Group C World Cup 2022 final standings: Who qualified for the round of 16 and who is out?
World Cup Group C came to a tense conclusion when a last-minute goal scored by Saudi Arabia threatened to upset the apple cart.
Saudi Arabia were meant to be the, well, for lack of a better phrase, the comedy foil in this group. It was expected by everyone that Argentina and Mexico would slug it out for supremacy, while Poland would put up a spirited, if ultimately doomed, battle.
In the end, Group C was nothing of the sort.
Saudi Arabia opened the group up by stunning Argentina, handing them a 2-1 defeat. With Mexico unable to break a deadlock with the Poles, suddenly the script had been flipped. Mexico were clinging on for dear life and the team standing between them and an ignominious end to their streak of seven straight Round of 16 appearances? Saudi Arabia.
A late goal by the Saudis looked for the briefest of moments like the whole apple cart could be upturned, but in the end, it settled into a 2-1 win for Mexico. Not enough however to see them through.
The Argentines go through at the top of the group and will face the runners-up of Group D, the Australian Socceroos for their trouble, while Group C runners-up, Poland, will have an altogether steeper hill to climb when they face the Group D champions, France.
Both Saudi Arabia and Mexico head home, though in markedly different circumstances. The Mexicans are stunned and disbelieving while the Saudis can hold their heads high. Nobody expected anything of them and a win over Argentina and a goal against Mexico is quite a result from them.
France and Poland will square off at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha on Sunday, 4 December 2022 (kick-off at 10am ET).
Argentina and Australia will get their rumble on at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan on Saturday, 3 December 2022 (kick-off at 2pm ET).