Wojciech Szczesny saves Lionel Messi’s penalty following ‘soft’ VAR decision as Argentina beat Poland to advance to Round of 16 with Australia as group winners


Lionel Messi had his blushes spared as Argentina clinched the 2-0 victory despite Wojciech Szczesny saves first-half penalty.

The Paris Saint-Germain star had put on a show against Poland in their World Cup clash when he received a rather fortuitous kick following a foul from the Juventus keeper.

Messi kicked in the penalty after being fouled by the goalkeeper
Getty
Wojciech Szczesny saves Lionel Messi's penalty following 'soft' VAR decision as Argentina beat Poland to advance to Round of 16 with Australia as group winners
However, he was denied by the Szczesny who made a magnificent save
Getty

Szczesny was found guilty of fouling Messi in the penalty area after the 35-year-old headed wide of the target.

While appeals were few and far between, the decision fell to VAR who ruled in Argentina’s favour.

Speaking on talkSPORT, commentator Stuart Pearce said: “I think it’s a really sweet decision… the referees never give that.

“I’ve lost count of how many times goalkeepers have come to collect the ball and nothing has been given. [There’s] minimal contact there.

Hugh Woozencroft added: “It’s one of the worst VAR decisions I’ve ever seen at this level.

“Szczesny has every right to challenge the ball, the ref looked at him about seven or eight times in super slow motion.

Wojciech Szczesny saves Lionel Messi's penalty following 'soft' VAR decision as Argentina beat Poland to advance to Round of 16 with Australia as group winners
It came after a controversial VAR decision in which Szczesny was judged for fouling Messi
Getty


“If it’s at the other end of the pitch, VAR doesn’t even tell the referee to look at the incident.

“They reset the rules on what is a foul on Messi.”

Messi was the man to stand over the ball as he looked to do Argentina’s hopes of progress a huge favour, however, a big save from Szczesny – his second of the tournament – was enough to keep Poland in the game.

Although his kick was saved, Messi’s blushes were spared as Argentina cruised to a 2-0 win over Poland thanks to goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez.

Those goals were enough to send Argentina into the Round of 16 in first place in Group C, drawing a tie with Australia in the next round.


Sports

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button