Robert Lewandowski shoots Poland’s World Cup opening victory from the point


Robert Lewandowski’s World Cup doldrums become a curse – and his Poles are under a lot of pressure after the start in Qatar.

The world footballer even missed a penalty kick in the disappointing 0-0 win against Mexico, Lewandowski was otherwise in the air for 90 minutes, was almost invisible – and after his fourth appearance on the biggest stage he is still waiting for his first World Cup goal.

This disappointing game on Tuesday actually gave him the one moment: The former Bayern star was fouled himself, after video evidence referee Chris Beath (Australia) awarded a penalty. But Lewandowski was too easy to forgive against Mexico’s oldie goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa (58th).

At the 2018 World Cup, Lewandowski failed with Poland in the group phase, which is now also a threat in this final round – since 1986 his country has been waiting to jump into a World Cup round of 16. It will now be a long way in Group C, in which the statics had changed completely unexpectedly on Tuesday: Saudi Arabia is at the top after the sensational win against Argentina (2-1), the South Americans are last.

Mexico the slightly stronger team

Mexico were the slightly stronger side in a weak game and also had two special personalities to offer: Goalkeeper Ochoa (37) and former Leverkusen player Andres Guardado (36) joined the group of record World Cup participants with the opening game. Both contest their fifth finals.

Poland versus Mexico, that had previously been considered the decisive game for second place in the group, the duel between two collectives – plus world footballers. Word of Lewandowski’s hit rate has gotten around to Central America, so the Mexican camp came up with a very simple plan: “We can’t give him any chances,” said Ochoa.

That sounded almost too simple, but worked surprisingly well in the first half. Lewandowski practically didn’t play for 45 minutes, but he also had a difficult time – not only against the Mexican defenders.

The almost 20,000 fans of El Tri whistled the exceptional player particularly loudly, otherwise they drove their team passionately.

Robert Lewandowski takes a lot of time – and yet fails

They didn’t see a nice game, but at least their team seemed more dangerous. Alexis Vega finished twice (5th/26th), once again Jorge Sanchez (44th) – that was it until the break. On the other side, Lewandowski waited in vain for passes.

Such came in the second half, Lewandowski fell in a tough duel with Hector Moreno. At first the whistle was silent, but after viewing the video images, Referee Beath pointed to the point.

Lewandowski took a lot of time – and failed. The cheering of the Mexican fans reached a record level, it has probably never been so loud at this World Cup. As a result, the game leveled off again.


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