• Argentina defeated Poland 2-0 Wednesday
  • Leo Messi missed the penalty in the first half
  • Argentina have qualified for the Round of 16

Lionel Messi on Wednesday missed another World Cup penalty before Argentina defeated Poland 2-0.

After losing their opening game 2-1 to Saudi Arabia, Argentina bounced back with wins over Mexico and Poland – both 2-0 – and qualified for the Round of 16 at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

In what turned out to be a controversial decision by the on-field referee, Messi received a soft penalty in the first half. Poland goalkeeper Szczesny was declared to have fouled the Argentina skipper when his hand came in contact with the Argentina skipper after the latter had headed the ball. However, the contact appeared to be quite negligible.

After a VAR check, Messi was awarded the penalty, which could have been a glorious chance for him to put Argentina 1-0 up. However, Szczesny made an incredible save under pressure to deny Messi a goal from the spot kick, which was the Polish goalkeeper's second save at the 2022 World Cup.

Messi, on the other hand, clinched a poor record. He became the second player to have missed two World Cup penalty kicks, at least since 1966, after Ghana's Asamoah Gyan, according to Opta Joe.

The former FC Barcelona superstar's first World Cup penalty miss came in 2018 when Iceland shot-stopper Hannes Thór Halldórsson made a save and handed his side a superb 1-1 draw against Argentina.

Argentina ended the frustrating first half Wednesday at 0-0. However, soon into the second half, Alexis Mac Allister opened the scoring before Manchester City's wonderkid Julian Alvarez doubled Argentina's lead with his 67th-minute strike to take their side to a 2-0 win.

Reacting to his missed penalty, Messi, who is playing his fifth World Cup, admitted he was "angry" with himself but was glad his side came out "stronger" after his "mistake."

"I'm angry for missing the penalty, but the team came out stronger after my mistake. We knew that once the first goal went in, it would change the game and they would open up. The previous game gave us a lot of peace of mind and we went out onto the field thinking we had to win," Messi told reporters after his side's 2-0 win Wednesday.

Lionel Messi has scored in both of Argentina's World Cup fixtures so far

Argentina will take on Australia in the last-16 round on Saturday at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.