The Rugby World Cup is headed for the knockout rounds after a dramatic pool stage in which Scotland were the biggest casualties.

Eight teams remain from 20, with hosts Japan – who have four wins from four – progressing as winners of Pool A after defeating Gregor Townsend's men on Sunday.

Japan also stunned Ireland in the same group, but Joe Schmidt's side progressed into the quarters in second.

In Pool B, two-time defending champions New Zealand finished top, with an impressive South Africa side behind them. Italy were frustrated as the impact of Typhoon Hagibis ended their slim chances of progression.

Meanwhile, England topped Pool C with France in second place, with Wales and Australia completing the last-eight line-up.

Using Opta data, we look back at an enthralling tournament so far.

Pool A – Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Russia

1 – Japan are into the knockout stage of a World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first non-tier one side to do so since Fiji in 2007.

5 – Kirill Golosnitskiy's scored in the fifth minute of the opening match as Russia took the lead against Japan. It is the quickest ever try in a World Cup opener.

2 – Scotland have failed to make it out of the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup for just the second time, after also doing so in 2011.

90 – Rob Kearney crossed for a try after just 90 seconds against Russia, Ireland's fastest World Cup try and the fastest of the tournament so far.

48 – Japan's Yu Tamura has scored 48 points so far, more than any other player. All of his points have come with the boot – 10 penalties and nine conversions.

Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

4 – Canada had Josh Larsen sent off versus South Africa and have had four players dismissed in the history of the World Cup, more than any other side. There have been seven dismissals so far this tournament – four was the previous highest total in both 1995 and 1999.

17 – New Zealand have won their last 17 World Cup matches, the longest run by any side in the tournament's history.

21 – Against Canada, South Africa's Cobus Reinach scored the earliest hat-trick in a World Cup match, crossing for his third try in the 21st minute.

142 – After featuring against South Africa, Italy captain Sergio Parisse surpassed Brian O'Driscoll (141) to become the outright second-most capped player in Test rugby history behind Richie McCaw, who played 148 times.

Pool C – England, France, Argentina, Tonga, USA

20 – Against Argentina, Romain Ntamack, aged 20 years and 143 days, became the youngest player to feature for France in a World Cup match.

88 – Agustin Creevy won his 88th cap for Argentina when he played against England, overtaking Felipe Contepomi as Los Puma's most capped player.

6 – George Ford has been involved in six tries for England, more than any other player, scoring two and providing a tournament-high four assists.

Pool D – Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay

62 – Fiji's Semi Radradra topped the charts for carries (62), metres (400) and defenders beaten (29) in the pool stage.

94 – James Slipper scored his first try for Australia in his 94th Test when the Wallabies faced Uruguay. No player from any nation has played more matches before scoring their first try.

130 – By playing in Wales' win over Australia, Alun Wyn Jones overtook Gethin Jenkins (129) as the most capped Welshman, going on to make his 131st appearance against Fiji.

35 – At the age of 35 years and 186 days, Adam Ashley-Cooper is the oldest Australia player to make a World Cup appearance. He subsequently became their oldest try scorer in World Cup history, and their oldest in any match since 1966.

100 – Warren Gatland's side have won 100 per cent of their matches so far. It is the first time Wales have won all of their pool games since 1987.

Argentina striker Lucas Alario applauded "animal" Marcos Acuna after the Sporting CP star inspired Sunday's 6-1 friendly win over Ecuador.

Acuna, normally a left-sided attacker, has been deployed at full-back this season and filled that role impressively in Elche as Argentina romped to victory, coming in for Nicolas Tagliafico after he disappointed last time out.

The 27-year-old had a hand in the first three goals and was generally a lively presence up down the left flank.

Alario – who scored for the second match running – was particularly impressed, having opened the scoring with a header from Acuna's cross.

"Acuna is an animal," Alario told TyC Sports. "The routes he took… He was uncatchable.

"He runs all the time, he has a very good delivery and as a centre-forward, you have to take advantage of those qualities."

