons are the second-lowest-ranked nation at the World Cup (51st).

Prediction: Argentina 3-0 Saudi Arabia

Perennial World Cup dark horses Denmark face a far less fancied Tunisia in their opening group game on Tuesday lunchtime.

Denmark were imperious during World Cup qualification, securing their place in Qatar after eight games, eight wins and zero goals conceded. Tunisia defeated Mali by a narrow 1-0 aggregate scoreline in their two-legged play-off. “The match itself wasn’t fun,” Tunisia’s Mohamed Drager admitted, “it was a violent affair, but that’s football.”

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Here’s everything you need to know about a contest with hopefully less violence but one which may not be much more fun for Tunisia.

Prediction: Denmark 2-0 Tunisia

Mexico’s bid to reach ‘el quinto partido’ – the fifth match – begins on Tuesday afternoon against a Poland side just trying to get out of the group.

In each of the past seven World Cups, Mexico have fallen short in the round of 16. The home tournament of 1986 was the last time El Tri tasted the sweet nectar of a quarter-final. 1986 was also the year that Poland last made it beyond the group stage. Their fate was decided after just two games in 2018.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the meeting between this pairing with clearly defined ambitions.

Prediction: Mexico 2-1 Poland

France face Australia on Tuesday evening in a rematch of their opening group stage game at the 2018 World Cup.

The first-ever use of VAR at a World Cup awarded France a penalty which Antoine Griezmann converted en route to a 2-1 victory for the eventual champions. Australia couldn’t muster a single win in Russia and haven’t claimed a World Cup scalp since 2010.

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Prediction: France 2-1 Australia



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Lionel Messi reacts to Argentina reaching World Cup knockouts

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Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has claimed that his missed penalty in Wednesday night’s crunch World Cup win over Poland ended up galvanising the team and was on course for victory as soon as Alexis Mac Allister broke the deadlock.

La Albiceleste, one of the pre-tournament favourites, were in danger of a shock group stage elimination ahead of kick-off and had it all to play for against Robert Lewandowski’s Poland.

When Lionel Scaloni’s team were awarded a first half penalty and Messi stepped up, it looked as though it would be business as usual. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was looking to score in a seventh consecutive Argentina appearance, something he had never done before. But Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was equal to his spot-kick and confidently palmed the ball away.

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“Having missed the penalty, the team came out stronger from that,” Messi told TyC Sports.

“The team was convinced that we were going to win, it was a matter of the first one coming in. Once we scored the goal, the game was going to be played the way we wanted.”

After Mac Allister found the key first goal, Julian Alvarez eventually got the second.

Neither Alvarez nor Enzo Fernandez, who assisted the second goal, had started either of the first two games. Yet they came in to make a critical impact. Mac Allister, meanwhile, hadn’t featured in the opening defeat to Saudi Arabia, before starting back-to-back wins.

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Messi went on to praise the ‘strength of this group’ which makes that possible.

“We said it from the beginning. The players who come in know what they have to do and are always fully prepared. It is the strength of this group, the union and that when a player has to, he responds,” the 35-year-old explained.

With the group stage now over, Argentina will face a plucky Australia side that qualified from a very challenging Group D ahead of Denmark. That game will be played on Saturday.

“We know it’s going to be very tough,” Messi assessed.

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Harry Symeou hosts Jack Gallagher and Toby Cudworth to look back on Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click to download or listen to the episode in full!



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Minnesota United make Joseph Rosales loan permanent

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Minnesota United have announced the permanent signing of midfielder Joseph Rosales from Panama’s CA Independiente.

Rosales returns to Allianz Field following a loan spell starting in August 2021, with the Honduras international notching five primary assists in 35 appearances so far across all competitions.

MNUFC have signed Rosales on a deal through the 2023 MLS season with further options on 2024 and 2025.

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Rosales returns to a Minnesota United side enjoying a four-year in the MLS Cup Playoffs under Adrian Heath, though the Loons have exited in the first round three times.

The 22-year-old will continue to compete for a starting spot in the MNUFC midfield alongside the likes of Kervin Arriaga and Wil Trapp.

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.



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Atlanta United sign former Columbus Crew forward Derrick Etienne Jr via free agency

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Atlanta United have bolstered their attacking options with the signing of winger Derrick Etienne Jr via free agency, the club announced Wednesday.

As reported by 90min, the Five Stripes have been pursuing a deal with Etienne since mid-November, with the forward having already spent time at the club’s training facilities.

That deal was finally completed on Wednesday as Etienne was unveiled on a contract through the 2025 MLS season with further options on 2026 and 2027.

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“Derrick is a versatile winger who fits the profile of a player we were looking to bring in,” Atlanta United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a club press release.

“We’re excited to secure his services as he was a top free agent coming off an excellent season and heading into the prime of his career. Derrick has a great mentality, knows the league well and we are looking forward to him being a big part of the team going forward.”

Etienne is entering his eighth season as an MLS player, notching 17 goals and 17 assists in 148 appearances so far for the New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew so far.

His spell with the latter was particularly fruitful, winning MLS Cup and Campeones Cup titles, while the 26-year-old enjoyed a career-best return of nine goals and six assists in 33 regular season appearances in 2022.

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Etienne – who is also capable of playing through the middle – will now compete for places in Atlanta United’s forward line alongside the likes of Luiz Araujo and Edwin Mosquera as the club look to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs in head coach Gonzalo Pineda’s second full season in charge.

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.



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