Mexico versus Poland in Group C versus Denmark in Group D played out the first goalless draws of the 2022 world cup going on in Qatar.
Coming into the game after the shock wave sent around the world cup by Saudi Arabia’s defeat of Argentina in the first fixture of the group, Mexico and Poland looked towards joining the Saudi Falcons at the top of the Group C table.
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Poland offered little in the encounter with Mexico, despite being roared on by a boisterous support at Stadium 974.
Robert Lewandowski was denied a first World Cup goal when Mexico’s goal keeper, Guillermo Ochoa saved the striker’s second-half penalty to earn Mexico a deserved share of the spoils against Poland on Tuesday.
The Barcelona striker was generously awarded the chance to net his first World Cup goal – referee Chris Beath awarding the spot-kick following a VAR check. Lewandowski was impeded in the box by Hector Moreno, as the pair grappled in pursuit of a forward ball.
Lewandowski’s effort from 12 yards was one of only two attempts on target from the Poles.
Mexico offered the greater threat in the first half with Hirving Lozano predictably proving their main attacking outlet.
The Napoli winger created the first chance of note after five minutes, his curling cross from the right eluding Wojciech Szczesny but Alexis Vega was unable to turn the ball home at the far post.
The Central Americans were the more progressive team, but similarly short on clear opportunities. Wojcieh Szczesny in Poland’s goal readjusted his footing to repel a deflected Edson Alvarez shot and Alexis Vega skied a late strike from distance.
Denmark and Tunisia played out the first goalless draw of the 2022 world in Group D. Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark have been labelled by some as dark horses for glory in Qatar, but they were given a stern test by Tunisia.
With the backing of huge, vociferous support at Education City Stadium on Tuesday, Tunisia could easily have taken more from the Group D opener, with Kasper Schmeichel making a brilliant save to deny Issam Jebali in the first half.
After Andreas Skov Olsen had a goal disallowed for offside, Aymen Dahmen’s superb save denied Christian Eriksen a spectacular strike, though Denmark should have been ahead from the resulting corner.
France and Denmark are clear favourites to progress from Group D, which also includes Australia, but Tunisia held their own and, if they can find some quality in the final third, this point could prove invaluable.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur
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