Tops and Flops of World Cup Day 3: Arabia Deliver Historic Upset

In the first early kickoff of the tournament, Saudi Arabia stunned the world with a come-from-behind victory over Argentina. Naturally, the rest of the day struggled to follow suit with the historic feat, and to make matters worse, we witnessed back-to-back stalemates afterwards, as Denmark, Tunisia, Mexico and Poland all shared the spoils.

In the evening, Australia threatened to replicate the morning’s upset when they took the lead against France, but the defending champions punished them for the slight with four goals. So here are our Tops and Flops from the Day 3 of the World Cup 2022.

Flop (Player): Robert Lewandowski

First of all, let’s make one thing clear: All great strikers miss penalties on crucial occasions. After all, they’re the ones who always step up, and they can’t succeed on every single occasion.

However, one would have expected Robert Lewandowski to bury his spot kick home. Nonetheless, Guillermo Ochoa pulled off a fantastic save to preserve the draw, and it turned out to be a day to forget for the uncrowned 2021 Ballon d’Or winner.

Top (Player): Adrien Rabiot

Now surely Kylian Mbappé looked superb for France as you’d expect, while Olivier Giroud scored a personal brace that put him on par with Thierry Henry with 51 international goals. Nevertheless, this is Adrien Rabiot’s world and we’re just living in it.

The Juventus midfielder nodded home a timely equalizer for the world champions, before stealing the ball and delivering the assist that turned the match upside-down.

From outcast to protagonist, the midfielder is enjoying a remarkable career turnaround.

Top (Manager): Massimiliano Allegri

All hail Lord Max Allegri, creator of the all-conquering version of Adrien Rabiot.

The man kept telling us that his midfielder can become a goal machine, and he’s FINALLY delivering on his promise.

Now we’re still waiting for Mattia De Sciglio’s all-conquering version, but we’ll let it go for the time being.

Top (Manager): Hervé Renard

Obviously, the previous paragraph was a silly joke that masks our inner pain caused by the Serie A pause (it’s been nine long days already).

The REAL top manager from World Cup Day 3 is of course Hervé Renard, who is also dubbed as the most elegant coach in the tournament – of course since Joachim Low is out of the way.

Anyway, the French manager inserted an inexplicable fire within the Saudi players at half-time to deliver the shock of the decade.

Enough said.

Flop (Manager): Lionel Scaloni

While we don’t like to kick a man when he’s down, let’s face it, Lionel Scaloni has bigger things to worry about at the moment.

When Argentina suddenly found themselves trailing behind their supposedly-lowly opposition, Scaloni looked at the players sitting on the bench and must have seen Paulo Dybala and Angel Correa. So of course he decided to introduce a centre-back, a left-back and a defensive midfielder (plus Julian Alvarez) while leaving the star duo on the bench.

Maybe the two forwards wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but you gotta play your cards, man!

Top (Goalkeeper): Mohammed Al Owais

The Saudi goalkeeper conceded an early penalty courtesy of the GOAT, but he had the last laugh with a string a jaw-dropping saves. Immense display.

Top (Parents): The Hernandez

Admittedly, we don’t know much about Jean-Francois Hernandez and Laurence Py nor care to. But here’s the bottom line, those folks know how to raise a left-back.

Imagine having a son featuring for the world champions. Sadly, he sustains a painful injury and has to leave the pitch early.

His replacement? Your other son, who also happens to be a world class left-back and ends up producing a wonderful display.

Monsieur Deschamps sends his best regards.

Nasty Moment of the Day: Yasser Al-Shahrani Knockout

With only a few minutes remaining on the clock, Mohammed Al Owais was a man possessed, pulling off one one heroic save after the other. Unfortunately for his teammate Yasser Al-Shahrani, he was a part of the collateral damage, getting knocked out cold by a knee to the face.

The goalkeeper was left devastated after unintentionally hurting his KSA teammate who left the pitch on a stretcher.

Here’s for a quick recovery.

Top (Goal): Salem Al-Dawsari

While the knockout isn’t to be replayed, here’s a highlight that should be. Salem Al-Dawsari scored what it easily the best goal of the World Cup thus far, as he dribbled his way past two Argentine players before unleashing a superb strike that landed in far corner.

An astonishing winner that sums up an historic achievement.

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