There it is, Robert Lewandowski’s first World Cup goal. In the 2-0 win against Saudi Arabia, Poland’s superstar made the preliminary decision. But the man of the game was the keeper.
Poland secured Qatar’s first win in their second World Cup match. The team around goal getter Robert Lewandowski defeated Saudi Arabia on Saturday (November 26, 2022) 2-0 (1-0). The goals for Poland were scored by Piotr Zielinski (39′) and Lewandowski (82′). The match winner against the strong Saudis was Poland’s goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with a saved penalty and several brilliant saves.
Saudi Arabia: Powerful start
Four days after the Saudis’ 2-1 sensation against Argentina, the kickers from the desert state also surprised against Poland. The Saudi Arabians went into the game aggressively and under a lot of pressure, putting Poland under pressure early on and repeatedly provoking mistakes in the Lewandowski team. An expression of this aggressiveness in the first half: With Mohammed Kanno, Saud Abdulhamid and Abdulelah Al Amri, three kickers from the Saudis clearly led the tackle statistics.
Saudis have first big chance
Even after big chances, the FIFA world rankings were 51. long ahead: Kanno had a free shot from 16 meters out after 13 minutes, but Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny prevented the goal with a brilliant save.
Poland’s 1-0 lead out of nowhere
Poland initially struggled in the game, acting pomadig and unimaginative in the build-up. The Polish fans had to wait until the 39th minute for the first shot on goal. However, this was excellently prepared and led to the 1-0 lead: Matty Cash served Robert Lewandowski from the right, who defended the ball in the five-meter area and dropped it from the baseline to Piotr Zielinski: Naples professional Zielinski scored from close range the bar (39th). Poland came out on top out of nowhere.
Keeper Szczesny saves a penalty
However, the Zielinski goal was not the last excitement of the first half: Shortly thereafter, Saleh Al Shehri went down in the penalty area after a challenge with Krystian Bielik, the Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio decided on a penalty after a video check (44th). And with this, Poland’s keeper Szczesny became player of the game: First he parried the penalty shot by Salem Al Dwasari and placed it on the bottom right, the goalkeeper also deflected the follow-up shot from Mohammed Al Burayk over the bar with a brilliant reflex (45. + 1.).
Poland’s goalkeeper with brilliant saves
As soon as the whistle restarted, the Saudis immediately took control and the ball again. Poland pulled back and waited for a counterattack. The equalizer should have come after 55 minutes: but after a shot by Salem Al Dwasari, Szczesny saved again in dire need. Shortly thereafter, Firas Al Brikan missed from an acute angle (60′). Abdulellah Al Malki later narrowly missed (78′).
Crossbar, post, Lewandowski
Poland was only able to break free from the middle of the second half, but then had two real top-class players: First, Arkadiuiz Milik headed the crossbar after a cross from the left (63′), then Robert Lewandowski failed from close range at the right post (66′). But Lewandowski was still able to celebrate his goal: The goal-getter, who had missed a penalty in the first game against Mexico, used a defensive error by Al Malki and scored the superior decision to make it 2-0 (82′).
It was Lewandowski’s first World Cup goal ever. In the final phase, the Barcelona striker even had the 3-0 on his foot, but failed to Saudi keeper Al Owais (90th).