- Argentina beat Poland 2-0 at Stadium 974 to top the group progress to the knockout stages
- The South American champions put behind the opening day loss to Saudi Arabia to win their final two games
- Lionel Scaloni has now dismissed talks that La Albiceleste are favourites to win in Qatar
Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has downplayed his team's chances as candidates or favourites to win the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Scaloni helped his team put behind their opening day loss to Saudi Arabia and guided his country to 2-0 wins over Mexico and Poland to proceed to the knockout stages.
Argentina finished top of Group C to avoid a repeat of the 2018 World Cup where they finished second and faced eventual champions France in the round of 16.
They will now face Group D runners-up Australia in the round of 16. A fixture which presents an easier path to the final for Lionel Messi's Argentina.
Exciting feature: Check out news exactly for YOU ➡️ find "Recommended for you" block and enjoy!
Statement by Lionel Scaloni
Scaloni spoke on Argentina's chances saying one win does not make a team favourites in the aftermath of the win over Poland as quoted by GWFN.
“We’re not candidates for anything, or favourites for anything – we’re going to fight. It’s totally wrong to think that we’re going to be champions because we won today. We played a good game; it was an important win but nothing more. It wasn’t easy. We interpreted the game correctly and the players played a complete game.”
Messi warns Argentina against Australia
Sports Brief earlier reported that Lionel Messi has warned his teammates not to underrate their round of 16 opponents Australia, who beat Denmark and Tunisia to make it out of the group.
Messi and Argentina would have learnt their lessons after their shocking opening day loss to Saudi Arabia. They had to battle back against Mexico and Poland.
Qatar 2022 is possibly Messi's last World Cup. He would like to write his name among football greats who won the World Cup including countryman Diego Maradona and Brazilian legend Pele.