Second-half goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez marked a return to form for the South American giants.
Argentina overcame Poland in a 2-0 win on Wednesday night to top Group C and claim their place in the final round of 16 of the World Cup, signaling a return to form for the giants. South America after a bad start in this year’s tournament.
Second-half goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez limited the outstanding display of coach Lionel Scaloni’s students at the 974 Stadium – packed with tens of thousands of passionate Argentina fans – to set to clash with Australia on Saturday.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, Mac Allister caught Nahuel Molina’s pass just one minute into the second half and despite weak contact, he watched his shot go over the bar. Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was defeated.
The second goal was the result of patience building play as Argentina rotated the ball before Enzo Fernandez sent a pass through the defense to Julian Alvarez, who found space in the box and shot into the corner. high to end the match effectively. 67th minute.
Poland played lifeless throughout the game but also made it to the knockout stages on goal difference against Mexico, who beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in the other Group C match.
They will meet defending champions France in the round of 16 on Sunday.
Messi missed the penalty
The decisive moment of the first half came in the 39th minute when Argentina captain and talisman Lionel Messi failed to successfully land the penalty in his record-breaking 22nd World Cup match, one more goal than the late Diego Maradona made for La Albiceleste.
Poland got to their feet as Argentina were awarded a penalty after VAR checked Messi for errors as Szczesny’s gloves skimmed his face as the Paris St Germain forward crossed to head in the far corner.
But Szczesny got the job done, and even though the Argentina fans raised the decibel level inside the arena, he remained calm and guessed right, dashing to the left and using one hand to deflect Messi’s effort to the side. one side.
Undeterred, Messi kept pushing forward and he was a threat to Poland throughout the game with his dribbling and vision.
His dazzling performance was in stark contrast to Poland’s star striker Robert Lewandowski, who was disqualified and remained largely anonymous for the duration of the match.
Messi, 35, admits it will likely be his last World Cup game while Lewandoski, 34, says he’s unsure if he will be able to make it to the 2026 tournament in North America. but he wants to do so.