Robert Lewandowski is still without a World Cup goal after he missed a penalty in Poland’s goalless draw with Mexico.
The two teams went into the match boosted by Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia earlier in the day, although neither could really find the quality to take full advantage.
The best chances of the opening exchanges went to Mexico, with Alexis Vega spurning a big opportunity when he isolated Matty Cash at the back post and out-jumped him. However, he was only able to direct his header wide.
It then became a low-quality affair that struggled to produce much goalmouth activity. It was always Mexico doing most of the pushing, though. Poland, by comparison, were content to stay in their own half and make things tough.
The second half briefly felt like a very different game thanks to an apparent rethink by Poland. They started pressing the ball rather than sitting back, and it looked like it had brought as instant reward.
Lewandowski was awarded a penalty following a VAR check after being hauled down by Hector Moreno. He picked himself up to take the kick, but Guillermo Ochoa denied him with a fine save low to his left.
Mexico went right back on the attack to try to make the most of Lewandowski’s gift, and Henry Martin immediately forced Wojciech Szczesny into a fine reaction save with a clever header.
They threw on Wolves striker Raul Jimenez to try and muster the cutting edge they were lacking, and Hirving Lozano provided a constant threat. Chances were proving hard to come by though and frustration grew.
Poland were definitely in a spoiling mood, retreating back into their deep defensive positions again, and neither team could find a moment of class to snatch a win.
Hirving Lozano a livewire for Mexico / Alex Grimm/GettyImages
GK: Guillermo Ochoa – 7/10 – The veteran came up big when Mexico needed him the 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 goalkeeper got him out of jail.
CB: Cesar Montes – 6/10 – Did 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 nicely but didn’t stand out.
CM: Hector Herrera – 6/10 – Wasn’t really in the match.
CM: Luis Chavez – 7/10 – The best of the Mexican midfield three.
RF: Hirving Lozano – 7/10 – A livewire, for 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 set up his side, but he set it up well.
Frustrating match for Robert Lewandowski / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages
GK: Wojciech Szczesny – 6/10 – One or two good saves but also a couple of scary flaps.
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 just about did 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 – DId okay but never looked like influencing the game.
CM: Sebastian Szymanski – 6/10 – Needed a lot of discipline but solid enough.
RM: Jakub Kaminski – 5/10 – Utterly unremarkable.
AM: Piotr Zielinski – 6/10 – One of the better Polish players, but that doesn’t really say much.
LM: Nicola Zalewski – 4/10 – Hooked at half time and could have no complaints.
CF: Robert Lewandowski – 5/10 – Starved of service and clearly frustrated. Can’t really complain about being fed on scraps though when you miss a penalty.
SUB: Krystian Bielik (46′ for Zalewski) – 5/10 – Didn’t appear to add a great deal.
SUB: Przemyslaw Frankowski (72′ for Szymanski) – N/A
SUB: Arkadiusz Milik (88′ for Zielinski) – N/A
Manager: Czeslaw Michniewicz – 6/10 – Largely uninspiring.