Szczęsny Blocks Messi's Penalty Kick to Keep Argentina Scoreless With Poland


Wojciech Szczęsny is willing Poland to a spot in the knockout round, blocking his second penalty kick of the group stage. This time, against Lionel Messi.

Messi’s penalty kick — a dart across his body to the right post — had power and speed, but ultimately couldn’t get past the outstretched right arm of Szczęsny.

Argentina nearly scored in the 36th minute off a shot from Julián Álvarez, but Szczęsny’s left hand sent the ball soaring around the box. It ended up near the opposite post where Messi stood prepared to head the ball but was once again thwarted by Szczęsny’s hands. While he prevented the play, he appeared to snag Messi’s face, taking down the Argentinian soccer legend in the process.

VAR eventually came to Argentina’s rescue and awarded Los Albiceleste a penalty kick.

Even before the block, Szczęsny was the image of confidence, assuring his teammates that he was ready to go up against the Argentinian soccer legend. He was immediately flocked by teammates after making the goal-saving play.

This was Messi’s second penalty kick of the tournament and his 18th career take for Argentina. His only other miss was in Argentina’s opening match of the 2018 World Cup against Iceland.

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