Mexico and Poland play draw without goals
Robert Lewandowski’s second-half effort from the penalty spot was saved by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, leaving Poland to earn a goalless draw on Tuesday at the World Cup.
This was the first penalty kick that Lewandowski missed for the national team. Poland’s all-time top scorer with 76 goals remains without A Globalism Cup goal.
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Lewandowski was awarded a penalty after a video assistant referee review after Hector Moreno grabbed his shirt and pulled him. Ochoa, playing in his fifth World Cup, came up to shout in celebration after his stoppage, sending the crowd into chants of “Memo!”
While Mexico controlled the ball, Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny kept all three of El Tree’s shots on target.
The goalless draw was a good result for Argentina, who lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in a previous match in Group C. The Argentines, led by Lionel Messi, were widely considered the favourites.
Mexico has qualified for the knockout round in the last seven World Cups, but the “quinto partido”, or fifth match, has eluded the team. Ely Tree’s best World Cup performances were quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986 as hosts.
Poland was appearing for the second time in a row at the World Cup finals. The team was eliminated in the group stage in 2018.
Jorge Sanchez had a good chance for Mexico in the 44th minute but Szczesny, a Juventus player, pushed it over the bar.
It was Ochoa’s denial of Lewandowski, who moved from Bayern Munich to Barcelona this season and has 13 goals in 14 appearances, that left the stadium filled with mostly green shirts.
It wasn’t the first time Ochoa had advanced dramatically on football’s biggest stage: in 2014, he made six saves in a goalless draw with Brazil, who were among the favorites as tournament hosts. He even blocked Brazilian striker Neymar with a header and described it afterwards as “the game of a lifetime”.
Altri faced criticism heading into the World Cup.
Mexico’s all-time top scorer, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, was knocked out of Qatar’s top scorer list by coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino. Hernandez, who currently plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, has played in the last three World Cups but has not appeared for the national team since 2019.
Martino was also criticized for signing Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez, who is suffering from a thigh injury. Hente Martin replaced him at the start, and Jiménez came on as a substitute in the second half.
The match was held at Stadium 974, named after the symbol of the State of Qatar. The stadium was built from old shipping containers and would eventually be dismantled – the diagonal solution to the largely unused “White Elephant” stadiums after the other World Cups.
There was also a date of manufacture. France’s Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to officiate a men’s World Cup match, and held the position of fourth referee.
Frapart joins Yamashita Yoshimi of Japan and Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda among the 36 referees selected for the tournament.
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