The victory ensures Argentina's international break will be seen in a largely positive light, having drawn 2-2 with Germany in a friendly on Wednesday, fighting back from 2-0 down.

Lionel Scaloni was left feeling encouraged, especially after being able to give so many players a run-out over the two games.

"In all the internationals we are satisfied, although it's true that because of the magnitude of the rivals we are also happy and that we could give many players minutes," Scaloni said.

"There is quality and desire to be here, too. We only need time and that the players play as they have done today [against Ecuador].

"The boys are understanding the changes and that must be valued. Honestly, I think these guys can give us a lot, although there are some things to correct.

"What I liked most was the last 20, 25 minutes, which was the period where the team pushed the most and ran despite the victory [already being secured].

"I am excited about the way these guys understand the meaning of this jersey. With these feelings it will be difficult to beat this team.

"There are five or six players who are the base and have always played. It is easy to know who they are: Lautaro Martinez, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Nicolas Tagliafico, even Paulo Dybala and Marcos Acuna."

Argentina built on their promising second-half display against Germany by crushing Ecuador 6-1 in a friendly on Sunday, with Marcos Acuna playing a starring role.

Lionel Scaloni suggested the team produced their best performance of his tenure when fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Die Mannschaft on Wednesday and they looked sharp again in Spain, albeit against more modest opposition.

As soon as Argentina took the lead through Lucas Alario's header, it never looked like being anything other than a comfortable win for La Albiceleste, who went into half-time three up thanks to a Jhon Espinoza own goal and Leandro Paredes' penalty – Acuna playing a role in each of the goals.

Angel Mena pulled one back early in the second half thanks to some woeful goalkeeping from Agustin Marchesin, but it was not the start of sensational comeback, as Argentina romped to victory with German Pezzella, Nicolas Dominguez and Lucas Ocampos getting in on the act.

But for an early Michael Estrada free-kick that flew just over, Argentina dominated the first half and were good value for the lead when Alario scored for the second game running, heading Acuna's corner in with 20 minutes played.

Acuna played a decisive role again seven minutes later, Pedro Ortiz failing to keep his left-wing cross out after it took a deflection off Espinoza.

It was 3-0 soon after thanks to Paredes' spot-kick – Dario Aimar penalised for fouling Lautaro Martinez following another teasing Acuna's delivery.

Ecuador made four half-time changes and one of those introduced took just three minutes to make his mark, as Mena found the top-right corner with a 30-yard free-kick from the inside-left channel to embarrass Marchesin, who seemingly thought it was going over.

Argentina stepped things up again, however, with Pezzella re-establishing the three-goal cushion 24 minutes from time with a header from Paulo Dybala's left-wing free-kick.

Dominguez then drilled a fine drive into the bottom-left corner and Ocampos rounded off an emphatic win from a tight angle after Ortiz had parried Dybala's curler.

 

What does it mean? La Albiceleste starting to click

There were hints of it in the second half against Germany, but Sunday's display provided more comprehensive proof that Argentina are beginning to find their groove once again.

While Ecuador are going through a difficult moment, Scaloni's side highlighted their technical qualities while working hard in a thoroughly professional showing.

Acuna stakes his claim

Nicolas Tagliafico's stranglehold on the left-back spot has frustrated some fans in recent times, particularly after a difficult outing against Germany. Acuna came in on Sunday and showed why many are calling for him to get a run in the side. Even if it was only against Ecuador, he was a constant threat on the left and his deliveries were exceptionally consistent.

Marchesin loses his bearings

Several Ecuador defenders produced unimpressive displays, but Argentina's Marchesin will go down as the flop of the match after his suspect goalkeeping for Mena's goal – the Porto man inexplicably letting it float over his head and into the net.

What's next?

Scaloni's men return to action next month in another friendly, as they face Paraguay in Bangladesh. Ecuador are yet to schedule any fixtures for the November international break.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi will make his return from suspension in November, insists head coach Lionel Scaloni.

