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FIFA World Cup: Lewandowski misses penalty as Poland and Mexico play goalless draw | Football news

NEW DELHI: Poland’s record goalscorer Robert Lewandowski failed to convert a penalty as they drew 0-0 against Mexico during their opening match of the World Cup at Stadium 974 on Tuesday. The missed penalty meant that Lewandowski has yet to open his main draw account.
The goalless result left Saudi Arabia leading Group C with three points after their stunning victory over favorites Argentina earlier in the day. Mexico and Poland each split a point from the game.
Lewandowski earned the penalty after a VAR check in the 11th minute of the second half when Hector Moreno pulled his shirt in the penalty area. But the Polish striker, who never scored at the World Cup, saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

In a temporary arena built from 974 recycled shipping containers that overlooks the Arabian Gulf, a sea of ​​green Mexican fans outnumbered their Polish counterparts and made their presence felt in the 40,000-capacity venue.
A fluid 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 most of the possession, but without Raul Jimenez Henry Martin led the attack and struggled to reach the end of the chances in the penalty area.

Poland, on the other hand, 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 goalkeepers finished the first half without making any saves.
With Poland losing the midfield battle, coach Czeslaw Michniewicz made a half-time substitution, taking away Nicola Zalewski and putting in central midfielder Krystian Bielik, allowing Piotr Zielinski to play an advanced role.
The tactical change initially seemed to work as Poland started to create chances and eventually won the penalty which Lewandowski shot low, but Ochoa guessed right and ducked left to deny the captaincy.
Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who couldn’t be outdone by Ochoa’s brilliance on goal, also underlined his credentials moments later when he quickly reacted by changing direction and denying Martin’s swift header, which was on target.
Mexico coach Gerardo Martino replaced Martin and put in Jimenez with 20 minutes remaining in the second half, but the Wolverhampton Wanderers striker, returning from a long-term injury, failed to get a shot on target.
Poland will play against current group leader Saudi Arabia in the next game on Saturday, while Mexico will play against ‘injured’ Argentina on Sunday.
(With input from agencies)



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