World Cup 2022: Mexico out but Poland through on ‘crazy day of football’


Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport web site and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

The closing video games in Group C will go down as one of essentially the most dramatic evenings at any World Cup.

With Mexico successful by the identical scoreline towards Saudi Arabia, Poland and Mexico had been stage on factors, targets scored, conceded and objective distinction.

Gerardo Martino’s Mexico had been staring on the prospect of going out on Fifa’s honest play rule having collected seven yellow playing cards to Poland’s 5, and turning into simply the second aspect after Senegal 4 years in the past to exit by that metric.

With seven minutes of time added on, a objective Mexico would have accomplished the swing required for an unlikely development into the spherical of 16.

But Salem Al Dawsari’s injury-time comfort strike ended any hope of a remarkable Mexico revival having didn’t win their opening two video games.

“I’m the person liable for this frustration and disappointment. It is actual unhappiness and I assume all of the duty for this big failure,” stated Argentine Martino, who will depart his position after the match.

“We outplayed the opponent created extra possibilities and we may have scored as many targets as wanted.

“But we failed and I do not assume we had been knocked out within the earlier matches, moderately right now.”

Mexico exit on the group stage for the primary time since 1978, ending a run of eight straight events of advancing to the knockout stage, whereas Poland’s reward is a gathering with defending champions France on Sunday (15:00 GMT).

‘We knew we had been going out’

The recreation at Stadium 974 had completed 2-0 and the one at Lusail Stadium – simply 18 miles away – was the identical scoreline, with play nonetheless going on.

Asked by BBC Sport if he knew the consequence of the opposite recreation, Martino stated: “Yes. That is why we went for the third objective and we added two centre-forwards collectively.

“The second we knew that Poland had fewer yellows [than us], we had been going out and it was obligatory in that second.

“We knew the consequence of Argentina successful 2-0 and we assessed that until many gamers had been booked within the Poland recreation, the outcomes meant we had been nonetheless out.”

Poland boss Czeslaw Michniewicz stated: “We had an settlement that solely me and the technical employees could be throughout what was taking place within the Mexico match.

“My coronary heart stopped a bit when Grzegorz Krychowiak was booked, we knew it was minus three factors and honest play was already considered.

“So Piotr Zielinski was supposed to go away but we substituted Krychowiak as a result of for 5 minutes we did not have management of the sport and could not make the substitution, whereas he was endangered by the second yellow card.

“My technical employees instructed me there was solely a distinction of two or three yellow playing cards so it was very shut, we had been at a tough time when it was 2-0.

“The mistake of Krychowiak may have made us return to the lodge and pack but now I hear we’re going to play France.

“I instructed them to keep away from silly playing cards, we had been doing something to keep away from any provocation, keep away from speaking to referees.”

‘Madness – such a superb recreation of soccer’

The lead-up to the sport was all about nervous Saudi Arabia followers filling the metro, the boulevard and the stadium within the hope of seeing a victory that might take them through to the knockout stage.

One native journalist stated round 150,000 supporters had travelled throughout the border for the sport, with greater than 60,000 estimated to be on the recreation, closely outnumbering the Mexicans.

“Inshallah” (God keen) was the phrase on each supporter’s lips but on the closing whistle it was each units of followers in inexperienced who went dwelling disillusioned.

Saudi completed backside of the group with one victory – and what a win it was towards Argentina – whereas Mexico’s goalless draw towards Poland and loss to Lionel Scaloni’s aspect proved expensive.

Henry Martin’s objective from shut vary and Luis Chavez’s beautiful free-kick set their small quantity of followers alight, and the Mariachi band behind the objective did its finest to suck the ball into the online yet one more time.

Mexico gamers embraced one another on the closing whistle realizing their journey was over, whereas supporters sat of their seats lengthy after the ultimate whistle with some in tears of disbelief.

“It’s been a loopy day of soccer with the twists and turns you get at this stage of the competitors,” stated Gary Lineker on BBC One.

Former Wales defender Ashley Williams stated: “Madness. That was such a superb recreation of soccer regardless of who went through.”

Tears of celebration for Poland

BBC Sport’s Andy Cryer at Stadium 974

From the second Alex Mac Allister put a dominant Argentina forward early within the second half towards Poland, there was by no means any doubt about who was successful the sport.

The doubt was whether or not Poland would survive and for many of the second half the gamers on the pitch regarded pretty unconcerned. There was no racing ahead in search of a objective, they had been merely hanging on and hoping they didn’t lose by greater than the eventual 2-0 scoreline.

While the gamers could have been unaware of the drama being performed out, the small pocket of Poland followers – who had been drowned out by the unbelievable Argentine assist – actually weren’t.

Most of them had been spending extra time on their telephones checking occasions at Mexico v Saudi Arabia than they had been watching their very own – pretty hapless – aspect.

Heads went into palms from many of the Poles as Mexico scored their second and, when Argentina deservedly made it 2-0, they knew they had been surviving within the match purely on yellow playing cards.

Argentina had been inches from scoring in harm time, to knock Poland out, but the ultimate whistle was not the top of the agony for Poland.

The gamers and employees gathered, the followers had been glued to their screens, after which a cheer. Saudi Arabia had pulled a objective again towards Mexico in stoppage time, Poland had been now protected on objective distinction moderately than honest play.

A objective for Mexico would nonetheless have knocked Poland out although, guaranteeing a pair extra minutes of ache earlier than the ultimate whistle at Lusail was greeted by emotional scenes on the 974.

Tearful followers hugged one another, some gamers charged round in celebration, whereas others sank to the ground within the data that they had acquired very, very fortunate.

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