Messi was handed a three-month ban from international football in August for accusing South America's governing body CONMEBOL of "corruption" during the Copa America.

After being controversially sent off in Argentina's third-place play-off win over Chile in July, Messi did not appear to collect his medal and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner later explained that he did not want to "be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa".

Messi also blasted the officiating at the competition following Argentina's semi-final loss to hosts Brazil, before then suggesting referees and the VAR would favour Tite's men against Peru in the final, which the Selecao won 3-1.

The Argentina skipper has missed friendlies against Chile, Mexico and Germany, and he will sit out Sunday's clash with Ecuador ahead of next month's return.

Asked about Messi, Scaloni told reporters: "Messi is not here due to suspension.

"Sergio Aguero is not here because he's been carrying a problem and has not been training 100 per cent with his club.

"Surely both will be here next month."

Argentina are coming off a 2-2 draw away to Germany on Wednesday – a game in which Scaloni's men overturned a two-goal deficit in the second half.

Scaloni has already named his line-up for the match against Ecuador, with Agustin Marchesin, Juan Foyth, German Pezzella, Walter Kannemann, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Gonzalez, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Lucas Ocampos, Lucas Alario and Lautaro Martinez starting.

"The idea is to play with attacking players. With players that get to the penalty area," Scaloni said.

"We believe that this is the right way. We take decisions thinking about what is best for the team."

Lionel Scaloni thinks Argentina's 2-2 draw with Germany on Wednesday produced arguably the best performance of his spell in charge of La Albiceleste.

Argentina found themselves trailing 2-0 in Dortmund after 22 minutes of the international friendly, as Serge Gnabry prodded in from close range before teeing up Kai Havertz for his first Germany goal.

But Scaloni's substitutions helped inspire a comeback, as Lucas Alario – brought on for Paulo Dybala just past the hour – headed in and then Lucas Ocampos sealed a draw late on having been introduced at half-time.

Scaloni stepped in after Argentina's shambolic 2018 World Cup campaign and has often attracted criticism for his selections and disappointing displays against better opposition, although Wednesday's comeback left him optimistic for the future.

When asked if it was the best showing of his tenure, Scaloni told reporters: "Possibly, yes, considering the opponent, but we had great games before, with our attitude.

"What stands out, aside from the performance, was the attitude of wanting to overcome the score and not give the match away. That was our team's greatest virtue in the second half.

"It was a complicated match at 2-0, and it could've ended badly for us, but we read the match properly.

"What we were supposed to do in the first half didn't happen. In the second half it did. We've matured lot, that's what these matches are all about; growing for the future, with complicated things ahead.

"I think it [the second half] was the same as the first half, with the distinction that we didn't commit any mistakes at ball clearances.

"We had four mistakes in the first period; two of them were goals, the other two weren't.

"In these kinds of games, what matters is the functionality over the score. Logically, if we don't lose, it's better. The score comes second, most important is the performance.

"In the second half, I'll say it again, we saw another Argentina, a more decisive Argentina that knew what to do. But the first half needs to be properly analysed.

"There were mistakes and if we could erase those mistakes, the performance wasn't bad. Logically, Argentina were superior in the second half, so we must point out the good aspects and correct the bad ones from now on."

Joachim Low hailed Serge Gnabry's performance in Germany's 2-2 draw with Argentina as "very dangerous" but said he brought the Bayern Munich forward off to protect him from injury.

Gnabry netted Germany's opener after just 15 minutes of the friendly at Signal-Iduna-Park, taking his goal tally for club and country to six in his last four matches.

Kai Havertz added a second to give Low's men a 2-0 lead at half-time but Argentina took advantage of some poor second-half defending to level the match, with Lucas Alario and Lucas Ocampos on target.

Germany face Estonia in a Euro 2020 qualifying match on Sunday, and Low indicated his decision to replace Gnabry after 72 minutes with Schalke's Suat Serdar was made with one eye on that game.

