Leisure easy, soccer followers. Lionel Messi will grace the World Cup stage on the very least one other time.
The Argentina good had a penalty saved nevertheless his group nonetheless beat Poland 2-0 Wednesday after second-half targets from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez and superior to the ultimate 16.
After opening the World Cup with a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in one in all largest upsets inside the occasion’s historic previous, Argentina wound up ending in first place in Group C and may subsequent play Australia, a shock qualifier for the knockout stage.
Messi rolls into Saturday’s sport abruptly in a strong place in doable his final World Cup
“Now one different World Cup begins.” Messi said, “and hopefully we are going to proceed to do what we did at the moment.”
As for Poland, it was lastly a cheerful night, too, on account of the group went by the use of as a result of the group’s second-place group, on goal distinction ahead of Mexico, and may subsequent play defending champion France.
Messi ended up relieved after failing to realize a penalty for the second straight World Cup. It was awarded after he was hit inside the face by the flailing hand of Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who made amends by diving to his left to dam Messi’s kick inside the thirty ninth minute.
A largely pro-Argentina crowd, waving flags and scarfs and beating drums behind every targets, had been sweeping Messi and his group alongside on the 44,000-seat Stadium 974 and they also didn’t stop after the penalty. Inside seconds, a chant of “MESSI! MESSI!” immediately reverberated throughout the venue in a bid to keep up their idol’s head extreme.
And the roars had been even louder at first of the second half, first after Mac Allister’s goal, a scruffy finish from Nahuel Molina’s cut-back from the exact. Inside the first minute and shortly after as info filtered by the use of that Mexico had taken the lead in opposition to Saudi Arabia, which started the day in third place.
Having fun with an Argentine-record twenty second World Cup sport, Messi certainly not stopped surging forward and he was a menace all sport to Poland alongside together with his dribbling capability and imaginative and prescient. One 40-meter solo run observed him weave earlier three opponents, drift earlier one different solely to miskick as he took objective.
The match was billed as a head-to-head between Messi and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, possibly the right coronary heart forward on the earth, nevertheless it proved to be a mismatch.
“If Messi carried out with us and Robert carried out for Argentina, Robert would have scored 5 targets,” Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz said. “Robert have to be helped and the match was solely carried out in our half.”
Messi wasn’t involved in each goal, though. For the second, Enzo Fernandez scooped a transfer to Alvarez. Starting ahead of ordinary striker Lautaro Martinez, and he took one contact sooner than curling his shot into the very best nook inside the 67th minute.
Points couldn’t have gone larger for Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, who made additional daring modifications in bringing in Alvarez, Fernandez and Molina and seeing them play a component inside the targets. Mac Allister, within the meantime, didn’t start in opposition to Saudi Arabia and has added vitality in midfield inside the two video video games since.
Unexpectedly, Argentina appears additional similar to the group which entered the World Cup on a 36-match unbeaten run and as certainly one of many occasion favorites, a yr after worthwhile the Copa America.
“We wished to make amends for that Saudi Arabia sport on account of we knew we could play larger,” Mac Allister said. “We’ve managed to hunt out that calm we wished, we carried out successfully collectively and it fills us with confidence.”
The final word whistle blew with Poland players nonetheless unsure within the occasion that that they had been advancing, given the Mexico-Saudi Arabia sport was ongoing. Poland had 5 as compared with Mexico’s seven, and Michniewicz was desperately urging his group to not give away fouls inside the final minutes.
A stoppage-time goal by the Saudis meant their match accomplished 2-1 in favor of Mexico, whose goal distinction was inferior by one to Poland.
Upon affirmation that that they had superior, Poland’s players squirted water from their bottles in the middle of the sector and jumped up and down.
“Usually,” Michniewicz said, “losses could also be bittersweet.”
Scaloni criticized a schedule that may see Argentina must play inside three days of beating Poland. “We don’t want to be euphoric on account of I really feel it’s crazy, these conditions,” he said.
Szczesny has now saved penalties in back-to-back video video games, having saved out Saudi Arabia forward Salem Aldawsari’s spot kick inside the 2-0 win on Friday.