Poland Vs Argentina, Saudi Arabia vs Mexico Full time Results.
Poland 0-2 Argentina: Premier League stars Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez strike to seal World Cup progress and top spot for South Americans…with Poles sneaking through on goal difference
It was the victory that the entire world desired, the one that kept hope alive in this most cruel World Cup. The Dude remains; Lionel Messi, the greatest magician in football, has not yet left the stage.
Last night, Argentina and Messi were outstanding. They defeated Poland and Robert Lewandowski, who miraculously also survived, with a late Saudi Arabian goal that eliminated the need for fair play points to determine the winner. The second goal, scored by Julian Alvarez of Manchester City, gave Argentina breathing room, but they deserved to win by at least six goals. What they did not deserve, however, was the penalty kick awarded to them by referee Danny Makkelie in the first half, which Messi would have converted had he not missed. More on this to come.
Back to the goal action, Alvarez’s goal in the 67th minute, which did nothing for Argentina except boost their confidence – they had already won the group with a 1-0 lead – left Poland on edge. Should a group’s membership be determined by yellow cards? It hardly inspires cavalier play, and Poland played in a stupor. Their defeat was no more than they deserved, as a result of a negative, conservative performance that gave the initiative to their opponents, who had every reason to be anxious. By the time Alvarez added to Alexis Mac Allister’s opening goal, Argentina were playing some of the best football in the tournament, putting an end to any lingering concerns.
Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez, just 21 years old and considered a gamble by coach Lionel Scaloni, provided a lovely assist. The Polish player who deserved to lose the least, Wojciech Szczesny, was beaten by Erling Haaland’s replacement, Alvarez, with a vicious shot past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. He appeared to be an old man when he put Alvarez in, but he did so with great skill and a little dinked pass before Alvarez blasted it past What a missed opportunity this performance was for his country, which has not advanced past the group stage of the World Cup since 1986. They now face France, not Australia. In contrast, Argentina has failed to advance only once since 1962, prompting many to wonder why the fuss was made. It was the fear of losing Messi that did it. God, this competition needs his presence for its pure romance.
This World Cup was built on corruption, but none of the events on the field have ever been tainted by suspicion. That is, until the 36th minute of the first half last night. At that moment, it was conceivable that a narrative had been conjured at FIFA headquarters involving Lionel Messi and his final World Cup effort. Argentina had previously dominated Poland, but was unable to score. Therefore, the officials decided to net them one. Had it stood, it would have been one of the most absurd and inexplicable decisions in the history of this tournament – and there have been many.
Full time: Saudi Arabia 1-2 Mexico
It is finished. Mexico threw everything they had at it, but they went down fighting. Even after the Saudi goal, another goal for Mexico would have allowed them to advance, but they ultimately fall short due to goal difference. Poland 0, Mexico -1.