"We didn't want Serge Gnabry playing for 90 minutes," Low told reporters.

"He has also played a lot of games lately. He went very fast and covered a lot of ground.

"Serge showed up almost everywhere, was always very dangerous and made the Argentine defence insecure in the first half. That's why it was clear from the outset that we would take him off the pitch after 70 minutes.

"We definitely need him in the next games, and the risk was too big for me that he could still injure himself there."

Low gave a glowing report on Joshua Kimmich's performance as captain, and explained his decision to give the Bayern Munich defensive midfielder the armband.

At the age of just 24, Kimmich has already earned 45 caps since making his Germany debut in May 2016.

"Jo [Kimmich] has been with us a long time," said Low. "He fits in with his personality. He's a role model when it comes to deployment. He is a role model in his whole attitude.

"Meanwhile he also has some experience. He can also verbally lead a team on the pitch. He is very good at organisation and gives instructions.

"He is also always omnipresent on the pitch. So it was clear to me that Jo [Kimmich] was captain today."

Lucas Ocampos scored his first senior international goal as Argentina pulled off a late fightback in a 2-2 draw with Germany, who let slip a two-goal lead in a game they dominated for an hour.

After Serge Gnabry skilfully put the hosts in front, Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz swept home Die Mannschaft's second of a game in which Argentina offered very little until substitute Lucas Alario pulled one back in the 66th minute.

Lionel Messi missed the game while he served a suspension but Lionel Scaloni fielded a strong team including Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez and Roberto Pereyra in attack.

Low took the opportunity to give debuts to Gian-Luca Waldschmidt on the wing and Robin Koch in defence and was rewarded with an hour of dominance before a late rally culminated in Ocampos poaching an equaliser that silenced the crowd in Dortmund.

Argentina were undone after 15 minutes when Lukas Klostermann got around Angel Correa and played a low cross towards Gnabry, who nipped in ahead of three Argentina defenders and poked the ball into the far corner of the net from six yards.

Another Klostermann break brought Germany's second goal, the RB Leipzig wing-back pouncing after Marcos Rojo yielded possession and surging forward to feed Gnabry, whose slide-rule pass into the box found Havertz unmarked for an easy finish.

Marcel Halstenberg crashed a stunning 30-yard free-kick onto the underside of the crossbar before Argentina's Rodrigo de Paul hammered a similarly spectacular effort onto the post at the other end but at the interval the hosts deservedly led 2-0.

Emre Can forced Agustin Marchesin into a save on the edge of his penalty area early in the second half before Scaloni sent on Alario for Dybala.

The Bayer Leverkusen striker had been on the pitch just three minutes when fellow substitute Marcos Acuna picked him out with a floated cross from the left and he arrowed a header into the far corner of Marc-Andre ter Stegen's net.

A Joshua Kimmich free-kick tested Marchesin in the closing stages but the Porto goalkeeper punched it clear before Alario's run sliced Germany open and Ocampos side-footed home via a deflection off Can, beating Ter Stegen at his near post to Low's dismay.

 

What does it mean? Low's men took their foot off the gas

Germany face stiff competition from Northern Ireland and Netherlands to qualify for Euro 2020 but looked confident and incisive enough to beat almost anyone for an hour in Dortmund.

That assured display gave way to a disappointing half-hour in which Germany's inexperience perhaps took its toll.

Brandt bossed it

The best Germany teams of the last decade have always featured an imposing presence in attacking midfield, and Julian Brandt's high-pressing performance offered shades of Thomas Muller in his prime.

Rojo no show

Rojo went into this game having played just 30 minutes of Premier League football for Manchester United this season and it showed; he was hauled off at half-time.

What's next?

Germany face Estonia on Sunday in the battle of top versus bottom in Euro 2020 qualifying group C, while Argentina play another friendly against Ecuador in Spain.

Mario Ledesma was left with an overall feeling of dissatisfaction despite seeing already-eliminated Argentina round off their disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign with a 47-17 win over the United States.

