Poland’s Lewandowski misses penalty in Mexico draw

Published November 23, 2022
DOHA: Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saves a penalty by Robert Lewandowski of Poland during their Group ‘C’ match at Stadium 974 on Tuesday.—AFP
DOHA: Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saves a penalty by Robert Lewandowski of Poland during their Group ‘C’ match at Stadium 974 on Tuesday.—AFP

DOHA: Poland skipper Robert Lewandowski failed to break his World Cup duck when he saw a second-half penalty saved in a goalless but entertaining draw with Mexico in their opening Group C game at Stadium 974 on Tuesday.

Lewandowski earned the penalty after a VAR check 11 minutes into the second half when Hector Moreno tugged at his shirt in the box. But the Polish striker, who has never scored at the World Cup, saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

A flowing game of few fouls but fewer chances came to life around the half-hour mark when Alexis Vega saw his header fly wide before Jesus Gallardo was denied with a last-man tackle when he had an open goal at his mercy two minutes later.

Mexico had the bulk of the possession but without Raul Jimenez spearheading the attack, Henry Martin struggled to get on the end of chances in the box.

At the other end, Poland failed to get Lewandowski involved as the Barcelona striker - who has scored 18 goals for the Spanish club this season - received little service as both keepers finished the first half without having to make a save.

With Poland losing the midfield battle, coach Czeslaw Michniewicz made a halftime substitution by hauling off Nicola Zalewski and bringing on central midfielder Krystian Bielik, which allowed Piotr Zielinski to play in an advanced role.

The tactical change seemed to work initially as Poland began creating chances and eventually won the penalty which Lewandowski shot low but Ochoa guessed correctly and dived to his left to deny the skipper.

Not to be outdone by Ochoa’s brilliance in goal, Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny also underlined his credentials moments later when he reacted quickly to change direction and deny Martin’s glancing header that was on target.

Mexico coach Gerardo Martino replaced Martin and brought on Jimenez with 20 minutes to go in the second half but the Wolverhampton Wanderers striker, who is returning from a long injury lay-off, failed to have a shot on goal.

The result leaves Saudi Arabia as group leaders following their stunning upset of Argentina, one of the pre-tournament favourites, earlier in the day.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Retracted offer
04 Dec, 2022

Retracted offer

WITH so many U-turns under his belt, it was hardly surprising when on Saturday, PTI chairman Imran Khan decided to...
Embassy attack
Updated 04 Dec, 2022

Embassy attack

The Taliban should have enhanced the existing security arrangements.
Smog season
04 Dec, 2022

Smog season

FOR the past week, major cities of Pakistan have been among the top most polluted cities in the world. Lahore ranked...
Fleeting good news
Updated 03 Dec, 2022

Fleeting good news

Indeed, there is no other option to get out of the economic mess we have created in the last few years.
Battle for spoils
03 Dec, 2022

Battle for spoils

THE spectacle playing out inside a London courtroom shines a light on the struggle for control of the assets of the...
CM Bizenjo’s complaint
03 Dec, 2022

CM Bizenjo’s complaint

BALOCHISTAN Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo’s claim that his province is facing a financial crunch due to ...