Argentina’s journey in the 2022 Qatar World Cup has been a roller-coaster ride throughout. But finally, with a 2-0 victory against Lewandowski’s Poland, they have secured a spot in the round of 16 as the group C toppers.
They started their tournament with a shocking defeat to Saudi Arabia but then were relieved after a win against Mexico, they needed just another victory to seal their spot, and the match against Poland earlier provided them the opportunity.
Argentina completely ruled the pitch, dominating the ball throughout the game. Be it simply the game style or even on the statistical fronts of ball possession, which Argentina maintained more than 70%, or be it the shots taken, the Argentines were simply unmatchable.
But there was one single man from the Polish front who stood like a wall in front of the intimidating Argentine attack, and denied them almost all their attempts at scoring, if it was some other player, Argentina might have had a wider goal difference. It was none other than the Polish goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczęsny.
Szczęsny threw a penalty away while defending, which could have cost them the entire match in the first half itself, but with a spectacular save he defended the goalpost against the legendary Lionel Messi’s penalty. With many other incredible saves, he completely blocked all of Messi’s attempts at scoring, including even a penalty. If this does not make one of the best keepers we’ve seen in this year’s tournament, then nothing will.
But the Polish wall did break at the end and bent their knees in front of the dominating Argentine attack after they finally found the right moment in the second half of the match, with Alexis Mac Allister netting the inaugural goal for Argentina right after halftime, in the 46th minute.
Crushing Poland’s morale with one goal probably wasn’t enough because the Argentines weren’t satisfied with the dangerous one-goal lead and decided to expand it with yet another amazing goal in the 67th minute by Julian Alvarez.
Argentina finally had the best start to a match in this tournament and also a pleasing end, although the missed penalty is bound to leave a bitter aftertaste. However, Argentina now progress to the round of 16 after a deserving battle, while Poland, who only just needed a draw, also progress to the knockouts as the runners-up of the group.