Lewandowski misses penalty as Mexico hold off Poland

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Robert Lewandowski saved a penalty as Poland and Mexico played out a goalless World Cup draw at a fervent Stadium 974.

Captain Lewandowski has never scored in the tournament and his wait continues after veteran Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa kept out a domestic effort.

The 40,000-capacity venue was largely filled with booing Mexico supporters and deafening cheers when Lewandowski’s shot went wide.

A forgettable first half saw Alexis Vega’s header narrowly wide and the only goal on target came when Jorge Sánchez’s corner kick was denied by Wojciech Szczesny.

Hirving Lozano’s curling effort from distance was straight at the Polish keeper, before the game finally sprung into life in the second half.

But both teams had to settle for a draw after 37-year-old Ochoa stepped up correctly to avoid Barcelona striker Lewandowski’s penalty, awarded after the referee watched a replay on the pitch monitor.

Earlier in the day, in Group C, Saudi Arabia caused one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history by coming from behind to beat highly fancied Argentina.

A very open group

With Saudi Arabia creating a seismic World Cup moment with their stunning win, it leaves this group wide open and all four sides now have hopes of reaching the last 16.

A tremendous atmosphere in the 974 Stadium, built with this number of containers, was let down by a poor show on the pitch.

Lewandowski, who has 18 goals in 19 games for Barcelona this season, was jeered by the Mexican fans throughout the match and had a great opportunity to silence the opposition supporters.

The forward was brought down in the box by Hector Moreno and after advice from the video assistant referee to review the incident, Australian referee Chris Beath awarded a penalty.

Poland’s last five World Cup goals, dating back to 1998, have all come from set pieces, so you would have trusted the usual Lewandowski to hit the net.

But the 34-year-old extended his goalless streak in the competition to 360 minutes when he missed the penalty, having also failed to score in three games four years ago.

The draw means Poland have won just one of their last nine World Cup openers and the miss could prove crucial as they aim to get out of the group for the first time since 1986.

On the other hand, Mexico have reached the knockout stage in the last eight World Cups, but it could be seen as a missed opportunity against a Poland side that offered very little in attack.

Napoli striker Lozano had his best chances but Szczesny blocked a shot from distance and a header, while Uriel Antuna cut in from the right but smothered a shot at the keeper at the end.

Player of the match

OchoaGuillermo Ochoa



Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Ochoa
  • 19SanchezBooked at 29 minutes
  • 3mounts
  • 15MorenoBooked at 56 minutes
  • 23Gallardo
  • 16HerreraReplaced byRodríguezat 71′minutes
  • 4Alvarez
  • 24Chavez
  • 22Lozano
  • 20MartinReplaced byJimenezat 71′minutes
  • 10VegaReplaced byAnthonyat 84′minutes


  • 1Talavera
  • 2Araújo
  • 5Vasquez
  • 6arteaga
  • 7Romo
  • 8Rodríguez
  • 9Jimenez
  • 11Funes Mori
  • 12elevation
  • 14Gutierrez
  • 17pine forest
  • 18saved
  • 21Anthony
  • 25Alvarado
  • 26Alvarez


Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Szczesny
  • 2cash
  • 15Glik
  • 14kiwi
  • 18Bereszynski
  • 10Krychowiak
  • 13Kaminski
  • 20ZielinskiReplaced byMilikat 87′minutes
  • 19SzymanskiReplaced byFrankowskiat 72′minutesBooked at 76 minutes
  • 21ZalewskiReplaced byBielikat 45′minutes
  • 9Lewandowski


  • 3Jedrzejczyk
  • 4Wieteska
  • 5Bednarek
  • 6Bielik
  • 7Milik
  • 8Szymanski
  • 11Grosicki
  • 12Skorupski
  • 16Swiderski
  • 17Zurkowski
  • 22record
  • 23Piatek
  • 24Frankowski
  • 25Gumny
  • 26score

Chris Beath


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