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Lewandowski breaks duck as Poland beat Saudi Arabia

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Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group C – Poland v Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar – November 26, 2022 Poland’s Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring their second goal as Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al-Owais reacts REUTERS/Kai

  • Barcelona forward Lewandowski made sure Poland took a big step towards the last 16 in Qatar when he rolled home in the 82nd minute after being gifted the ball by Abdulelah Al-Malki
  • Poland leapfrogged the Saudis into first place in Group C, with Lionel Messi’s Argentina facing Mexico later on Saturday

Robert
Lewandowski scored the first World Cup goal of his prolific career on Saturday
when he netted in Poland’s 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia, bursting their bubble
following the team’s giant-killing act against Argentina.

Barcelona
forward Lewandowski made sure Poland took a big step towards the last 16 in
Qatar when he rolled home in the 82nd minute after being gifted the ball by
Abdulelah Al-Malki.

However it
was a battle for Czeslaw Michniewicz’s side, who were leading at that point
thanks to Piotr Zielinski’s roofed finish and an incredible double save from
Wojciech Szczesny after Salem Al-Dawsari’s penalty late in the first half.

Poland
leapfrogged the Saudis into first place in Group C, with Lionel Messi’s
Argentina facing Mexico later on Saturday.

Egged on by
a vocal crowd, Herve Renard’s Saudi team came out with the bit between their
teeth and the Poles frequently struggled to handle their aggressive press.

Poland were
shown three early yellow cards.

Mohamed
Kanno had the game’s first decent effort on goal, tipped over by Szczesny in
the 13th minute.

Lewandowski
initially found it hard to get into the game as he was immediately surrounded
by a gang of defenders led by Ali Al-Bulayhi, who at one point looked to be
heading out of the game after being accidentally studded by the Barca star.

Lewandowski
played a key role in Poland’s opener against the run of play in the 39th
minute, pulling back for Zielinski to finish after nearly clipping home his
first World Cup goal.

Szczesny
then stepped up to save his team minutes later after referee Wilton Sampaio
awarded a soft penalty, when Saleh Al-Shehri went down heavily under pressure
from Krystian Bielik.

The Juventus
goalkeeper did well to bat away Dawsari’s nervy spot-kick but the ball fell to
Mohammed Al-Burayk, who was denied on the rebound by a sensational stop.

Szczesny was
again Poland’s saviour nine minutes after the break when he charged off his
line to keep out Dawsari following a chaotic passage of play that ended with
the ball being ballooned over the bar.

Poland were
again close to buckling under intense Saudi pressure but should have been
further ahead midway in through the second half when Arkadiusz Milik and
Lewandowski both struck the woodwork in the space of three minutes.

Malki then
scuffed wide from the edge of the box and it was his mistake that allowed
Lewandowski to seal the points.

Nothing
looked on when Malki received a pass on the edge of his own area but he let the
ball slip past him and right into Lewandowski’s feet, allowing him to roll in a
simple finish and end his hoodoo.



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