Robert Lewandowski is still without a World Cup goal after he missed a penalty in Poland’s goalless draw with Mexico.
Both teams went into the match buoyed by Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia earlier in the day, although neither could find the quality to capitalize.
Mexico had the best chances in the opening exchanges, with Alexis Vega spurning a great opportunity when he isolated Matty Cash at the back post and skipped past him. However, he could only direct his header wide.
Then it became a scrappy affair that struggled to produce much goaltending activity. However, Mexico has always done most of the enforcement. Poland, by comparison, were content to stay in their own half and make things difficult.
The second half felt like a very different game thanks to an apparent rethink from Poland. They started pushing the ball rather than sitting and it seemed like it would bring an immediate reward.
Lewandowski was awarded a VAR penalty after he was pulled down by Hector Moreno. He rose to kick but Guillermo Ochoa denied him with a fine save low to his left.
Mexico went back on the attack to try and make the most of Lewandowski’s gift and Henry Martin immediately forced Wojciech Szczesny into a good reaction with a smart header.
They threw on Wolves striker Raul Jimenez to try and get the edge they lacked and Hirving Lozano was a constant threat. However, chances were hard to come by and frustration grew.
Poland were definitely in a bad mood, retreating to their deep defensive positions again and neither team finding a moment of class to grab the win.
1. Mexico (4-3-3)
GK: Guillermo Ochoa – 7/10 – The veteran came up big when Mexico needed him the most with a fine penalty save.
RB: Jorge Sanchez – 6/10 – Energetic performance down the right.
CB: Hector Moreno – 5/10 – Stupidly gave away a penalty but his goalkeeper got him out of jail.
CB: Cesar Montes – 6/10 – Did okay, although rarely tested.
LB: Jesus Gallardo – 6/10 – Full of running but not much else.
CM: Edson Alvarez – 6/10 – Kept the ball moving nicely but didn’t stand out.
CM: Hector Herrera – 6/10 – Wasn’t really in the match.
CM: Luis Chavez – 7/10 – The best of the Mexican midfield three.
RF: Hirving Lozano – 7/10 – A livewire, for sure, but no real product.
CF: Henry Martin – 6/10 – Unlucky not to score with a clever header.
LF: Alexis Vega – 7/10 – Mexico’s best player in the first half but faded.
SUB: Carlos Rodriguez (71′ for Herrera) – N/A
SUB: Raul Jimenez (71′ for Martin) – N/A
SUB: Uriel Antuna (84′ for Vega) – N/A
Manager: Gerardo Martino – 7/10 – Not easy to like how he set up his side, but he set it up well.
2. Poland (4-2-3-1)
GK: Wojciech Szczesny – 6/10 – One or two good saves but also a couple of scary flaps.
RB: Matty Cash – 5/10 – Probably didn’t defend the back post as well as he would have liked.
CB: Kamil Glik – 6/10 – Had a lot to do, and just about did enough.
CB: Jakub Kiwior – 6/10 – Same as his central defensive partner really.
LB: Bartosz Berezynski – 6/10 – Up against Lozano and did okay.
CM: Grzegorz Krychowiak – 6/10 – DId okay but never looked like influencing the game.
CM: Sebastian Szymanski – 6/10 – Needed a lot of discipline but solid enough.
RM: Jakub Kaminski – 5/10 – Utterly unremarkable.
AM: Piotr Zielinski – 6/10 – One of the better Polish players, but that doesn’t really say much.
LM: Nicola Zalewski – 4/10 – Hooked at half time and could have no complaints.
CF: Robert Lewandowski – 5/10 – Starved of service and clearly frustrated. Can’t really complain about being fed on scraps though when you miss a penalty.
SUB: Krystian Bielik (46′ for Zalewski) – 5/10 – Didn’t appear to add a great deal.
SUB: Przemyslaw Frankowski (72′ for Szymanski) – N/A
SUB: Arkadiusz Milik (88′ for Zielinski) – N/A
Manager: Czeslaw Michniewicz – 6/10 – Largely uninspiring.