ARG vs POL HIGHLIGHTS, FIFA World Cup: Mac Allister, Alvarez goals help Argentina beat Poland 2-0; both enter Round of 16

Follow for all HIGHLIGHTS from the FIFA World Cup clash between Argentina and Poland.

Julian Alvarez of Argentina celebrates after scoring their team’s second goal.

Julian Alvarez of Argentina celebrates after scoring their team’s second goal. | Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill

Follow for all HIGHLIGHTS from the FIFA World Cup clash between Argentina and Poland.

Follow for all HIGHLIGHTS from the FIFA World Cup clash between Argentina and Poland.

90’

Six minutes added on and Poland will be wondering how it got itself into this position. It has all its players slotted well inside its defensive third. Argentina cuts its way through Poland. Tagliafico lofts it past Szczesny but it is cleared away from the line by Kiwior. Poland survives, just. Lewandowski gets a handful of Messi and that could have easily been a yellow card. IT IS FULL TIME AND POLAND HAS TO WAIT FOR THE MEXICO RESULT, BUT ARGENTINA IS THROUGH.

88’

Argentina’s progression is almost assured right now. It is Poland and Mexico, who are battling it out for the second spot. And as things stand, Poland makes it through, on the thinnest margin possible.

85’

Mac Allister is taken off and he receives all the love from the Argentina fans. Poland gets its time on the ball. Lautaro Martinez has the chance to seal the game, but he scuffs his shot wide.

82’

Poland seems happy to cede possession. But if it concedes one more goal, it will be in real danger of losing out to Mexico.

78’

Poland had a whiff of a chance to counter, but Lewandowski is quickly intercepted. Poland has looked clueless in attack and Krychowiak gets a yellow card, which brings its yellow card count closer to Mexico’s.

75’

Messi pushes a terrific through ball in for Alvarez, who races past his marker and smashes a shot, which goes inches wide off the post. Alvarez has been incredible for Argentina tonight.

72’

Argentina is showing the intent for more. Messi is found inside the box after a cutback from the left. His effort is parried away, yet again by Szczesny.

69’

Argentina patiently passes its way into the Poland box. Enzo Fernandez finds Alvarez inside the box and he takes a touch to shield the ball, turns to shoot it past Szczesny. IT IS 2-0 for Argentina

66’

Messi dashes his way into the box again, but again he is crowded out by the Polish defence. As things stand, Argentina will top the group, while Poland will sneak through on goal difference.

63’

Messi threads the needle to put a ball down the left and Mac Allister comes down the right to receive the cutback. But his shot is straight at Szczesny this time.

60’

Paredes comes in for Angel di Maria. Tagliafico is in for Acuna, who is on a yellow card. Poland gets its first real possession in the second half, but is unable to progress into Argentina half.

57’

Argentina looking like the more likely side to score. Messi is in the box, but can’t get a shot away, Alvarez too has his shot blocked.

54’

De Paul launches into a tackle and gives away a freekick. Messi gets the ball and dribbles his way through the Polish defence, but he botches the shot. That would have been some goal.

51’

That was an inch perfect finish from Mac Allister. At the other end, Poland wins a freekick. It is swung in and Glik rises highest and it almost kisses the goal post on its way out.

48’

The game had to be restarted again after the referee spotted something off. And straight up Argentina attacks down the right and Molina finds Mac Allister inside the box, who side foots it past Szczesny. AND IT IS 1-0.

Second Half begins

Double change for Poland as it looks to stay afloat.

45’

Argentina continues to pile on the pressure, despite the missed penalty. Three minutes added on and Argentina looks to capitalise. Krychowiak wins a freekick for Poland inside the attacking half, but comes to nothing. AND IT IS HALF-TIME. SZCZESNY IS THE STAR FOR POLAND AS THE SCORE STAYS AT 0-0.

42’

Szczesny is the hero of Poland. That was his second penalty save in this tournament. He has single-handedly kept Poland in the tournament.

39’

Szczesny goes for a high ball and clatters into Messi. After a VAR check, the referee gives a penalty. Szczesny flies to his left and punches it away. WHAT A SAVE!!!!

36’

Di Maria wins another corner for Argentina. He then makes an audacious attempt to bend it in directly from the corner. Szczesny had to stretch to keep it away. The pressure is mounting on Poland. Alvarez is the next one to be denied by Szczesny. This time in a one-on-one

32’

Argentina is turning it on and Alvarez comes close for the opener as he thrashes a shot narrowly wide following a good piece of build up. Poland has parked all its hopes by defending in numbers.

28’

Acuna has been heavily involved for Argentina down the left, with Messi finding him with frequency. Otamendi clangs into Frankowski and the game halts for a brief while.

24’

Poland wins its first corner of the game. But again, it can’t make the set piece count. Meanwhile, di Maria wins a corner for Argentina at the other end, which results in nothing.

21’

Poland gets a decent spell of possession and it wins a freekick in the attacking half. But nothing comes out of it as Argentina holds its shape.

18’

Acuna is picked by Messi with a chipped ball. He cuts back and slams a shot, but it blazes high and wide. Messi has been controlling the game, effortlessly so far.

15’

Argentina has dominated the game from the right off. This some of the best football Argentina has played in the tournament. Fernandez tries to find Alvarez in the box, but the pass is too heavy.

12’

Poland tries to pass its way through, but Argentina regains possession. Messi gets the ball at the edge of the box, and fakes his way past a few, but the angle was too tight and Szczesny had covered his first post by then.

