Lionel Messi in action against Poland© AFP
For Lionel Messi, Argentina’s last Group C game is a special one. The Argentine star knows that his team has to win the match in order to qualify for the Round of 16. Lionel Messi reignited Argentina’s World Cup challenge with a superb goal in a 2-0 win over Mexico. Messi breathed fresh life into Argentina’s campaign with his eighth World Cup goal in his fifth appearance in the finals. The 35-year-old maestro, desperate to crown his glittering career by lifting football’s greatest prize, rifled home a low shot on 64 minutes to put Argentina en route to victory. Messi’s goal meant he tied the late Diego Maradona on eight goals and 21 appearances at the World Cup for Argentina.
After he was named in the starting line-up against Poland, Messi now has surpassed Maradona with 22 appearances at the World Cup.
In the match against Poland, Enzo Fernandez was rewarded for his World Cup goal against Mexico with his first-ever start for Argentina as manager Lionel Scaloni made four changes to face Poland on Wednesday. The Benfica player replaces Guido Rodriguez in midfield, with Julian Alvarez coming in for Lautaro Martinez up front. The other two changes were in defence, with Nahuel Molina replacing Gonzalo Montiel and Cristian Romero coming back into the side in place of Lisandro Martinez.
Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz made one change, with forward Karol Swiderski coming in for Arkadiusz Milik.
Argentina need a win to be sure of progressing, while a point would be enough if Mexico and Saudi Arabia draw in the other Group C game.
Poland can qualify for the last 16 for the first time since 1986 with a draw.
With AFP inputs
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