Robert Lewandowski scores World Cup first goal as Poland beats Saudi Arabia | World Cup 2022

Before kick-off, Hervé Renard denied that the Saudi Arabian government had given his players a Rolls Royce in recognition of their success in beating Argentina. The French manager of the Green Falcons reminded everyone that his team has not yet escaped the group stage and, greatly disappointed by the massive Saudi support gathered in Doha, Robert Lewandowski appeared as he consolidated the point before he immediately burst into tears.

Poland’s record holder not only broke his first record World Cup however, he created Piotr Zielinski’s opener as Renard’s initially dominant team missed a penalty and eventually ran out of power.

«I’m proud of my players,» said Renard, whose hopes of getting Saudi Arabia into their first knockout game since 1994 depend on the outcome of their last Group C match against Mexico. “But we were not efficient and dialect they are strong. They have three great players – Wojciech Szczesny, Piotr Zielinski and Robert Lewandowski. Congratulations to Lewandowski on his first World Cup goal… but we’re still alive.»

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«Lewangoalski» appropriately rejoiced. «I have always wanted to score a goal in a World Cup and my dream has come true,» he said. «I was very touched. I can confirm that these are tears of joy. As captain of Poland, I am very happy for our team.»

Just two minutes into the match, he was grimacing after being left limping after a pure-blooded, style-defining Saudi challenge. A packed hall was applauded to the rafters in Education City, where the majority Saudi-backed crowd turned the stadium into a sea of ​​green. The Polish players were booed like pantomime villains every time they touched the ball.

The atmosphere acted as a tailwind for Renard’s energetic side, and impressive Mohammed Kanno’s Szczesny had to shoot over the post with a brilliant save. At this point, with the pace always out of half a yard, Poland was in danger of being flooded with waves of attacks, and much has been said that three of Czeslaw Michniewicz’s players were shown a yellow card in the 20th minute.

Lewandowski was so hungry for the serve that he fell even deeper while searching for the ball and was seen at one point as a right-back. Everything changed when Matty Cash, the current right-back from Aston Villa’s Michniewicz, stepped in and Lewandowski deftly left it to Zielinski, although he wasn’t able to control Cash’s final midfield as he had hoped.

Poland's Wojciech Szczesny saves Saudi Arabia's Mohammed al-Breik's second shot after saving Salem al-Dawsari's penalty.
Poland’s Wojciech Szczesny saves Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed al-Breik’s second shot after saving Salem al-Dawsari’s penalty. Photo: Peter Bryne/PA

The Polish captain smiled for the first time as Zielinski’s magnificent first volley flew towards the net. But Krystian Bielik frowned when he caught Saleh al-Shehri’s ankle in the area and was given a lenient penalty after VAR review. Salem al-Dawsari’s weak point hit was parried low by Szczesny, and the former Arsenal goalkeeper then performed acrobatic marvels, allowing Mohammed al-Burayk to follow the bar.

Szczesny’s double save was at its peak with the best goalkeeping tackles seen at the World Cup. It was now dark in Doha and Renard desperately needed one of his players to turn on the lights for his side.

However, Poland’s quartet – Michniewicz had switched from the more familiar defensive trio especially for this match – remained solid. Indeed, they could have boosted their advantage had it not been for a header from Arkadiusz Milik and a shot from Lewandowski, who has so far consolidated their offensive points for Poland.

Saudi Arabia had lost its former shape, structure and sharpness and was visibly tiring. Renard’s typically hyperactive touchline efforts left his branded white shirt sweaty as he watched his substitutes fail to produce the desired effect.

Game over for the Green Falcons when Abdulellah al-Malki’s heavy, apparently tired touch allowed the often deceptively anonymous but always alert Lewandowski to grab the ball by the toe. After executing a low left-footed shot from under the goalkeeper for his 77th international goal, the Barcelona striker was emotional and devoured by his teammates, finally emerging to blow the crowd a kiss. The result leaves both sides up to everything to play.

“I hope our fans don’t give up on us,” Renard said, worried that his team’s momentum might be waning. My message is please continue to support us and help Saudi Arabia make history.»

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