Lionel Messi led Argentina to defeat a lackluster Poland side yesterday, to qualify top of their group and into the knockout stages. They will now face Australia in their round of 16 fixture on December 3 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT. Argentina is the favorite to go past Australia and into the quarter-finals. Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez were on the score sheet for Argentina last night.
POLAND vs. FRANCE and AUSTRALIA vs. ARGENTINA in the Round of 16 👀🍿 pic.twitter.com/0CwblZe8YD
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 30, 2022
Poland’s goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczęsny, has been inspired by this World Cup. He averages six saves per match in this tournament. Szczęsny has already made two saves in this World Cup, saving Salem Al-Dawsari’s penalty in Poland’s match against Saudi Arabia. He also saved Messi’s penalty yesterday, which proved pivotal in sending Poland to the knockout stages.
How many penalties has Lionel Messi missed in FIFA World Cup 2022?
Messi and Argentina have been awarded two penalties in this World Cup. Messi scored the first one in Argentina’s 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia. That penalty was a clean one, with no objections from either side of the players. The penalty against Poland was very controversial. Poland’s goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczęsny reached to palm the ball out of play but caught Messi’s face in the follow-through.
Lionel Messi is the first player in HISTORY to have 2 penalties saved in the World Cup 😱 pic.twitter.com/LcdbaVtco7
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 30, 2022
The decision even went to VAR and the penalty was given, which disgusted fans all over the world. Many felt justice was delivered when Messi missed the penalty. This was his second penalty miss in World Cups, the first coming against Iceland in 2018. Messi’s penalty against Poland was not great, but it certainly wasn’t a bad shot. Szczęsny deserved and also received all the credit for his amazing save.
Fans react to Messi’s second penalty miss
A huge number of people tuned in to watch Argentina and Poland’s group-stage game. The final matchday of the group stages has been very interesting. Despite losing 2-0 to Argentina, Poland qualified ahead of Mexico on a better goal difference. Fans reacted to Messi missing his penalty in that game, which could have knocked Poland out.
No major media outlet will talk about how Argentina have been gifted the 2 most controversial penalty decisions. Nobody will talk about how Lionel Messi missed it, no scrutiny, simply because it’s not Cristiano Ronaldo. pic.twitter.com/6jzXTs50xp
— Preeti (@MadridPreeti) December 1, 2022
The two sides of the Messi-Ronaldo debate showed their faces again.
A reminder that Cristiano Ronaldo has missed more important penalties than Lionel Messi. Media won’t show you this.pic.twitter.com/PR6tt2bJS6
— Nolo (@NoloFCB) November 30, 2022
Some fans took solace in the fact that Argentina has shown a lot of character in their World Cup campaign so far.
This Argentina team should be very proud. A loss vs. Saudi Arabia, a turn around against an always difficult Mexico and a 2-0 win vs. Poland after Messi missed the penalty. This is a team. This is not 11 players, this is 26 players. Lionel Scaloni doing great. 🇦🇷
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) November 30, 2022
Fans dug up stats of Argentina’s last two World Cup wins in 1978 and 1986.
❌1978-Mario Kempes missed a penalty in the 3rd game.
❌1986-Diego Maradona missed a penalty in the 3rd game.
❌2022-Lionel Messi missed a penalty in the 3rd game.
🇦🇷🏆Argentina went to win the FIFA World Cup in 1978 & 1986
[Via @alimo_philip] pic.twitter.com/XdqbwliAoI
— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) December 1, 2022
Others compared the stats of penalties taken by Messi and Ronaldo.
Penalty misses in career:
Messi – 31
Ronaldo – 29
Ronaldo took more and Messi missed more, this is why Messi fans always hate penalties.✍️ pic.twitter.com/a2nZ667wO5
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) November 30, 2022
Messi was angry he had missed the penalty but was happy Argentina made it to the round of 16. “I’m still angry for having missed the penalty, but the team came out stronger after that,” said Messi after his side beat Poland 2-1 to book their place in the round of 16 against Australia.