After Argentina high and Poland low at FIFA World Cup, Saudi Arabia could do with something in the middle vs. Mexico

Despite losing 2-0 to Poland on Saturday, Saudi Arabia remain in with a chance of reaching the knockout round at the FIFA World Cup for only the second time ahead of Wednesday's Group C finale against Mexico. Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

DOHA, Qatar -- From the euphoria of claiming a now-famous win over Argentina to the disappointment four days later of losing to Poland, despite having dominated their more-illustrious opponents, something in between against Mexico on Wednesday could just work for Saudi Arabia -- as they look to advance into the knockout round at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

As the group stage reaches its conclusion, Saudi Arabia find themselves in a position few gave them a chance of being in before a ball was even kicked.

But following that remarkable triumph over Argentina, the Green Falcons head into Wednesday's Group C finale knowing that a win over Mexico would send them through to the last 16 for the first time since they made their tournament debut in 1994.

Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard has already issued a rallying cry to his players, claiming their achievements will count for little if they do not advance.

"Saudi Arabia have a good generation, and the only time the national team qualified for the last 16 was in 1994," he said in his pre-match news conference on Tuesday.

"So if the players want the fans to remember them, they should write history or they will be forgotten within 30 years.

"All teams are strong, and we still have a chance in the third match. Mexico have a lot of experience in the World Cup and we have to fight to stay in the tournament."

Saudi Arabia will be without a trio of key players -- Salman Al-Faraj, Yasser Al-Shahrani and Mohammed Al-Breik -- due to injury, while midfielder destroyer Abdullelah Al-Malki will be suspended.

On paper, they will still be underdogs against the Mexicans -- but that was also the case against Argentina. Everyone now knows how that turned out.

Then, in their clash with Poland, the Asian contenders actually boasted 64% possession against opponents 25 places above them in the world rankings, while firing away 16 shots to nine.

In what will be a huge boost to coach Renard and his team, Mexico have not exactly lived up to expectations at the tournament so far with just one point from two matches.

It could easily have been none had it not been for the heroics of veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa -- who crucially saved a Robert Lewandowski penalty in their opening 0-0 draw against Poland.

Considering Saudi Arabia have also defended admirably so far, the fact that they will be up against an attack that has been struggling to fire will be another reason for optimism.

It was an issue that Mexico coach Gerardo Martino acknowledged, saying in his pre-match news conference on Tuesday: "Right now, this (their poor form in front of goal) is serious because we need to score in the game tomorrow.

"But this is not just about attackers. We all share our responsibilities."

As Tuesday's Group A and B deciders have proven, the stage is set for something dramatic at Lusail Iconic Stadium on Wednesday night.

Still, after an extreme high was followed by them crashing back down to earth, Saudi Arabia could be forgiven for hoping for a completely normal outing bereft of incident and tension.

As long as it ends with them getting the win they need to secure their last in the Round of 16.