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World Cup highlights Argentina and Poland advance; Mexico eliminated

Mexico's 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia wasn't enough to advance to the knockout round. (Manu Fernandez/AP)

The World Cup continued Wednesday afternoon, with electrifying, chaotic and simultaneous Group C matches. Argentina erased the sting of its loss to Saudi Arabia with a 2-0 win over Poland, securing first place in the group. Mexico thus needed a convincing win over Saudi Arabia to play on, and a 2-1 victory wasn’t good enough, with Poland advancing based on a superior goal differential.

Defending champion France, which had already clinched a spot in the knockout round, won Group D earlier Wednesday despite its 1-0 loss to Tunisia. Australia beat Denmark, 1-0, to secure second place in the group.

Here’s what to know

  • Poland made it through to the round of 16 despite its loss to Argentina, thanks to a better goal differential than Mexico, which will not be in the knockout round for the first time since it missed the 1990 World Cup. (Poland had a goal differential of zero, while Mexico was outscored by one.)
  • France won Group D and will play Poland in a round-of-16 game Sunday. With Tunisia’s win over France on Wednesday, Australia needed to beat Denmark to move on and it did, setting up a round-of-16 game with Argentina on Saturday.
  • The World Cup continues Thursday with more group finales in Group E and Group F. Find the full group stage schedule and updated group standings here. Find the knockout round schedule and bracket here.
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Here's what to know:

Poland made it through to the round of 16 despite its loss to Argentina, thanks to a better goal differential than Mexico, which will not be in the knockout round for the first time since it missed the 1990 World Cup. (Poland had a goal differential of zero, while Mexico was outscored by one.)
France won Group D and will play Poland in a round-of-16 game Sunday. With Tunisia’s win over France on Wednesday, Australia needed to beat Denmark to move on and it did, setting up a round-of-16 game with Argentina on Saturday.
The World Cup continues Thursday with more group finales in Group E and Group F. Find the full group stage schedule and updated group standings here. Find the knockout round schedule and bracket here.

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World Cup in Qatar

World champions: Argentina has won the World Cup, defeating France in penalty kicks in a thrilling final in Lusail, Qatar, for its first world championship since 1986. Argentina was led by global soccer star Lionel Messi in what is expected to be his final World Cup appearance. France was bidding to become the first repeat champion since Brazil won consecutive trophies in 1958 and 1962.

Today’s WorldView: In the minds of many critics, especially in the West, Qatar’s World Cup will always be a tournament shrouded in controversy. But Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, wants people to take another view.

Perspective: “America is not a men’s soccer laughingstock right now. It’s onto something, and it’s more attuned to what’s working for the rest of the world rather than stubbornly forcing an American sports culture — without the benefit of best-of-the-best talent — into international competition.” Read Jerry Brewer on the U.S. men’s national team’s future.

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