On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Mexico and Poland drew 0-0 in the second Group C match, with Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa's crucial second-half penalty save denying Poland striker Robert Lewandowski his first World Cup goal, Al Jazeera reported.

A sea of Mexico fans in green outnumbered their Polish counterparts in a temporary arena built from 974 recycled shipping containers overlooking the Arabian Gulf, and they made their presence felt in the 40,000-capacity venue.

The action on the field, however, was a little more subdued, with both sides being blunt in attack during a largely forgettable first half.

Mexico dominated possession throughout, but Henry Martin struggled to convert chances in the box without Raul Jimenez at the helm.

On the other hand, Poland failed to involve Lewandowski, who has scored 18 goals for Barcelona this season.

As Poland continued to struggle in midfield, coach Czeslaw Michniewicz made a halftime substitution, taking Nicola Zalewski off and replacing him with central midfielder Krystian Bielik, allowing Piotr Zielinski to play in an advanced role.

The tactical change appeared to work at first, as Poland began to create chances and eventually won a penalty in the 58th minute after a VAR review after Hector Moreno grabbed Lewandoski's shirt and pulled him down.

A low shot from the spot made by Lewandowski was guessed correctly by the 37-year-old Ochoa, playing in his fifth World Cup, as he dived to his left to prevent Poland’s captain. The 34-year-old is his country’s all-time leading scorer with 76 goals but still remains without a World Cup goal.

Not to be outdone by Ochoa’s brilliance in goal, Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny also underlined his credentials moments later when he reacted quickly to change direction and deny a glancing header from Martin.

With 20 minutes remaining in the second half, Mexico coach Gerardo Martino replaced Martin and brought on Jimenez, but the Wolverhampton Wanderers striker, who is returning from a long injury layoff, failed to have a shot on goal.

Following their stunning upset of Argentina, one of the favorites to win the World Cup earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia now leads the group.

Representation Image. KelvinStuttard/Pixabay

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