France's win over Tonga on Sunday meant Argentina, who lost to Les Bleus and England either side of beating the Tongans, knew the contest against USA was merely a dead rubber.

The Pumas at least restored a modicum of pride by running in seven tries, Joaquin Tuculet and Juan Cruz Mallia both scoring braces, while Nicolas Sanchez, Jeronimo De La Fuente and Gonzalo Bertranou also went in.

Though he was pleased with what he saw in Kumagaya, Ledesma was also frustrated it was Argentina's final game.

"Today was very good in lots of areas but ultimately how I feel about this World Cup is that I'm not satisfied," he told a news conference.

"We came here fighting to make the quarters and have been working very hard but we were never able to find the perfect game we were looking for.

"We really wanted to make it through and everyone is disappointed that we couldn't, but the motivation was still there today but it was from inside, from the heart."

While Stade Francais fly-half Sanchez, 30, caught the eye, Mallia, 23, made 164 metres and was one of several younger players to give Ledesma encouragement for the country's direction moving forward.

"Argentine rugby has a bright future - the youngsters were incredible today," he added.

"The way we played today was actually similar to how it was in 2015 [when Argentina reached the semi-finals] and we have been working hard to mix things up.

"We've scored several tries from driving mauls in this World Cup, the scrum was pretty consistent here, so I think it's a case of trying to use the pack to get forward and a consistent set-piece and then we have exciting backs who can deliver as we saw today.

"We were able to score some really good tries in the match and the players played with real joy."

USA are still without a win from their three games in the tournament but still have one contest remaining against Tonga on Sunday.

"We did some good things with the ball but we also missed some opportunities," said captain Blaine Scully.

"Unfortunately, in a World Cup, you have to take every chance you get because they don't come around too often. Credit to Argentina, they showed what a dangerous team they are."

Argentina cruised past the United States 47-17 in their final appearance at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Joaquin Tuculet scored a first-half double to set Los Pumas on their way before Juan Cruz Mallia added a double of his own in the second half to give Argentina a comfortable win.

The USA held Argentina scoreless for almost 20 minutes before Nicolas Sanchez exchanged passes with Mallia, scored the opening try and then converted his own score.

Sanchez was excellent in the first half as he laid on the next dot-down for Tuculet, before full-back Tuculet added a third Argentina try leading into half-time.

Blaine Scully reduced the arrears a minute before the break, but two scores from Mallia early in the second period put paid to American hopes.

Jeronimo De La Fuente and Gonzalo Bertranou added further tries in the second half to extend the Pumas' lead, with Scully and Paul Lasike weighing in with consolations for the Eagles.

Argentina finish their Pool C campaign with 11 points, having suffered defeats to England and France, while the USA will hope to avoid bottom place with a win over Tonga on Sunday.

For Argentina, Wednesday's match marked the end of an era, with veteran back-rower Juan Manuel Leguizamon signing off from international rugby after winning an 87th cap.

Sanchez shines for the Pumas

Stade Francais fly-half Nicolas Sanchez put on a tremendous showing in the first half as he broke the line early to link up with Mallia for the deadlock-breaker, before returning the favour after a spirited United States start.

A disappointing campaign ends with farewell to stalwart Leguizamon

Argentina's hopes of making the quarter-finals were dashed after defeats to France and England, but they mustered enough emotional energy to give a lively farewell to retiring hero Leguizamon. The 36-year-old has been a model of consistency for Los Pumas when called upon across four Rugby World Cups and his experience will be sorely missed.

USA need to cut down on cheap turnovers

The United States face Tonga in arguably their most winnable game of the pool stage on Saturday, but they need to improve their defensive effort and retain possession better if they are to defeat Tonga.

What's next?

The USA will hope to get their first win of this Rugby World Cup in their final pool game with Tonga on Saturday, while Argentina's campaign has come to an end.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni claimed Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala are the future of the national team ahead of Wednesday’s friendly with Germany.

