Soccer lovers can unwind now. At least once more will see Lionel Messi perform on a World Cup stage.
The great Argentina team defeated Poland 2-0 on Wednesday thanks to goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez in the second half, and advanced to the round of 16. The great Argentina team had a penalty saved, but they still advanced.
Argentina won Group C to go to the knockout stage and face Australia, a surprising qualifier.
It’s a good spot for Argentina to be in, especially considering that they lost to Saudi Arabia in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history in their opening match, a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat. Saturday marks the start of Messi’s likely last World Cup.
After missing a penalty attempt for the second World Cup in a row, he will be relieved. It was given after Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s flailing hand struck Messi in the face, but the goalie atoned for his mistake by dove to his left to stop Messi’s kick.
Within the first minute of the second half, Mac Allister converted a cross from Nahuel Molina, and in the 67th minute, Alvarez—who had been chosen in place of Lautaro Martinez—curled in the second goal into the top corner.
With 15 victories in the Copa América—the most recent one under Lionel Messi’s leadership coming in 2021—Argentina has also had great success there. It is currently tied with Uruguay for the most victories. Additionally, the team won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1992. The CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions has been won twice by Argentina, making them the most successful team (1993 and 2022). Brazil, Uruguay, England, and Germany are some of Argentina’s other major rivals.