Argentina have progressed to the knockout phase of the 2022 FIFA World Cup following a 2-0 victory over Poland in their final Group C game on Thursday night.
Coming into the game, Argentina only needed to avoid a defeat and hope other group result go their way but an impressive two goals in the second half ensured that Argentina progressed as group leader.
It was a one-sided first half of the encounter at the Stadium 974. But Poland only had their goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to thank for keeping the game goalless at halftime, making several brilliant saves including Messi’s controversial penalty in the 39th minute.
Szczesny’s hand caught Messi’s head when the former attempted to save the ball, despite already heading the ball wide off the post, the referee surprisingly awarded a penalty after consulting VAR.
Barely one minute into the second half of the game, Alexis Mac Allister finally broke the deadlock for Argentina from a well-placed strike inside the 18-yard area to put La Albiceleste upfront.
In what was his first for Argentina at this World Cup, Manchester City’s Julián Àlvarez scored a superb goal to double the South Americans’ lead before Messi’s attempt to extend the lead was saved by Szczesny.
Afterwards, Argentina made several attempts to add to their tally but were to no avail as they walked away with the important three points.
Argentina will now face Australia, who defeated Denmark 1-0 in their last game of Group D earlier today to secure a place in the knockout phase for a place in the quarterfinals.
Despite the defeat, Poland progressed to the next round at the expense of Mexico, who beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in the other final Group D game with a superior goal difference.
Poland will face defending champions France in the round of 16.
Source: Peoples Gazette.