Robert Lewandowski remains without a World Cup goal after missing a penalty in Poland’s goalless draw with Mexico.
The two teams went into the game buoyed by Argentina’s shock loss to Saudi Arabia earlier in the day, although neither could quite find the quality to take full advantage.
The best chances of the opening exchanges went to Mexico, with Alexis Vega spurning a great opportunity when he isolated Matty Cash at the back post and out-jumped him. However, he could only direct his header wide.
It then became a low-quality affair that struggled to produce much goal activity. But it was always Mexico that did most of the shooting. Poland, by comparison, were content to stay in their own half and make it tough.
The second half briefly felt like a very different game thanks to an obvious forethought from Poland. They started pushing the ball instead of sitting back, and it looked like it had an immediate reward.
Lewandowski was awarded a penalty following a VAR review after being brought down by Hector Moreno. He braced himself to take the kick, but Guillermo Ochoa denied him with a fine save low to his left.
Mexico went straight back on the attack to try and make the most of Lewandowski’s gift, and Henry Martin immediately forced Wojciech Szczesny into a fine reaction save with a smart header.
They threw on Wolves striker Raul Jimenez to try and provide the edge they lacked, and Hirving Lozano provided a constant threat. However, chances proved hard to come by and frustration grew.
Poland were definitely in a ruined mood and retreated to their deep defensive positions again, and neither team could find a moment of class to claim a win.
Hire Lozano a live wire for Mexico / Alex Grimm/GettyImages
GK: Guillermo Ochoa – 7/10 – The veteran came up big when Mexico needed him 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 keeper got him out of jail.
CB: Cesar Montes – 6/10 – Passed 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 but didn’t stick out.
CM: Hector Herrera – 6/10 – Wasn’t really in the game.
CM: Luis Chavez – 7/10 – The best of the Mexican midfield trio.
RF: Hirving Lozano – 7/10 – A livewire, 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 lined up his side, but he lined it up well.
Frustrating game for Robert Lewandowski / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages
GK: Wojciech Szczesny – 6/10 – The occasional good save but also a couple of scary tackles.
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 did almost 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 – Passed okay but never looked like impacting the game.
CM: Sebastian Szymanski – 6/10 – Needed a lot of discipline but solid enough.
RM: Jakub Kaminski – 5/10 – Completely unremarkable.
AM: Piotr Zielinski – 6/10 – One of the better Polish players, but that’s not really saying much.
LM: Nicola Zalewski – 4/10 – Hooked at half time and couldn’t have any complaints.
CF: Robert Lewandowski – 5/10 – Starved of service and clearly frustrated. Can’t really complain about being fed scraps though when you miss a penalty.
SUB: Krystian Bielik (46′ for Zalewski) – 5/10 – Didn’t seem to add much.
SUB: Przemyslaw Frankowski (72′ for Szymanski) – N/A
SUB: Arkadiusz Milik (88′ for Zielinski) – N/A
Manager: Czeslaw Michniewicz – 6/10 – Largely uninspiring.
Player of the match: Hirving Lozano