Saudi Arabia vs Mexico FIFA LIVE Football Score 30/11/2022

The race to qualify from World Cup 2022 Group C is set to go right down to the wire, as Saudi Arabia and Mexico prepare to face off in Wednesday’s clash at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. With at least one of Argentina and Poland set to drop points in their top-two battle, all four sides are still in with a shot of progressing to the last-16 stage.

From the highs of defeating tournament favourites Argentina to the lows of a 2-0 loss to Poland, Herve Renard’s Saudi Arabia were brought crashing back down to earth at the weekend and missed the opportunity to seal a historic knockout place. An inspired performance from Wojciech Szczesny helped get Poland over the line, with the Juventus man saving from Salem Al-Dawsari’s penalty either side of goals from Piotr Zielinski and Robert Lewandowski, the latter’s first at the World Cup at the age of 34.

Having now been bumped down to third in the Group C standings, Saudi Arabia’s destiny is still in their own hands, as three points against the Mexicans would safely see them through to the knockout stages for only the second time, having got as far as the last 16 in 1994. A draw may even be enough if Poland can do them a favour by beating Argentina by at least three goals, but a tally of just four wins from their last 19 matches in all competitions hardly inspires confidence, nor does a 6% clean sheet ratio at the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Mexico learned the hard way about giving Lionel Messi too much time and space on the edge of the box over the weekend, as the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner set Argentina on their way to a pivotal 2-0 win to deepen their fellow Americans’ elimination concerns. Messi found the bottom corner with 64 minutes on the clock before Benfica starlet Enzo Fernandez wrapped up the three points in some fashion with a delightful curling effort, leaving Mexico at real risk of breaking their magnificent streak of top-two finishes.

El Tri have progressed to the knockout stages of every World Cup since 1994 and have not gone out in the group stage since 1978, but Gerardo Martino’s side simply have to win and hope that the scoreline and/or goals go in their favour in Poland’s clash with Argentina. Given their far inferior goal difference, Mexico would need to beat Saudi Arabia by a four-goal margin to qualify if Poland and Argentina play out a draw, and they will need a five-goal swing in their favour if Argentina beat their European counterparts.

Alternatively, Mexico will be through if they win and if Poland get the better of Argentina, but they have done themselves no favours by failing to score in the 2022 edition so far – out of all the sides to have played two games so far, only Tunisia have also posted zero goals. Mexico can take some solace in the fact that they boast a strong record of four wins and a draw from their five meetings with Saudi Arabia, but the most recent of those came all the way back in 1999, and Renard’s side should fear no foe in their bid for a much-coveted top-two finish.

Saudi Arabia will be forced into a midfield alteration after Abdulelah Al-Malki – whose mistake led to Lewandowski’s goal – picked up his second yellow card of the tournament in the defeat to Poland, so Ali Al-Hassan or Nawaf Al-Abed could come in to deputise for Renard here. Alternatively, Riyad Sharahili could provide a more defensive presence after returning to team training from a previous injury concern, leaving Mohammed Al-Burayk, Yasir Al-Shahrani and Salman Al-Faraj as Saudi Arabia’s three absentees.

Another goal for Al-Dawsari would see the captain draw level with Sami Al Jaber as Saudi Arabia’s highest World Cup goalscorer with three strikes, and Renard affirmed before the loss to Poland that Al-Dawsari was fit and raring to go despite a concern over his fitness. Similarly, Mexico also have a fresh midfield concern after veteran Andres Guardado was forced off after just 42 minutes against Argentina with an apparent muscular problem, although he was quickly back in training and affirmed on Tuesday that he was fine.

Ajax’s Edson Alvarez is on standby in any case, and Martino should consider reverting to a four-man defence as his side desperately goes in search of goals here. Such an approach could lead to a recall to the tip of the attack for Raul Jimenez, who is set to bring up his 100th cap for El Tri on Wednesday and would love nothing more than to mark it with a goal or two.

El Tri, as the Mexican team are known, have not scored even once this tournament, playing out a goalless draw against Poland in their opener, followed by a 2-0 loss to Argentina. Now they need to beat the Green Falcons, as Saudi Arabia are known, by at least three goals in their final Group C game if they are to guarantee a spot in the last 16.

If Mexico win but with a lower margin, they will need Poland to beat Argentina in a match that will be played at the same time. That combination of results would see Mexico and Poland qualifying for the next round. Tata Martino, the Mexican coach, has indicated that he expects both teams to go all-out in this must-win match. “Saudi Arabia need to win the match and score goals, and so do we”, he said ahead of the game.

Saudi Arabia head into this match with three points, having recorded a major World Cup upset in their first match by beating Argentina 2-1. They were unlucky to lose 2-0 to Poland on Saturday. After conceding in the first half, Saudi Arabia had a penalty saved by an inspired Wojciech Szczęsny just before the break. Robert Lewandowski secured a hard-fought Polish win late in the second half.

A win will see Saudi Arabia automatically progress to the last 16. But they can only qualify with a draw if Argentina lose to Poland. Mexico have never lost to Saudi Arabia. And they’ve made the knockout stages in each of the last seven World Cups. But they head into this fixture low on confidence after two lacklustre World Cup performances and a string of defeats to Sweden, Colombia and Paraguay in the build-up to the tournament. And as the football world now knows well, Saudi Arabia like springing surprises.

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