Thursday, 01 Dec 2022
World Cup: Poland proceed despite defeat following Szczęsny heroics
Poland made it out of Group C and into the last 16 of the World Cup for the time since 1986 despite losing 0:2 to Argentina in a one-sided affair in which Wojciech Szczęsny was once again Poland’s hero making a superb save from Lionel Messi’s penalty.
Poland narrowly edged out Mexico on goal difference to take second place in the group behind Argentina. It was a tense, nail biting climax in both of the simultaneously played Group C matches but ultimately Poland had done just enough in previous fixtures to see them through.
Argentina was in the ascendancy throughout the match but only marginally so in the opening half hour. Poland had looked more threatening in the early stages than in either of the previous two games against Mexico and Saudi Arabia, although they still did not manage a shot on goal.
The last 15 minutes of the first half saw the Poles retreat deeper into their own half and were incapable of maintaining possession.
The Argentines had them increasingly under the cosh and when Szczęsny flapped at a left wing cross and caught Messi in the face with his glove the referee awarded a penalty following a VAR check.
Wojciech Szczęsny reproduced his penalty saving magic from the previous encounter. Lionel placed his shot firmly to the keeper’s left but Szczęsny thrust out a remarkably strong hand to push the ball away, with a save that was even better than that from Al Dawsari. Poland somehow clung up until half time but were mightily relieved to have gone in at the break level.
However, the Poles reserve was broken by Alexis Mac Allister just a minute into the second period. The Brighton midfielders shot agonizingly rolled in off the far post.
The heat was really on the Poles just after the hour mark with news coming through that Mexico had a 2:0 lead over the Saudis.
In the 67th minute it was cranked up another notch when Julio Alvarez finished off a well-crafted move, finding the top corner.

Source: TVP World