The final matchday for Group C at the Qatar World Cup ended up unfolding some of the craziest moments in the history of the competition’s group stages. Heading into the final game, Group C was an extremely closely-contested group.
Poland were the leader with 4 points from their first two games. Argentina and Saudi Arabia were both tied on three points in the second place, while Mexico only had one point in their first few games.
But the entire complexion of that was turned upside down after the two thrilling games in the group.
Argentina managed to show impressive character in getting a narrow win over Poland, dominating them and getting a 2-0 win after a terrific second-half showing. In the other match, however, something dramatic was unfolding.
Mexico ousted Saudi Arabia to take a 2-0 lead in the second half and at one point, the Mexican side and Poland were both on 4 points with the exact same goal difference- having scored 2 and conceded 2 goals.
Fans hurried to see exactly what would happen if both games ended 2-0. It would’ve meant Poland would’ve gone through as runners-up due to a better fair play record, as they had earned 5 yellow cards as compared to Mexico’s bookings.
In the end, however, Mexico conceded a late goal to Saudi and this allowed Poland to go through as the runners-up.
Amid all this drama, the entire idea of the Poland vs Argentina game being a Robert Lewandowski vs Leo Messi battle seems to have been underplayed a little bit.
But that doesn’t mean the Ballon d’Or rivals didn’t share some eye-catching moments on the pitch.
Messi missed a penalty in the game but helped his side run the show by creating a number of chances. Lewandowski was a frustrated customer, not getting any service at all and not being able to test Emiliano Martinez.
Towards the end of the game, the Barcelona man had a heated moment with Messi. The two were involved in a duel that didn’t impress Messi.
As Lewandowski tried to get a handshake from him, the Argentine forward just ignored the Polish striker and left him hanging on the pitch.
But it appears that was a bit of a misunderstanding that happened in the heat of the moment.
Soon after full-time, Messi and Lewandowski were spotted sharing a hug and having a little chat in which they probably clarified everything.
When asked about exactly what he spoke about with the Barca striker in a post-match interview, Messi simply said: “I was taught that whatever happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch. Same with the dressing room. I will never reveal what we said to each other privately.”
Lewandowski, too, made light of the situaton: “I had to defend a lot today, also against Leo. It was a funny little duel, but everything’s fine. Argentine have a great team, they are one of the favourites to win the title.”
Well, it appears that whatever drama happened in the game is now water under the bridge between the two world-class forwards.
Both were left happy with the result, with Lewandowski being pictured as a relieved man after realizing that Poland had just about piped Mexico to progress to the Round of 16.
For both Leo and Robert, the real task begins now. As Messi’s Argentina side faces Australia in the knockout rounds, Poland have been pitted against defending champions France – a match in which Lewandowski has to lead from the front and stake his claim as the best forward in football.
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