Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Poland forward Robert Lewandowski fight for the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match at Stadium 974 in Doha on November 30. | Photo Credit: AFP
Lionel Messi’s Argentina beat Poland 2-0 in their final World Cup Group C match at Stadium 974 in Doha on Wednesday to advance to the knockout stage where they will face Australia.
Argentina lead the standings with six points while Poland await the outcome of another group game between Saudi Arabia and Mexico to see if they can finish second and also qualify despite defeat.
Midfielder Alexis MacAllister put Argentina ahead after the break with a low first-time shot after a flowing passing move, while Julian Alvarez fired past Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny in the 67th minute to make it’s 2-0.
In the first half, Szczesny was Poland’s hero when he made a diving stretch save to deny Messi a penalty, awarded after his outstretched hand made contact with the Argentine striker’s face.
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Poland: Wojciech Szczesny, Kamil Glik, Jakub Kiwior, Matty Cash, Bartosz Bereszynski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Piotr Zielinski, Krystian Bielik, Przemyslaw Frankowski, Karol Swiderski, Robert Lewandowski (c).
Argentina: Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Nahuel Molina, Rodrigo De Paul, Marcos Acuna, Alexis McAllister, Enzo Fernandez, Angel Di Maria, Julian Alvarez, Lionel Messi (c). (Reporting by Andrew Cawthorne and Anita Kobylinska; Editing by Angus MacSwan)