The Argentina captain failed to get on the scoresheet for the first time in the 2022 World Cup after missing a penalty against Poland on Wednesday.
Lionel Messi has equaled Ghana legend Asamoah Gyan for the most penalty misses in a World Cup since 1966.
That’s according to Opta. It states Messi’s penalty miss in Argentina’s 2-0 win over Poland was the second of his World Cup career in three attempts. His last miss was in the 2018 tournament. Back then, Iceland keeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson was the man to stop the 35-year-old in a group match.
Only Gyan, who failed to score half of his penalties for Ghana in the World Cup, can match Messi in this respect.
2 – Lionel Messi 🇦🇷 has missed two of his three penalty kicks at the World Cup (excluding penalty shootouts), equalling the most by a player since at least 1966 (Asamoah Gyan 🇬🇭, two missed out of four). Pressure. pic.twitter.com/LcKtzmTqmd
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 30, 2022
Messi looks to the bright side
Nevertheless, Messi felt his penalty miss stirred a positive reaction from his teammates. Argentina went on to beat Poland 2-0 with second-half goals from Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez. The win sealed the South American champions a last-16 spot in the tournament as the Group C winners.
“I’m annoyed that I missed the penalty,” Messi said after the final whistle in Doha.
“But the team came out stronger after my mistake. The team was convinced that we were going to win, it was a matter of scoring the first goal. After that, the rest of the game was played the way we wanted.”
Messi added: “We said it from the beginning, the player who has to come in knows what he has to do and is always fully prepared,” Messi said. “The strength of this group is the unity and everyone answered the call.”
Argentina will next take on Australia on Saturday for a Round of 16 clash in Al Rayyan.