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FIFA World Cup: Argentina surpass Poland despite Lionel Messi missed penalty | Football news

NEW DELHI: Lionel Messi’s Argentina recorded an impressive 2-0 victory over Poland in their final World Cup Group C match at Stadium 974 in Doha on Wednesday to progress to the knockout stages where they face Australia.
In the match, captain Lionel Messi missed a penalty in the first half, but goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez helped the South American side top the group by 6 points.
Despite the defeat, Poland finished second in the group and will face reigning champions France.

In the other Group C match, Mexico scored twice in the second half in a thrilling last-ditch effort to stay in the World Cup, beating Saudi Arabia 2–1, but agonizingly missed out on the last 16 berth on goal difference.

After an action-packed goalless first half, Argentina took the lead a minute into the second half when Allister got to the end of Nahuel Molina’s cross and, despite weak contact, saw his shot creep over the line with Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny. beaten.

The goal was just a reward for Argentina who dominated possession, while Poland barely got out of their own half.
The second goal was the result of a patient build-up with Argentina knocking the ball over before Enzo Fernandez unlocked the defense with a through ball for Julian Alvarez, who found space in the penalty area and blasted the ball into the top corner.
CONTROVERSIAL PUNISHMENT
Previously, Poland rioted when Argentina were awarded a controversial penalty following a VAR check for a foul on Messi when Szczesny’s glove brushed his face as the Paris St Germain striker got up for a header at the far post.
But Szczesny was up to the task and despite the thousands of Argentine fans raising the decibel levels in the arena, he kept his composure and guessed correctly, ducking left and using one hand to deflect Messi’s effort from the spot.
Szczesny had been busy throughout the half with the Polish defense breaking through time and time again, but the Juventus keeper remained steadfast to deny the Argentines who grew more confident with each attack.
He first denied Alvarez as the Manchester City striker broke through the offside trap before tapping Angel Di Maria’s cross over the crossbar as his Juve team-mate tried to score directly from a corner.
But he could do nothing but scramble as Mac Allister took his shot before Poland could settle down after the restart, while Alvarez’s shot for the second goal was too good for any keeper.
(With input from agencies)



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