January 27, 2023

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Lewandowski lands first World Cup objective as Poland cease Saudi Arabia

Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski scored his first World Cup objective as Poland earned an important victory over Saudi Arabia that leaves Group C broad open.

The Barcelona striker capitalised on an error by Saudi Arabia midfielder Abdulelah Al Malki earlier than sending a composed end previous onrushing goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais.

Lewandowski, who missed a penalty in Tuesday’s goalless draw with Mexico, was visibly emotional after ending a run of 4 World Cup video games with out discovering the online.

Piotr Zielinski had given Poland a first-half lead from Lewandowski’s cutback, however Saudi Arabia have been awarded a penalty 5 minutes later for Krystian Bielik’s foul on Saleh Al Shehri.

Wojciech Szczesny saved out Salem Al Dawsari’s effort earlier than producing a sensational one-handed cease to stop Mohammed Al Burayk from burying the rebound.

Saud Abdulhamid was denied by Szczesny and Al Brikan shot over the bar within the second half, whereas Arkadiusz Milik and Lewandowski have been each denied by the woodwork as Poland sought to double their lead on the counter-attack.

Lewandowski’s late strike ended Saudi Arabia’s hopes of constructing on Tuesday’s exceptional victory over Argentina and boosts Poland’s probabilities of reaching the final 16 for the primary time since 1986, after they have been crushed 4-0 by Brazil within the first knockout spherical.

Czeslaw Michniewicz’s crew want only one level towards Argentina on Wednesday to qualify from Group C, whereas Saudi Arabia face Mexico for a spot within the final 16.

Lewandowski will steal the headlines after breaking his World Cup duck, however Saudi Arabia will likely be bitterly annoyed to not have preserved their unbeaten begin to the match in Qatar after discovering Szczesny in impressed type.

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Backed by a fervent and partisan crowd inside Training Metropolis Stadium, Saudi Arabia utilized heavy early strain and have been denied an excellent opener when the previous Arsenal goalkeeper palmed Mohammed Kanno’s ferocious drive over the crossbar.

Poland seemed more and more rattled because the Inexperienced Falcons continued to swarm ahead in waves, however Bielik’s goal-bound header was cleared to security by Al Shehri earlier than Zielinski gave them the lead with their first shot on course.

Bielik’s problem on Al Shehri shortly earlier than half-time initially went unpunished by referee Wilton Sampaio, however the Brazilian confirmed no hesitation in pointing to the spot after reviewing the incident on his pitchside monitor.

If Szczesny’s save from Al Dawsari’s spot-kick was spectacular, his fingertip cease from Al Burayk’s follow-up effort was spectacular – and can take some beating at this World Cup.

There was little change to the sample of play within the second half, with Szczesny saving on the ft of Abdulhamid and Al Brikan sending a fierce, left-footed shot over the bar.

However Poland remained a risk on the counter-attack as Milik steered a robust header towards the crossbar, earlier than Lewandowski’s near-post flick additionally got here again off the woodwork.

It was Al Malki’s heavy contact that in the end proved decisive, ending Saudi Arabia’s hopes of turning into the primary crew in Qatar to clinch a final 16 berth.

Lewandowski may have doubled his and Poland’s tally in stoppage time, however Al Owais saved out the striker’s effort with a robust hand.

BBC

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