Scaloni confirmed his starting lineup for the international in Dortmund and named the pair to start up front in the absence of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and a host of players from River Plate and Bocas Juniors, who have been withdrawn due to Copa Libertadores commitments later this month. 

The 41-year-old is looking to integrate fresh names into the team ahead of back-to-back Copa America’s and the start of 2022 World Cup qualifying next year.

In-form Martinez and Dybala both scored in Sunday’s top-of-the-table Derby D’Italia as Juventus defeated Inter Milan 2-1, and Scaloni is excited to seeing the pair link-up for their country.

"I think they will be called up to the Argentina National Team for many years and in this change and re-structuring, they are the ones who should hold the flag up high," he told reporters. "They are good friends and more importantly the future of this shirt. Last Sunday’s game was very good and we hope they play well together (on Wednesday).

"They (Germany) have great players that are out due to injury but we do as well and they are just as important as their players. It’s a challenge and many of them who will go out tomorrow will find out if they are capable of playing.

"I believe this is the last step in finalising our squad and seeing who we have.”

Argentina’s friendly with Germany is the first of two European-based friendlies for La Albiceleste with a fixture to come against Ecuador at the Elche’s Martinez Valero Stadium on Sunday.

Ilkay Gundogan and Jonathan Tah will join a long list of Germany absentees after they were each ruled out of their friendly with Argentina. 

Die Mannschaft take on La Albiceleste in a rematch of the 2014 World Cup final won by Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday.

Toni Kroos, Leroy Sane, Antonio Rudiger, Timo Werner, Leon Goretzka and Matthias Ginter are all unavailable, and coach Joachim Low revealed Manchester City midfielder Gundogan and Bayer Leverkusen defender Tah will also miss out. 

Tah has an illness, while Gundogan is struggling with a muscle problem, though he could return for Sunday's Euro 2020 qualifier with Estonia.

Marco Reus is a doubt with a minor knee injury, with Robin Koch and Sebastian Rudy having been called up to the squad following the spate of withdrawals.

"You just have to live with that. It is not a situation I wished and would want. It is not an ideal situation. It is rare to have so many absences," Low said on Tuesday.

"It is a tense situation and not a happy one. It will be difficult to have high expectations from the team. But the team will be engaged and serious because Argentina are a tough opponent."

On Reus, Low added: "We will have to see. He will train this evening and then we will see if it makes sense to use him."

 

Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen insists he has a "good and professional relationship" with Manuel Neuer.

A public spat that drew in the likes of Bayern Munich chairman Uli Hoeness and DFB director Oliver Bierhoff erupted last month, concerning the relative claims of Ter Stegen and Manuel Neuer to being Germany's number one.

Bayern's Neuer, captain for club and country, has long been first choice, although Ter Stegen' performances for Barcelona over the past couple of seasons have been superb.

The younger man expressed frustration over his status within Low's squad, eliciting a response from Neuer before both men – largely unsuccessfully – sought to draw a line under the episode.

Ter Stegen will get a chance to press his claims with a start against Argentina in Dortmund on Tuesday and maintained there is no problem between his rival for the shirt.

"It's an opportunity for everyone and that's true for me as well," Ter Stegen told a pre-match news conference.

"This is a competitive sport. Everyone wants to play and that's the case for every position, not just the goalkeeper.

"There are no discussions, no disputes or any moments where we tell each other, 'Now we absolutely need to talk!'.

"We talk every day and have a good and professional relationship."

"He has an advantage, I have to perform the best way possible, prove myself and make that decision as hard as possible."

Ter Stegen added: "The head coach has made his decision so it’s up to me to perform well for both club and country.

"I will give everything to become the number one. That is my personal goal. But that is not related to other people.

"The big goal overall is a successful tournament [Euro 2020] for the team."

Ter Stegen's Barca colleague Lionel Messi will not be involved for Argentina – not that he minds particularly.

"It would have been great to face him, but perhaps it's not bad that I don't have to face him," added Ter Stegen.

