Soccer

Today at the World Cup: England wait on Kane as Saudi Arabia celebrate

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Harry Kane’s ankle is a cause for concern but Saudi Arabia had no such worries after a historic World Cup win over Argentina.

Defending champions France eased to a 4-1 win over Australia – with Olivier Giroud equalling a Thierry Henry record – while Denmark versus Tunisia and Mexico against Poland both ended goalless.

Here, the PA news agency rounds up events in Qatar.

Injury scare for Kane

England captain Harry Kane is set to have a scan on his right ankle before Friday’s World Cup match against the United States, the PA news agency understands.

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Kane had England fans’ hearts in mouths early in the second half against Iran when he went down gripping his right foot in pain after being caught by a poor Morteza Pouraliganji challenge.

The skipper managed to play on until the 75th minute but was seen leaving the ground with a slight limp and his right ankle lightly strapped.

The Football Association remained tight-lipped about Kane’s fitness the following day but it is understood the striker is to undergo a scan before Friday’s clash with the USA

Saudi stars stun Argentina

Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in one of the biggest World Cup upsets.

Despite Lionel Messi’s first-half penalty, Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari scored soon after the interval and a resolute defensive effort secured a 2-1 victory.

Saudi coach Herve Renard said: “We prepared very well and all the stars in the sky were in the same line for us. They have amazing players, but this is football. Sometimes things completely crazy can happen.”

Messi, after becoming just the fifth player to score in four different World Cups, said: “It is a very hard blow for everyone.”

Keane Qatar blast

Roy Keane said the World Cup should not be held in Qatar and accused the country of lacking “common decency” with its human rights record.

Qatar has come under increased scrutiny since being awarded the tournament in controversial circumstances, with focus on its treatment of women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and migrant workers.

Keane, working as a pundit for ITV, said: “The World Cup shouldn’t be here. It has been mentioned with corruption regarding FIFA. The country, the way they treat migrant workers, gay people.

“We all love football and we’re on about spreading the game but to dismiss human rights flippantly because of a football tournament is not right. It shouldn’t be here.”

Giroud levels up

Olivier Giroud equalled France’s all-time goalscoring record as his brace helped the holders recover from an early scare to make light work of Australia and begin their World Cup defence with a comfortable victory.

A number of injures rocked the France squad heading into the finals and they were stunned as Craig Goodwin opened the scoring after nine minutes before rallying to record a 4-1 win.

Adrien Rabiot levelled before setting up Giroud for his 50th France goal. Kylian Mbappe headed in the third before Giroud struck again to level Thierry Henry’s record.

Germany start road to redemption

Joshua Kimmich is desperate for Germany to right the wrongs of their dismal World Cup campaign of four years ago.

The Germans travelled to Russia as defending champions but finished bottom of their group after shock defeats by Mexico and South Korea.

Bayern Munich midfielder Kimmich was a member of that squad and has been waiting a long time to banish the memories, starting against Japan on Wednesday.

“Our motivation is huge,” said the 27-year-old. “We know that was terrible what happened and we have had quite the wait, four and a half years.

“Tomorrow it will be very important to start with a good game. The first game is extremely important. At the Euros we lost the first game and we didn’t win that. It was quite an experience and I hope tomorrow we will be winning.”

Germany will be without winger Leroy Sane, who picked up a knee injury in training, but forward Thomas Muller is fit.

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Group E: Germany v Japan (1300, ITV1), Spain v Costa Rica (1600, ITV1)

Group F: Morocco v Croatia (1300, ITV1), Belgium v Canada (1900, BBC One)

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