Game dominated by Seleccion, but Szczesny saves everything, including a penalty from Messi. At the start of the second half, the 1-0 by the De Zerbi midfielder and the doubling by the City forward. Poles never dangerous
Thanks to the second win in a row, Argentina took first place in the group and avoided a round of 16 against France. Scaloni will face Australia on Saturday, a decidedly more malleable opponent for a team which, compared to its debut against Saudi Arabia, has grown in game, personality and conviction. Poland paid the price, beaten more clearly than in the 2-0 final but still qualified for the knockout phase by virtue of the better goal difference compared to Mexico. Without Szczesny’s saves it would have been a sporting massacre: the number one rejected a penalty from Messi, denied the 7-time Ballon d’Or winner at least three more goals and completed his performance with interventions on Di Maria, Alvarez and Tagliafico . He was the man of the match even if Poland lost: an entire nation should make him a statue to thank him.
Scaloni started with the classic 4-3-3, but with four changes compared to the match against Mexico (the most sensational: Lautaro Martinez out and Julian Alvarez in); Poland responded with a 4-4-2 formation in which Swiderski partnered Lewandowski and Zielinski acted as a right winger in the midfield. The match in the first half was a monologue from the Seleccion: thanks to a too defeatist attitude from Poland, which left forward Lewandowski isolated, Argentina dominated in terms of ball possession (66%) and shots (14-1), but failed to take the lead because Messi had a penalty saved by Szczesny and because the Juventus goalkeeper made 8 other saves. Alone he held up his formation which undeservedly returned to the locker room at 0-0. At the time the two teams were both qualified for the round of 16, with the Poles top of the group, as Saudi Arabia and Mexico were 0-0 up. Thanks to the mistake from the penalty spot by his star player, however, Argentina could not be satisfied.
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Michniewicz started the second half with Skoras and Kaminski for Swiderski and Frankowski. By putting Zielinski behind Lewandowski, the Polish coach wanted good feet to involve his striker more, but just 57 seconds after Makkelie’s kick-off, Argentina made it 1-0 from a cross from Molina and Mac Allister winner. The disadvantage did not shake Lewandowski and his companions who did not try to pressure or worry Emiliano Martinez: they continued to keep the gears low, hoping more for a hand from Saudi Arabia which, however, was down 2-0 against Mexico. The Albiceleste, with the 4-4-2 and the fresh forces of the Tagliafico-Paredes duo, closed the game with the doubling of Julian Alvarez, well served by Enzo Fernandez, but also came close to making a set with Messi (still good Szczesny ) and with the unleashed City striker who finished a great verticalization of the Pulce on the outside of the net. In the final there was also room for Lautaro Martinez, by which time the result was archived, and Toro failed to make it 3-0, confirming its no moment. This is how Poland celebrated the round of 16 where (Sunday) they will find France.
November 30, 2022 (change November 30, 2022 | 23:30)
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