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FIFA World Cup 2022: Captivating photo finish leaves its mark

“I am the main person responsible for this frustration and disappointment. That makes me very sad,” said Martino on Wednesday after the 2-1 win in the parallel game over Saudi Arabia, in which the Mexicans missed enough chances of a bigger win. Mexico failed after seven rounds of 16 in a row in the preliminary round. “I take all responsibility for this failure. Something like that hasn’t happened for a long time,” says Martino. Mexican media reported that the association actually wanted to extend the contract with its national coach until the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico, but Martino refused.

The Argentine took charge of the Mexico national team in 2019. His greatest success was winning the Gold Cup in 2019. In Mexico he had been under criticism for a few months after failing to perform consistently well in qualifying and in preparation for the tournament. “He left no legacy. He couldn’t deal with the Mexico package,” said the Azteca Deportes TV channel after the Argentine’s three-year tenure.

Mexico and Saudi Arabia are eliminated

There is a bitter end in the duel between Saudi Arabia and Mexico. The 2-1 victory of the Mexicans is not enough, for both teams the World Cup is over after the group stage.

Poland celebrated after “sweet defeat”

Luckily for Poland, who narrowly but still secured second place behind Argentina. Nevertheless, not everything was bliss at the World Cup third place in 1982 and 1974 after the defeat against the “Gauchos”. Robert Lewandowski, who remained pale in Qatar and only has one goal under his belt, was particularly criticized. Team boss Czeslaw Michniewicz therefore felt compelled to protect the 34-year-old. “We didn’t help him,” stressed the coach of Poland, who nonetheless advanced to the knockout stages for the first time in 36 years. Lewandowski was very involved and committed to the game, said Michniewicz.

Lewandowski is not unsettled by the criticism anyway and is looking forward to the duel on Sunday (4 p.m.) with world champion France and the next star summit with Kylian Mbappe. “It’s a big challenge for us. We know which players they have. We have to enjoy it and try our best,” said the world footballer. In any case, the Poles have reached the round of 16, the longed-for goal. “It was a sweet defeat,” said Lewandowski, who was more or less on his own at the front and also had a lot of defensive work to do.

Argentina is already dreaming of the title

At the other end, Messi led the Argentines to a comfortable 2-0 win that should have been a lot better and meant they won the group. Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, the only one of his side to impress that night, squandered chance after chance to save his side from a much worse defeat. This time, the Argentines only have to blame themselves for evaluating their chances. They were decisive at all times.

FIFA World Cup 2022: Best of Poland – Argentina

Argentina still secures the group victory against Poland. The “Albiceleste” wins 2:0, the Poles are also in the round of 16 despite the defeat.

Goalscorer Alexis Mac Allister made the clearest announcement after the Argentines, who were already drunk again, had reached the round of 16. “We’re back to the team we were before,” he said. And that was the team around Messi, which won the Copa America in 2021 and had not lost 36 games in a row until the World Cup. Coach Lionel Scaloni therefore did not think about resting the superstar after the lead. “I wouldn’t switch him unless he says so.”

The fact that Messi is now Argentina’s record World Cup player ahead of Maradona with 22 games promotes the cult surrounding him. The fact that at the age of 35 years and 159 days he became the oldest player since the 1966 World Cup with at least five assists and five dribblings in a World Cup game, replacing Maradona (1994 against Nigeria), certainly leaves many Argentina fans with the title repetition over 36 Dreaming years after Maradona’s world championship. The next opponent Australia must be a feasible task for a real title contender on Saturday (20:00).

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