World Cup 2022 highlights: Argentina beats Poland to advance

The 2022 FIFA World Cup continued Wednesday with Group C at the forefront. Argentina stayed alive as it won 2-0 over Poland (1-1-0) at Stadium 974 in Ras Abu Aboud, Qatar. Despite the loss, Poland will also advance because Mexico didn’t beat Saudi Arabia by enough goals. 

Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny stood on his head in the first half, saving nine shots. However, Argentina broke through in the opening minutes of the second half with Alexis Mac Allister scoring and Julián Álvarez adding another later. 

You can watch this game and every match of the tournament on the FOX Sports family of networks — the tournament’s official English-language broadcast partner in the U.S. — and the FOX Sports app and You can also stream full-match replays for free on Tubi.

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Poland vs. Argentina

Setting the stage

Argentina is aiming to reach the knockout stages for the 13th time in its last 14 World Cups. Sitting in what appears to be an unusual spot, Argentina must either win on Wednesday, or tie with Poland and Mexico either ties or beats Saudi Arabia. On the other side, Poland is aiming to stay undefeated after picking up a win and a draw in its previous two group-stage games. Just like Argentina, Poland is also in a win-and-in situation to move onto the knockout stage. Sitting with four points at the top of Group C, Poland can also advance with a tie. 

Lionel Messi taking the pitch one last time at the World Cup?

With Argentina facing elimination, Messi leads his nation’s squad onto the pitch for what could be his last World Cup match, as he’s suggested this will be his last World Cup. 

7′: Messi wins battle for ball, but doesn’t finish out opportunity.

The 35-year-old got in the mix to win possession of the ball back for Argentina. However, Messi wasn’t able to complete the highlight play and put a point on the board. 

10′: More Messi opportunities 

Messi got free along the left side of the box before Poland’s defense stepped up to take away his shooting angle, leading to an easy save for Wojciech Szczęsny.

28′: Argentina close but no cigar

Julián Álvarez had a great opportunity in front of the net to put Argentina up 1-0, but his shot was blocked. Marcos Acuña got the rebound, but his shot went wide right. 

33′: A near Olimpico!

Argentina’s Ángel Di María nearly had a goal for the ages on this corner kick. 

36′: Szczęsny making saves

The Polish goalkeeper keeps making stops to keep Argentina off the board.

38′: Messi awarded a penalty

A VAR review determined that the Argentinian striker was fouled in the box, awarding him a penalty kick.

39′: Messi stopped on PK!

In what’s been a battle of titans so far, Szczęsny got the better of Messi on the penalty kick, guessing correctly to keep the game scoreless.

Lionel Messi’s penalty kick denied by Wojciech Szczęsny to keep Argentina and Poland scoreless

Lionel Messi's penalty kick denied by Wojciech Szczęsny to keep Argentina and Poland scoreless

Halftime: Both teams still scoreless

Despite the 0-0 score, the Argentina-Poland match has been exhilarating. Argentina has consistently created chances, but Szczęsny has stood up to the challenge, recording nine saves in the first half. Former USA goalkeeper Tim Howard has the record for the most saves in a World Cup match, recording 15 in a game in 2014.

If the current results hold in this match and in the Mexico-Saudi Arabia match, both Argentina and Poland would advance out of Group C. However, a Saudi Arabia goal would put the pressure on Argentina to take the lead in the second half, as Argentina would need a victory to advance if Saudi Arabia wins. 

47′: Argentina finally breaks through

Szczęsny finally couldn’t make a stop when Alexis Mac Allister’s shot off a cross went into the back of the net, giving Argentina a 1-0 lead.

Argentina’s Alexis Mac Allister scores goal vs. Poland in 46′

Argentina's Alexis Mac Allister scores goal vs. Poland in 46'

Mexico took a 1-0 lead around the same time Argentina scored. However, Poland would still advance, along with Argentina, if the current scores held. Poland is up by two in goal differential over Mexico after the latest goals. 

50′: Poland nearly evens it

Kamil Glik got a good header on a set piece for Poland, but his shot went just wide as the Polish search for a goal. 

60′: Poland under pressure

Poland is still in a position to advance if the current scores hold. However, Mexico went up 2-0 and nearly added a third goal, which was wiped off due to an offside. If Mexico goes up 3-0, Poland would need another goal to advance as Mexico would tie Poland in goal differential but would have the lead in goals scored. 

67′: Argentina doubles its lead

Álvarez found the back of the net when he accurately shot to the top right corner, giving Argentina a 2-0 lead.

Poland still holds the second spot in Group C, but only due to fair play points. Any goal scored in the final 20-plus minutes in either match would likely determine who advances between Poland and Mexico. 

86′: Argentina nearly makes it 3-0

Lautaro Martínez was one-on-one with Szczęsny and had a golden opportunity to make it 3-0. His shot went wide left though.

87′: Poland hanging on by a thread

Poland’s hopes of moving on to the knockout stage are on the thinnest of ice. Fair play points are the only thing separating Poland from being in over Mexico as opposed to being out. 

90′ + 3′: Poland gets a tremendous stop

Jakub Kiwior did his best Szczęsny impression, making the stop for Poland right in front of the net to potentially save its World Cup chances. 

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