By Victor Kanayo
Defending Champions France have emerged the first country to reach knockout stage of the ongoing FIFA 2022 World Cup after beating Denmark 2-1 in the second group D match on Saturday evening.
In the tricky encounter, PSG star Kylian Mbappe showed class as the French team qualified for the knockout stage.
It was Mbappe’s two second-half goals which finally saw off Denmark to all but confirm top spot in their group.
At just 23-years-old, he has already scored 31 times for his country and it is surely only a matter of time before he overhauls the current French record of 51 goals currently held by Olivier Giroud and Thierry Henry.
Earlier in the day, Barcelona striker Lewandowski scored his first ever World Cup goal as Poland brought Saudi Arabia back down to earth with a 2-0 victory that rejuvenated their tournament campaign.
Lewandowski, who had fired blank in his four previous World Cup games, did not have to wait too much longer, however, for his goal.
Abdulelah Al-Malki slipped and Lewandowski pounced, robbing him of the ball before sliding a tidy finish beyond Mohamed Al-Owais and into the net, with the striker seemingly in tears as he was greeted by team mates.
Lewandowski, who missed a penalty in Poland’s opening draw with Mexico, was visibly emotional after finally finding the net.
He pounced on a mistake in the 82nd minute to double Poland’s advantage after Piotr Zielinski had given them a first-half lead.
After completing one of the tournament’s greatest ever shocks when they cut Argentina down to size in their opener, the Saudis, found Poland a tougher nut to crack at the Education City Stadium.
The Green Falcons failed to convert a first-half penalty.
The win moved Poland to four points, one more than the Saudis, and left them needing a draw in their final game against Argentina next Wednesday to guarantee their spot in the knockouts.
Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament, will head into their final match against Mexico with all still to play for, while Argentina play Mexico later on Saturday.