Not even the roar of the Mexican fans could break the stalemate on Tuesday as Mexico and Poland ended their opening Group C game 0-0.
The draw comes hours after Saudi Arabia delivered one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, coming from behind to beat Argentina 2-1, and Tunisia drew with Denmark for the first 0-0 game of the tournament in a Group D fixture.
In a twist that no one saw coming, Saudi Arabia now leads Argentina, Poland and Mexico in Group C with three points. Poland and Mexico have one, and Argentina is blank.
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El Tri controlled the game from the opening kickoff, accounting for 63% of possession in the first half. Their offensive unit put pressure on the Polish defense with a barrage of crosses but weren’t able to close the deal in the first half.
Returning from the break, Poland’s star striker Robert Lewandowski had a chance to break through on a penalty kick in the 58th minute. The 34-year-old stepped up to the line with a perfect 10-for-10 penalty kick record with Poland on the line, but was stopped by the heroics of Gulliermo “Memo” Ochoa. The Mexican goalkeeper dove low left to block Lewandowski’s shot before popping up in anticipation of the ricochet.
The 37-year-old goalie is appearing in his fifth World Cup and has cemented his status as a national legend over the years.
The next 40 minutes continued to be more of the same as Mexico threatened the Polish defense time and time again, but the Eagles’ backline stood tall to keep the score level. Both teams brought on a series of subs throughout the second half, but no one was able to provide the necessary lift to get on the board.
Mexico finished the day controlling the ball 61% of the time with 11 shots – four of which were on target – to Poland’s six (two on target).
Mexico now takes on Argentina on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, 11 a.m. PT. A win for the Mexican side would eliminate Lionel Messi and Argentina from the tournament.