FIFA World Cup 2022: Mexico and Poland match ends in draw, both teams settle with 1 point each
The seventh match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 between Mexico and Poland, the two teams from Group C, ended in a tie. Robert Lewandowski's second-half penalty attempt was saved by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, leaving Poland to settle for a 0-0 draw on Tuesday.
Interestingly, Mexico have progressed from their first-round group stage at the FIFA World Cup in their last eight appearances. On the other hand, Poland have never made it past the group stages since 1986.
Mexico and Poland have had an encounter only once at the mega event before in 1978. In the match, Poland won 3-1.
It was Lewandowski's first penalty miss for the national team. Poland's all-time leading scorer with 76 goals remains without a World Cup goal.
Lewandowski was awarded the penalty following a VAR review after Hector Moreno got hold of his shirt and pulled him down.
Ochoa, playing in his fifth World Cup, came up yelling in celebration after his stop, sending the crowd into chants of “Memo!”
While Mexico dominated possession, Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny turned away all three of El Tri's shots on goal.
The scoreless draw was a good result for Argentina, which was upset by Saudi Arabia 2-1 in an earlier Group C match. The Argentines, led by Lionel Messi, were widely considered to be the favourites to advance.
Mexico has made it to the knockout round in the last seven World Cups, but the “quinto partido,” or fifth game, has eluded the team.
El Tri's best showing at the World Cup was reaching the quarterfinals in 1970 and 1986 as hosts.
Poland was making its second straight World Cup appearance. The team was eliminated in the group stage in 2018.
Jorge Sanchez had a good chance for Mexico in the 44th minute but Szczesny, who plays for Juventus, pushed it over the crossbar.
It was Ochoa's denial of Lewandowski, who moved from Bayern Munich to Barcelona this season and has 13 goals in 14 appearances, that brought the stadium filled with mostly green jerseys to their feet.
It wasn't the first time Ochoa had come up big on football's biggest stage: In 2014 he made six saves in a scoreless draw with Brazil, which was among the favorites as the tournament's host. He even denied Brazil striker Neymar on a header and afterward called it the “game of a lifetime."
El Tri has been dogged by criticism heading into the World Cup.
Mexico's all-time leading scorer, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, was left off the roster for Qatar by coach Gerardo “Tata”
Martino. Hernandez, who currently plays for the LA Galaxy, had played in the last three World Cups, but hasn't appeared with the national team since 2019.
Martino was also criticised for including Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez, who has struggled with a groin injury. Replaced by Henty Martin to start, Jimenez came in as a substitute in the second half.
(Inputs from PTI)
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