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Qatar 2022: Argentina qualify for the knockout stages despite Messi penalty miss

November 30th 2022, 10:11:10 pm

Lionel Messi missed a first-half penalty but Argentina were far too good for Poland as they won 2-0 to advance

Argentina qualify for round of 16 after defeating Poland 2-0

Argentina went into the game a point behind Poland knowing a second-placed finish would pit them against France in the last 16, but goals from Alexis Mac Allister (46) and Julian Alvarez (67) after Wojciech Szczesny had saved a contentious Messi penalty secured a deserved win which means they will face Australia instead.

Argentina totally dominated the game from the very start, with Messi in particular, in a mesmerising mood. The 35-year-old was the main creative outlet for Argentina, popping up in midfield areas and picking out team-mates in dangerous positions.

AFP/AFP
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Argentina left-back, Acuna was the main culprit of wasted opportunities in the first half, doing nothing with two great chances from Messi passes and Julian Alvarez was denied twice in the first half. Messi missed Argentina's biggest opportunity, his spot kick brilliantly saved by Poland keeper, Szczesny.

Poland boss Czeslaw Michniewicz made a double substitution at the break in an attempt to change the course of the game, throwing on Michal Skoras and Jakub Kaminski to support the isolated Lewandowksi, but Argentina scored immediately after.

Alexis Mac Allister who had been excellent all night found the bottom corner with a scuffed finish for his first international goal. With 20 minutes remaining, Julian Alvarez finally got his goal, collecting an Enzo Fernandez pass and curling home to seal the win.

AFP/AFP

It was the reward for how well Argentina had played, dominating proceedings from start to finish and creating loads of chances. There was still time for Lautaro Martinez to miss an easy chance but by then the job was already done.

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