Wed, 29 Nov 2023

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DOHA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Robert Lewandowski missed a penalty as Poland were held to a goalless draw by Mexico in Group C at the 2022 FIFA World Cup here on Tuesday.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who was appearing in his fifth World Cup, saved the spot-kick from Poland's record goalscorer in the second half.

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"I watched many videos to learn Lewandowski's habit of shooting penalties," said the 37-year-old. "Luckily I chose the right direction today."

Lewandowski has scored 76 goals in 134 games for Poland, but still needs to wait longer for his first World Cup finals goal.

"I know how much he wanted to score in the World Cup," said Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz, adding that Lewandowski hadn't missed a penalty in Monday's training. "But this is football, great players also miss penalties sometimes."

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Mexico are unbeaten in their last seven opening World Cup matches, with five wins and two draws.

Mexico showed plenty of aggression in the first half but had little to show for it in terms of clear-cut opportunities, while Poland were solid at the back but lacked a cutting edge.

The only shot on target in the first half was from Mexico's Luis Chavez, whose strike from outside the box was saved by Wojciech Szczesny.

Poland were awarded their penalty after a VAR check for a foul on Lewandowski in the 56th minute, but the Polish captain fluffed his lines.

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Henry Martin went close to break the deadlock for Mexico when his header from the center of the box was denied by Szczesny in the 64th minute.

Mexico will next play on Saturday against Argentina, who were shocked by Saudi Arabia 2-1 in the day's earlier match. Poland will face group leaders Saudi Arabia.

"It's unexpected that Argentina lost the game, but they are still among the favorites to win the championship. We must play more cleverly in the next match," said Mexico coach Gerardo Martino.

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