|Alexis Mac Allister (20) celebrating the opening goal for Argentina. — AFP/VNA Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Two underdogs found shocking wins in the final round of Group D on Wednesday, while in Group C, two of the world's best in Messi and Lewandowski battled for their tickets to the knockouts.
Australia won 1-0 against Denmark to progress at the expense of the Danes.
The match started strongly for Denmark, as Australia were playing deep and parked the bus, knowing a draw was enough for their progression.
Christian Eriksen and co. had space and time to create chances, but with no target men inside, the Danes again find it hard to score, just like in their last two matches.
Kasper Hjulmand brought in Alexander Bah, Kasper Dolberg and Mikkel Damsgaard but the Socceroos' defence did not falter. Denmark resorted to long-range efforts but to no avail.
Australia put the nail in the coffin, with a great counterattack that led to Mathew Leckie's terrific dribble and goal.
Elsewhere in Group D, France suffered a shocking 1-0 loss to fellow Francophonie side Tunisia.
Didier Deschamps replaced almost all of his usual starters, except Raphael Varane and Aurelien Tchouameni.
The France 'B' team struggled against the Tunisians. Jalel Kadri's men had more chances on goal than the French and found Steve Mandanda's net in the 8th minute, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Tunisia kept on pressing and shocked the world champions with a goal in the 58th minute from Wahbi Khazri.
Deschamps brought on superstars Mbappe, Griezmann and Dembele, and only in the 8th minute of added time did France reply. Antoine Griezmann seemed to have equalised for Les Bleus, the referee pointed to the centre circle, but two minutes after play restarted, VAR cancelled Griezmann's goal.
Tunisia won, but only placed third in the group stage with four points. Australia progresses as group runners-up, behind France on goal difference.
In Group C, all four teams have an equal chance to progress. Both matches, happening at the same time, had a dull first half full of cautious play.
Argentina and Poland faced off in a match where Argentina faces elimination, should they lose.
With that in mind, Lionel Scaloni's men went all-out attack and dominated the first half.
A golden chance came for Lionel Messi in the 39th minute, when he was seemingly punched in the face by Wojciech Szczesny inside the box. VAR interfered and Argentina was awarded the penalty.
From the spot, Messi's left-footed strike was parried away by a more confident Szczesny.
The miss did not affect the morale of Messi's teammates, however. Brighton's Alexis Mac Allister opened the scoreline just one minute after the break, delivering a super strike.
Manchester City's Julian Alvarez doubled Argentina's lead in the 67th minute and secured Argentina's qualification in first place.
Elsewhere, Mexico finally scored in this World Cup, and they scored twice courtesy of Henry Martin and Luis Chavez. Chavez's 25-metre free-kick goal is one of this year's goals of the tournament.
However, their efforts were not enough. Mexico needed three or more goals against Saudi Arabia to advance on goals scored, but couldn't convert their chances.
In added time, Salem Al-Dawsari made it 1-2, rubbing more salt in the wound of the Mexicans.
With these results, Poland will face France in the round of 16, while Argentina face Australia. — VNS