The first spot in soccer’s Sweet 16 has been claimed.
Day 7 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup saw France, the defending champions, become the first of the 32 teams competing in the tournament to advance to the Round of 16 after a 2-1 with over Denmark.
Argentina also kept its hopes of advancing alive, with the legendary Lionel Messi playing a key role in the team staving off elimination with a 2-0 victory over Mexico. Robert Lewandowski finally found the back of the net in Poland’s 2-0 win over a Saudi Arabia team playing its first game since producing the biggest upset of the tournament. Elsewhere, Australia defeated Tunisia 1-0 after Mitchell Duke scored on a header in the first half.
Here were the top three moments from Day 7:
Messi and Argentina live to see another day
Any guesses on who came up with a clutch goal for Argentina? Of course it was Lionel Messi.
It was the second goal of the tournament for Messi, and his eighth goal overall in 20 World Cup appearances.
Kylian Mbappe helps France advance
Kylian Mbappe has France thinking repeat.
The 23-year-old French star scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Denmark, making France the first team in the 2022 World Cup to advance to the Round of 16.
Mbappe broke a scoreless tie with a goal in the 61st minute.
With the score tied 1-1 in the closing minutes, Mbappe received a cross from Antoine Griezmann and fired it into the back of the net for the winning goal.
Mbappe has scored three goals in two games, placing him in a tie with Ecuador’s Enner Valencia in the World Cup Golden Boot race.
France is seeking to become the first team to repeat as World Cup champion since Brazil in 1962.
Robert Lewandowski scores long-awaited goal
It was a goal that was 10 years in the making.
Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, a 34-year-old striker who made his national team debut more than a decade ago, scored his first World Cup goal in a 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia.
The Polish captain, playing in his fifth World Cup game, stripped the ball from Saudi Arabia defender Abdulelah Al-Malki after a bobbled pass in the box. He settled the ball, fired into the net and celebrated like…well, like someone who had waited a long time to score a goal on the World Cup stage.
Lewandowski slid onto the pitch in celebration before being mobbed by his teammates.
Earlier in the game, Lewandowski recorded his first World Cup assist, setting up teammate Piotr Zielinski in the 38th minute for the go-ahead goal.