Baku, December 1, AZERTAC
Juventus and Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny made another astonishing penalty save at the World Cup, this time from Lionel Messi, a sense of justice as it was an extremely harsh decision in the first place, according to Football Italia.
The shot-stopper flapped at a cross after an initial save and caught Messi on the face after the Argentina international had already taken the header wide.
This means the contact made no material difference to the scoring opportunity, so it’s frankly inexplicable that the VAR and then referee agreed it was a penalty.
Justice was served, though, because Szczesny again managed to save the spot-kick, this time sticking up his trailing hand to deny Messi.
He becomes the third goalkeeper in history to save two penalties during the same World Cup tournament, after Poland’s Jan Tomaszewski in 1974 and USA’s Brad Friedel in 2002.
Meanwhile, it is the first time Messi has failed to convert a competitive penalty for Argentina since the 1-1 draw against Iceland in the 2018 World Cup.
Szczesny truly is a specialist, saving 26 out of the 87 penalties he has faced throughout his career at club and international level.
That record is getting more exceptional by the day, having saved five of the last six penalties between Juventus and Poland.
In fact, the 32-year-old publicly thanked Juve staff for giving him the tools to analyse opponents and make those blocks.
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