There will be no France-Argentina in the round of 16 and that’s very good news. Because after having dominated Poland without shaking (2-0), Argentina has proven that it has become a playing machine again, less and less dependent on Messi. At kick-off, the latter also wanted to prove to the whole world that the less he sees Kylian Mbappé, the better he is. Or rather the less he sees it early. Because the Argentine pearl wanted to postpone the reunion with his Parisian teammate as late as possible. And especially not next Sunday against the Blues at Al-Thumama Stadium. The fate promised to the second team of Group A. A victory against Poland of Robert Lewandowski was therefore obligatory. Especially the evening when he exceeded the God Maradona in the number of World Cup matches played in the national jersey (22 against 21).
In fact everything depended on the face that the Albiceleste would present. The tense and fearful of the first match against Saudi Arabia (1-2) and the first hour against Mexico? Or the one released and relieved since Messi’s goal against these same Mexicans? Quickly, we understand that the Argentinians have finally left their tricks, their provocations and their simulations in the locker room. It’s better for the show and it’s better for them.
Messi twirls like on the best days
Scaloni’s men immediately took the initiative in the game and forced Poland to defend more than necessary. In front, Robert Lewandowski is as isolated as a human rights defender and dressed in a rainbow in the middle of Doha. We no longer feel fear but envy among the Argentines. It shifts, it permutes, it dares. In short, it plays and it’s pretty cool. All that is missing is the precision on two strikes from Acuna (17th, 29th). Di Maria believes he has scored a goal from a direct corner and falls in anger when he sees Szczesny slam the ball out of the goal (33rd). And Messi? He directs his teammates perfectly and seems to enjoy the Polish area. In the 39th, he also shows what a star is: a man capable of forcing the VAR to whistle him a penalty for a glove from Szczesny in the face. For anyone else, we put the other glove of the Polish doorman to cut, there would have been no sanction. Messi tries to convert the gift but his strike is perfectly blocked by the Juventus Turin goalkeeper.
So much the better because Argentina deserves to score but not like that. It was enough to ask. As soon as the recovery, receiving a cross from the right of Molina, Mac Allister, unleashes a victorious cross shot (0-1, 46th). And stadium 974 can then shout and sing the quest for a third star. Messi twirls like the best days. The lost soul at the start of the trial is back. And the second goal arrives by the untenable Acuna served by Fernandez (0-2, 68th). Argentina does not let go of its first place, moves away from France and regains its certainties. As for the Poles, gathered around a laptop from the final whistle to follow Mexico-Saudi Arabia, they witnessed the liberating goal of the Saudis, at the other end of Doha (victory of Mexico 2-1, the Poles qualified for goal difference). Losers but also winners.