Argentina will be without Tomas Lavanini when they round off a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign against the United States.

Lock Lavanini was banned for four matches after he was sent off 18 minutes into the 39-10 defeat to England that all but ended Argentina's hopes of progressing to the last eight.

After France defeated Tonga, the Pumas will be playing for nothing more than pride in their Pool C finale in Saitama on Wednesday, while USA are eyeing a first World Cup win since 2011.

Eagles fly-half AJ MacGinty believes Argentina could be ripe for the taking.

"With Argentina's short turnaround, then losing to England and not qualifying and the disappointment they're facing, they might not show up as well as they would have if they were qualifying," he said.

"Any time we play competitive games against the tier one nations, I feel like we get better week to week. Having the games against England and France, the pressure is on us to deliver another performance that's even better than the France game.

"Our focus is on that. If we can do that as a squad and as individuals, then that puts us in a good place for beating Argentina."

Nicolas Sanchez returns for Argentina as one of nine changes made by coach Mario Ledesma, while 20-year-old scrum-half Ruben de Haas has been handed a first start for USA.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Argentina - Julian Montoya 

Hookers are rarely prolific try scorers, but Montoya has crossed four times in this World Cup. With another try against USA, he will move level with Juan Imhoff for the most scored by a single Argentina player at a World Cup.

United States - Joe Taufete'e

Montoya's opposite number, Taufete'e has scored more tries (20) than any front-row forward in Test history. However, he has not touched down at a World Cup. For a side that provided little attacking threat against England and France, his ability to end that wait may be key to their hopes of a shock.


KEY OPTA FACTS

- Argentina have won all eight of their previous matches against USA, with their past three wins coming by an average margin of 30 points.

- The Pumas have won their last 12 World Cup matches against non-tier one opposition, their last such defeat coming in 1995 against Samoa.

- USA conceded seven tries against England and five against France, they have not conceded four or more tries in three consecutive World Cup games since doing so in eight straight games between 1987 and 1999.

- Cam Dolan is set to win his 50th cap for USA. He has 16 tries for the Eagles, only three players have more (Vaea Anitoni, 26; Taufete'e, 20; Paul Emerick 17).

Sebastian Rudy is back in the Germany squad, with Joachim Low also calling up uncapped defender Robin Koch.

Midfielder Rudy has not played for his country since November 2018 but after helping Hoffenheim win at former club and Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Saturday has earned a recall from Low.

Germany are without Toni Kroos for games against Argentina and Estonia after the Real Madrid midfielder pulled out through injury, while Cologne left-back Jonas Hector also withdrew.

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan is a doubt to face Argentina in a friendly on Wednesday due to a muscle problem and Timo Werner is yet to join the squad because he has flu.

Matthias Ginter was another absentee from the group that met on Monday as the Borussia Monchengladbach player has a shoulder injury.

Low previously called up Suat Serdar of Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen's Nadiem Amiri, with the duo in line for their first senior appearances for the national team. 

Freiburg's Koch is another potential debutant with the defender, Amiri and Serdar all part of the Germany squad that reached the final of this year's European Under-21 Championship.

After facing Argentina - who are without Lionel Messi - Germany travel to Tallinn for a Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia on Sunday.

Germany are level on points with Northern Ireland at the top of Group C despite a 4-2 home loss to Netherlands last month.

Tomas Lavanini has been given a four-match ban after he was sent off in Argentina's Rugby World Cup defeat to England.

The lock was shown a red card in the 18th minute of Argentina's 39-10 loss on Saturday, which put paid to the Pumas' hopes of progressing to the last eight.

Lavanini, 26, led with his shoulder and caught England captain Owen Farrell at neck height.

He admitted to an act of foul play at a disciplinary hearing and will miss Argentina's final Pool C clash with the United States, as well as three games for new club Leicester Tigers, having joined the Premiership side from Jaguares.

Lavanini will be free to play from November 1 and could make his debut against Gloucester a day later.

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