Guillermo Ochoa saved a Robert Lewandowski penalty to help Mexico produce one of the goalless football scores of the midweek action in the World Cup. Mexico was the more dangerous team in a game devoid of any real attacking quality, but Poland had the best chance to take all three points when Lewandowski was brought down in the area by Hector Moreno and a penalty was awarded following a VAR review. Lewandowski got up, but the weak penalty kick was blocked by the 37-year-old goalkeeper Ochoa, who is competing in a record-tying eighth World Cup finals. Ochoa’s bravery galvanized Mexico’s players and supporters, but they were unable to convert that enthusiasm into a victory.
Alexis Vega leaped at the back post and sent a header bouncing inches wide, giving Mexico a narrow advantage in the cagey first quarter and the game’s first opportunity. Later, Wojciech Szczesny was forced off his line by Jesus Gallardo’s dash into the area, but Poland’s defense was on hand when the ball ricocheted beyond their goalkeeper. The game picked up after the interval following a dull first period. Within seven minutes of the game’s restart, Hirving Lozano’s long, dipping shot caused Szczesny to make a save before the VAR gave Poland the chance to tie the score.
Moreno was found to have knocked Lewandowski to the ground in the penalty area despite Mexican objections. Lewandowski nearly scored his first World Cup goal from 12 yards out, but goalkeeper Ochoa made an outstanding save. The situation was set up for Mexico to advance and triumph, but that did not happen as both sides settled for a point on the first night.
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