9’

Messi gets away from his markers, but his right-footed shot is a tad too tame and it is a comfortable save for Szczesny.

6’

Poland drives forward down the right and has the Argentine defence on the toes. It ends as an Argentina freekick. Poland with a chance to counter attack, but Otamendi intercepts the long ball.

3’

First corner of the night goes to Argentina, but Poland is solid enough to see it through. Bereszynski comes off the worst in a challenge and takes his time to get back on the feet.

KICKOFF

Poland in its white kit, while Argentina in its purple outfits. Messi and Argentina needs to be at its best to make it to the Round of 16.

STAT ATTACK

Argentina is winless in its last four meetings with European nations in FIFA World Cup.

STAT ATTACK

This is the third FIFA World Cup encounter between these two sides. While Poland won the first one 3-2 in 1974, Argentina won 2-0 in 1978.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
Poland wins: 3
Argentina wins: 6
Draws: 2
Poland goals: 12
Argentina goals: 18
PREDICTED 11
Poland: Wojciech Szczesny, Kamil Glik, Jakub Kiwior, Matty Cash, Bartosz Bereszynski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Piotr Zielinski, Krystian Bielik, Przemyslaw Frankowski, Karol Swiderski, Robert Lewandowski.
Argentina: Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Nahuel Molina, Rodrigo De Paul, Marcos Acuna, Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, Angel Di Maria, Julian Alvarez, Lionel Messi.

MATCH PREVIEW

Lionel Messi has already come to Argentina’s rescue at the World Cup. He might just have to do it all over again.

Another emotionally charged evening awaits Messi and the football-mad South American nation that worships him when Argentina meets Poland on Wednesday for a match with so much on the line.

For Messi, who is playing in likely his last World Cup. For Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who might also be too old when football’s biggest tournament rolls around next in 2026.

ALSO READ: FIFA World Cup Group C scenarios: How Argentina, Poland, Saudi Arabia can qualify for round of 16

And for the World Cup as a whole. Because who really doesn’t want to see Messi — one of the game’s greatest ever players — in the late stages of a tournament that is heating up so nicely.

There are multiple scenarios at play for the Group C finale. A win for the Argentines and they are sure to advance, likely as the group winners. A draw, and they can either finish in second place behind Poland or be squeezed out by either Saudi Arabia or Mexico, who are playing in a match taking place concurrently.

A loss? Well, that just doesn’t bear thinking about for anyone associated with Argentina. The team wouldn’t just be eliminated but humiliated. Messi might never be seen in the Albiceleste’s sky blue-and-white jersey again.

That scenario is too much for Argentina fans to take. It’s why tears were shed on the field, among the technical staff and among the fanbase after Messi scored the crucial second-half goal to set Argentina on its way to a 2-0 win over Mexico on Saturday.

That victory meant Argentina bounced back from its shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in its opening match and now has a fighting chance to avoiding a first group-stage exit since 2002.

“Now another World Cup has begun,” said Messi, who will hope to score for the third straight match at this World Cup and has netted 13 goals for Argentina in 2022 — already a career-high haul in a single calendar year.

PREDICTED 11
Argentina: E. Martinez; Molina, Otamendi, Li. Martinez, Tagliafico; Fernandez, Paredes, De Paul; Messi, La. Martinez, Di Maria
Poland: Szczesny; Cash, Glik, Kiwior, Bereszynski; Zielinski, Bielik, Krychowiak, Frankowski; Milik, Lewandowski

Concerns about Messi’s health have dogged the seven-time world player of the year at the World Cup, starting from when he trained alone for two days before Argentina’s opening game. He played the full 90 minutes against Saudi Arabia and also in the Mexico game, which he finished in some discomfort after turning his ankle late in the match.

Messi later confirmed it was nothing serious. But it only adds to the worries about the physical wellbeing of a 35-year-old player who is clearly pacing himself during matches, picking and choosing his moments to explode into life.

Still, he has scored in both of the team’s games and is used to coming through in the big moments for Argentina.

“It’s a great question — how do you stop Lionel Messi?” Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz said. “All the world has been thinking about it for years ... I don’t think we’ll ever find the final answer.”

Elsewhere, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni must decide whether to persist with Lautaro Martinez, who has been well covered in the first two games, or go with another striker in Julian Alvarez. Likewise, has highly rated young midfielder Enzo Fernández done enough to force his way into the team after a scoring cameo as a substitute against Mexico? And who will Scaloni pick at fullback, having played a different right back and left back in each of Argentina’s games?

As for Poland, some of the weight is off the 34-year-old Lewandowski’s back after he finally scored a goal at a World Cup in the 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Now he’s looking to advance beyond the group stage for the first time at a World Cup. Poland hasn’t done so since 1986.

“Is he the same level of Messi?” Scaloni said of Lewandowski. “You just have to enjoy such a good player — why are we comparing one player with another? It’s not helpful.”

Argentina fans will be wary of the threat of Lewandowski, who rivals France’s Karim Benzema as the best striker in the world.

They’ll know, though, that they have an even bigger icon in Messi, who continues — even in the twilight of his magnificent career — to bend football games to his will.

Can he do it one more time?

AP

When is the FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and Poland?

The FIFA World Cup Group C match between Argentina and Poland will start at Stadium 974 on December 1 at 12:30 AM

Where to watch the live telecast of Argentina and Poland in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in India?

The live telecast of the Group C match between Argentina and Poland will be available on Sports18 in India.

Where to watch the live stream of Argentina and Poland in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in India?

The live stream of the Group C match between Argentina and Poland will be available on Voot, Jio Cinema in India.

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