Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Poland's 'emotional' Lewandowski misses penalty in Mexico stalemate



Poland's 'emotional' Lewandowski misses penalty in Mexico stalemate

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Poland forward Robert Lewandowski reacts after Mexico Guillermo Ochoa saved his penalty in their Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C match on November 22. AFP

Poland's 'emotional' Lewandowski misses penalty in Mexico stalemate

Robert Lewandowski suffered fresh World Cup misery as the Poland striker's penalty was saved in a 0-0 draw against Mexico on Tuesday.

Lewandowski has never scored at a World Cup and the Barcelona striker had admitted it would be a "huge dream" to finally get off the mark on the global stage.

Instead, the 34-year-old's dream turned into a bit of a nightmare when he won a second-half penalty, only for goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa to keep out his tame effort.

"I didn't score, that sure hurts," Polish media quoted him as saying. "It's a penalty, a lottery, you can't explain it."

Lewandowski, Poland's record scorer with 76 goals, has netted 18 times in 19 appearances for Barcelona, the club he joined in the close season after bagging 344 goals in eight trophy-filled years at Bayern Munich.

Yet the World Cup has proved barren for Lewandowski, with this latest goalless outing coming after he failed to score in Poland's three games when they bowed out in the group stage four years ago.

Saudi Arabia's stunning 2-1 win over Argentina earlier on Tuesday had blown open the race to progress to the last 16 from Group C.

But this was a frustrating draw for both teams, with Lewandowski wasting the best chance of a cagey game and Mexico ruing their failure to turn territorial dominance into goals.

The Stadium 974 – whose structure was partially created from a colourful tapestry of shipping containers – overlooks Doha's port and the area was transformed into a colourful fiesta as green-clad, sombrero-wearing Mexicans partied ahead of evening kick-off.

It was an even more vibrant scene inside the stadium, with the estimated 40,000 capacity almost entirely filled with vociferous, flag-waving fans of "El Tri".

Lewandowski woe

As the main threat to their team's hopes, Lewandowski was immediately subjected to ear-splitting jeers from the Mexico supporters.

He tried to silence the din with an early header but his effort deflected harmlessly wide.

With Poland curiously content to sit back for long periods and Mexico's energy levels almost matching their raucous fans, it was Gerardo Martino's side who carried the greater threat.

Isolated by Poland's conservative tactics, Lewandowski mustered just one touch in the Mexico area and completed only three passes in the first half.

Lewandowski couldn't be contained forever and his tenacity earned the 57th-minute penalty when he barged into the Mexico area, forcing a crude challenge from Hector Moreno that was ruled a spot-kick after VAR intervened.

But Lewandowski's World Cup woe wasn't over as the 37-year-old Ochoa plunged to his left to make a fine save, leaving the striker holding his head in despair.

It was Lewandowski's second successive penalty miss after he failed to score for Barcelona against Almeria earlier this month.

Henry Martin's glancing header drew a good stop from Szczesny as Mexico tried in vain to make the most of their escape.

"We should have won the game, but we needed to be more accurate," said coach Martino. "We have a 'final' ahead of us in the next game against Argentina."

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the