15/04/2024

Mexico and Poland battle to the end in what has become the third draw of the FIFA World Cup. (Photo: FIFAWorldCup/Twitter)

Mexico and Poland could only manage a scoreless draw after a hard-fought 90-minute contest playing in front of a packed Stadium 794. 

Mexico’s defence and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who has a knack for performing well at the World Cup, were up to the challenge against the fast-paced and clinical passing of Poland, with star striker Robert Lewandowski leading the charge.

The Mexican defence held firm against the Polish attack throughout the match and when it did manage to slip through, Ochoa was well set in between the sticks.

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It took a rare mistake in the Mexican box in the 56th minute, a penalty conceded by Hector Moreno, to provide the most clear cut opportunity for a Poland goal.

Lewandowski lined himself up and took aim at the bottom right corner, which was saved by Ochoa in a brilliant lunging effort.

Poland’s attack could be sparked from anywhere at any time, with a strong counterattack and a habit of placing through balls to players getting behind their defenders and getting more high-quality shots.

Mexico would have multiple shots in Poland’s box in the second half, being able to set the tone in the second half offensively and looked much more likely they would be able to score. 

Alexis Vega and Moreno looked dangerous on the attack in the second half for Mexico, being able to create opportunities with their ability to be dribble the ball in close quarter and beat defenders one-on-one.

Poland’s defence when Mexico picked up the pace in transition was able to combat the Mexican counter-attacks efficiently, closing in on the normally lone player and restricting their options.

Outside of Lewandowski being very close to scoring in the beginning of the second half, Jakub Kaminski and Grzegorz Krychowiak also ignited hope at times of scoring and shifting the momentum of the game in their favour, but also failed to fire.

The missed opportunities from both sides leave plenty to be desired for Gerardo Martino and Czeslaw Michniewicz, who manage Mexico and Poland respectively.

With the stoic defending of both teams, just one goal would have completely thrown off the oppositions style and opened the floodgates for greater scoring opportunities, something that both managers will be acutely aware of.

After seven minutes of added time, the game would conclude as a draw and see both sides share the points in the second match of Group C.

Mexico will now take on Argentina in their next match, who suffered a shock loss to Poland’s next opponent, Saudi Arabia, earlier in the day.

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