Qatar World Cup: Champions France up against Poland, England to face Senegal

The second day of the knockout stage of the World Cup brings us two more exciting games, with three European teams hoping to progress. Reigning champions France will look for a result against Poland, while England is set to face Senegal.

France vs Poland (16 CET)

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Fans of France cheer prior to the World Cup group D match between France and Denmark at the Stadium 974 in Doha, 26 November 2022AP Photo/Martin Meissner
  • The round of 16 match between the two European nations could turn into a battle between two impressive star goalkeepers.
  • French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will face Poland’s superstar striker Robert Lewandowski in an international game for the first time when he matches France’s record of 142 appearances held by Lilian Thuram, the right-back in the 1998 world champion team.
  • Lewandowski finally broke his duck at the World Cup at the age of 34, scoring in Qatar to add to his total of 77 goals for Poland.
  • Poland’s Wojciech Szczęsny is the only goalkeeper this World Cup to have saved two spot kicks — one against Saudi Arabia and the second against Lionel Messi. 
  • After missing France’s 1-0 loss to Tunisia in the group stage, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud are all expected to come back to the team.

England vs Senegal (20 CET)

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
England’s Marcus Rashford, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup group B against Wales in in Al Rayyan, 29 November 2022AP Photo/Frank Augstein
  • The star-studded English team looking to bring the World Cup title home for the first time since 1966 has dominated its group, but now it faces its first major challenge in the all-or-nothing knockout round. 

  • The team plays Senegal on Sunday after topping Group B and tying Spain as the leading scorers in the tournament with nine goals. 

  • No other team picked up more than the seven points England recorded on its way to the knockout round and it is only one of three still undefeated.

  • The African Cup of Nations champions finished second in Group A behind the Netherlands, despite the pre-tournament disappointment of losing striker Sadio Mane because of an injury.

  • There have been several surprises involving African teams at this tournament, as Cameroon beat Brazil while Tunisia defeated France in the group stage.

What happened at the World Cup on Saturday?

  • The Netherlands and Argentina became the first quarterfinalists in Qatar after winning their matches against the US and Australia, respectively.
  • The Dutch team have progressed to the quarterfinals thanks to goals by Memphis Depay (10′), Daley Blind (46′) and Denzel Dumfries (81′).
  • The US team pulled one back after Christian Pulisic assisted Haji Wright in the 76′ minute, in a match that was more even than the score would suggest.
  • In what turned out to be a very closely fought match between Argentina and Australia, Lionel Messi opened the scoring, while Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez added another in the second half.
  • Feisty Kangaroos managed to pull one back after Craig Goodwin’s shot got deflected into the net by Argentina’s Enzo Fernandez.
  • The last 20 minutes turned into a frenetic affair, but despite clear-cut chances on both sides, the match ended 2-1 for Argentina.

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