Ras Abu Aboud, Qatar — Argentina victory Lionel Messimissed a first-half penalty to seal their World Cup round-of-16 clash against Australia after goals Alexis McAllister And Julian Alvarez Won 2-0 win against poland on Wednesday.
– World Cup 2022: News and Features , Schedule , squads
The win ensured top spot in Group C for Argentina, but despite their defeat, Poland advanced to the knockout rounds. France after edging Mexico Secured second place in the group on goal difference.
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1. Messi bailed out by Argentina’s supporting cast
It could have been one of the worst nights of Messi’s glittering career: He saw the Polish goalkeeper save a penalty wojciech szczesny And you can only imagine how frustrating it would have been for the Argentine star if his (probably) last shot at the World Cup ended up being a missed spot kick. For once, though, Messi thanked his teammates, rather than the other way around, for helping Argentina secure a win that secures a place in the round of 16 and clash against Australia.
Messi won his first-half penalty in questionable circumstances when a VAR review highlighted an apparent foul by Szczecny, but justice was upheld when the Poland keeper saved. Before there was any tension for the two-time world champions, however, McAllister scored a crucial opener in the first minute of the second half. With Argentina still wary of being caught by the Sucker Punch from Poland’s equaliser, Alvarez finally finished a classy game on 67 minutes to confirm victory.
Messi, of course, is still Argentina’s dominant figure and he runs the game for his team, constantly scoring or trying to score. But this time, his young teammates carried the load and showed that Argentina can win without their superstar getting on the scoresheet.
2. Poland Finish Group Second After Nervous Second Half
never done before Saudi Arab The goal was celebrated with such joy by a group of Polish footballers, but Salem El Dawsari’s injury-time goal for the Green Falcons in a 2–1 defeat against Mexico saw Poland qualify as Group C runners-up. was enough to confirm.
With Argentina winning 2–0 at the Stadium 974 and Mexico leading 2–0 in the latter stages of the second half at the Lusail Stadium, Poland were caught between contrasting approaches against Lionel Scaloni’s team. They could have gone for the break and chased down an equalizer that would have guaranteed top spot and a place in the next round, but in doing so, they risked conceding a third goal which would then have put Mexico in second place on goal difference. will clarify.
With everything level with Mexico, Poland knew that their superior disciplinary record would be enough to take them ahead if no more goals were scored in either game, but it was a knife edge until a late goal from Saudi Arabia. Was going to exist. In this game seconds after full-time confirmed Poland’s defeat, their players were on the pitch celebrating their progress to the last 16.
3. Tinkering scaloni is Argentina’s big weakness
Instead of coach Scaloni’s influence, Argentina made it to the last 16 as Group C winners. The former Argentina midfielder ended the country’s long wait for international success during his four-year spell in charge by overseeing the 2021 Copa America victory and also masterminded the team’s 36-game unbeaten run, which Only Saudi Arabia finished in the group. C opener last week.
In Qatar, however, it has been a regular guessing game as to which team will select Scaloni and no one can really say they know which eleven will start any given game. Such uncertainty can be troubling for Argentina’s players and does nothing for consistency.
After losing to the Saudis, Scaloni changed three of his back four and two of his midfielders, but after watching Argentina beat Mexico on the basis of those changes, he made four more against Poland. Handing Manchester City’s Alvarez his first start in Qatar paid off with scoring the crucial second goal against the Poles, but we’re still waiting to see paulo dybala And sometimes Messi feels like he needs more support from those around him.
Scaloni will need to quickly find an established team if Argentina are to win this World Cup, as without some form of rhythm and consistency in selection, it will count against them.
Poland: Wojciech Szczecny 7; matty cash 7, Kamil Glick 6, Jacob Kivor 5, bartosz berezinski 5; Grzegorz Krichowiak 6, Piotr Zielinski 6, przemyslaw frankowski 6, kristian bellik 6; karol swidersky 6, Robert Lewandowski 6
sub: Michael Skouras 6, Jacob Kaminsky 6, damian simansky 6, Artur Jedrzejczyk 6, krzysztof piatek 6
Argentina: Emiliano Martinez 6; Nahuel Molina 7, Nicolas Otamendi 6, christian romero 6; rodrigo de paul 6, marcos acuña 6, Alexis McAllister 8, enzo fernandez 7; Julian Alvarez 7, Lionel Messi 7, Angel Di Maria 6
sub: leandro paredes 7, Nicolas Tagliafico 6, Lautaro Martinez 6, German Pezzella 6, Thiago Almada 6
best and worst performers
Best: Alexis McAllister, Argentina. Brighton and Hove Albion The midfielder scored the crucial opening goal for Argentina, but he also provided energy and forward runs to break down the Polish back line. a big performance.
Bad: Jakub Kiwor, Poland. All of Argentina’s most dangerous attacks came down Poland’s left flank, including McAllister’s cross for goal. Left-back Kevork was the weak link for the Poles.
Highlights and Notable Moments
Messi may be the GOAT, but Szczecin turned in the performance of the GOAT on Wednesday.
Wojciech Szczecny tells everyone to calm down before saving Messi’s penalty 🥶 pic.twitter.com/AIFA2wBQAe
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 30, 2022
The moment that catapulted Argentina to the round of 16. We all predicted it would be McAllister AlbicelesteCorrect?
Argentina takes the lead pic.twitter.com/8uDkGnC5Tt
— Fox Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 30, 2022
After the match: What the players and managers said
Here’s what Poland manager Czeslaw Michniewicz told his players about picking up unnecessary yellow cards: “I told the players to avoid the stupid card. We were afraid that maybe one of the players would get the card. We told them not to talk to the referee, not to pull the shirt.”
Mickiewicz: “Is it? It’s really late. The prime minister is calling and I can’t answer.”
Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Info)
– Szczęsny is the third goalkeeper to save two penalties in a World Cup (for Brad Friedel United States of america in 2002 and Jan Tomaszewski for Poland in 1974).
– Messi is the first player to save two penalties in the World Cup (excluding shootouts).
Alvarez’s goal was his third in the last five games for Argentina and his fourth at international level.
Poland will make its first appearance in the knockout round since 1986.
Poland: The Poles made it out of the group by a fine margin, and their reward is a round-of-16 matchup with defending champions France on Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.
Argentina: Albiceleste They topped Group C after starting their tournament with a loss to Saudi Arabia, and will now take on Australia on Saturday at 2PM ET.