February 2, 2023

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World Cup 2022: Poland – Saudi Arabia 2-0 – Robert Lewandowski scores the first World Cup goal in the decisive victory

Robert Lewandowski scored his first World Cup goal as Poland picked up a crucial win over Saudi Arabia that leaves Group C wide open.

The Barcelona striker capitalized on a mistake by Saudi Arabian midfielder Abdulelah Al Malki before sending a confident finish past oncoming goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais.

Lewandowski, who missed a penalty in Tuesday’s goalless draw with Mexico, was clearly emotional after ending a run of four World Cup games without a goal.

Piotr Zielinski had given Poland a first-half lead through Lewandowski’s cut, but Saudi Arabia were awarded a penalty five minutes later for Krystian Bielik’s foul on Saleh Al Shehri.

Wojciech Szczesny saved Salem Al Dawsari’s attempt before making a sensational one-handed stop to stop Mohammed Al Burayk from burying the rebound.

Saud Abdulhamid was denied by Szczesny in the second half and Al Brikan shot over the bar, while Arkadiusz Milik and Lewandowski both fell on the wooden beam as Poland tried to double their lead on the break.

Lewandowski’s late goal ended Saudi Arabia’s hopes of Tuesday’s remarkable win over Argentina and boosted Poland’s chances of finishing in the last 16 for the first time since 1986, when they were beaten 4-0 by Brazil in the round of 16.

Czeslaw Michniewicz’s side need just a point against Argentina on Wednesday to qualify for Group C, while Saudi Arabia take on Mexico for a place in the last 16.

Prodigal Saudi Arabia regrets missed opportunities

Lewandowski will steal the headlines after breaking his World Cup duck, but Saudi Arabia will be bitterly frustrated that they have not preserved their unbeaten start to the tournament in Qatar after meeting Szczesny in superb form.

Supported by an enthusiastic and partisan crowd at Education City Stadium, Saudi Arabia pressed hard early on and were denied a superb start when former Arsenal goalkeeper Mohammed Kannos hammered a wild shot over the bar.

Poland looked increasingly shaken as the Green Falcons continued to charge forward in waves, but Bielik’s header on target was cleared by Al Shehri before Zielinski’s first shot on goal put them ahead.

Bielik’s challenge against Al Shehri just before half-time went unpunished by referee Wilton Sampaio, but the Brazilian unhesitatingly pointed to the spot after checking the incident on his pitchside monitor.

If Szczesny’s save from Al Dawsari’s penalty was impressive, his fingertip stop from Al Burayk’s rebound was spectacular – and will take a beating at this World Cup.

The pattern of play changed little in the second half, with Szczesny saving from Abdulhamid’s feet and Al Brikan sending a fierce left-footed shot over the bar.

But Poland remained a threat on the break as Milik deflected a powerful header into the crossbar before Lewandowski’s shot off the post also came back off the woodwork.

It was Al Malki’s fierce touch that ultimately proved decisive, dashed Saudi Arabia’s hopes of becoming the first team to earn a place in the last 16 in Qatar.

Lewandowski could have doubled his and Poland’s tally in added time, but Al Owais parried the striker’s attempt with a powerful hand.

player of the game

Cash Matty Cash


Squad number2Player nameCash

squad number1player nameSzczesny

Squad number9Player nameLewandowski

squad number 20 player name Zielinski

Squad number7Player nameMilik

squad number18player namebereszynski

Squad number15Player nameGlik

squad number6player nameBielik

Squad number13Player nameKaminski

Squad number10Player nameKrychowiak

squad number24player nameFrankowski

Squad number14Player nameKiwior

Squad number23Player namePiatek

Saudi Arabia

Squad number21Player nameMohammed Al Owais

Squad Number23Player NameMohammed Kanno

Squad number9Player’s nameFeras Al Brikan

Squad number6Player nameMohammed Al Burayk

Squad Number4Player NameAbdulelah Al Amri

Squad number5Player’s nameAli Al Bulayhi

Squad Number11Player’s NameSaleh Al Shehri

Squad Number10Player NameSalem Al Dawsari

Squad Number16Player NameSami Al Naji

Squad number8Player’s nameAbdulelah Al Malki

Squad number12Player nameSaud Abdulhamid

Squad Number18Player NameNawaf Al Abid

Squad number24Player nameNasser Al Dawsari

Squad number19Player nameHattan Bahbri

Squad number20Player nameAbdulrahman Al Obud

Squad number2Player’s nameSultan Al Ghannam



Formation 4-4-2



20 Zielinski 6 Bielik 10 Krychowiak 24 Frankowski


1Szczesny2CashBooked at 16mins14KiwiorBooked at 15mins15Glik18Bereszynski20ZielinskiSubstituted forKaminskiat 63’minutes6Bielik10Krychowiak24Frankowski7MilikBooked at 19minsSubstituted forPiatekat 71’minutes9LewandowskiSubstitutes3Jedrzejczyk4Wieteska5Bednarek8Szymanski11Grosicki12Skorupski13Kaminski16Swiderski17Zurkowski19Szymanski21Zalewski22Grabara23Piatek25Gumny26Skóras

Saudi Arabia

Formation 4-1-4-1

21Al Owais

12Abdulhamid4Al Amri5Al Bulayhi6Al Burayk

8Al Wahbi Al Malki

9Al Brikan 16Al Naji 23Kanno 10Al Dawsari

11Al Shehri

21Al Owais12Abdulhamid4Al AmriBooked at 45mins5Al Bulayhi6Al BuraykSubstituted forAl Ghannamat 65’minutes8Al Wahbi Al MalkiBooked at 21minsSubstituted forAl Obudat 85’minutes9Al Brikan16Al NajiSubstituted forAl Abidat 45’minutesSubstituted forBahbriat 90+5’minutes23Kanno10Al Dawsari11Al ShehriSubstituted forAl Shardan Al Dawsariat 86’minutesSubstitutes1Al Rubaie Al Yami2Al Ghannam3Madu14Otayf15Al Hassan17Al Tambakti18Al Abid19Bahbri20Al Obud22Al Suweiti Al Aqidi24Al Shardan Al Dawsari25Asiri

Referee: Wilton Pereira Sampaio

Participation: 44,259

live text

The game ends, Poland 2, Saudi Arabia 0.

End of the second half, Poland 2, Saudi Arabia 0.

attempt failed. Mohammed Kanno (Saudi Arabia) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Salem Al Dawsari.

Substitution, Saudi Arabia. Hattan Bahbri replaces Nawaf Al-Abid.

Corner, Poland. Goal conceded by Abdulrahman Al Obud.

Corner, Poland. Granted by Sultan Al Ghannam.

attempt saved. Robert Lewandowski (Poland) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the center of the goal.

Foul by Nasser Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia).

Krzysztof Piatek (Poland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

attempt failed. Abdulrahman Al Obud (Saudi Arabia) header from the right side of the six yard box is a bit high. Assisted by Nasser Al Dawsari with a cross.

Substitution, Saudi Arabia. Nasser Al Dawsari replaces Saleh Al Shehri.

Substitution, Saudi Arabia. Abdulrahman Al Obud replaces Abdulelah Al Malki.

Abdulelah Al Malki (Saudi Arabia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jakub Kaminski (Poland).

Goal! Second half begins Poland 2, Saudi Arabia 0. Robert Lewandowski (Poland) left footed shot from the center of the box to the center of the goal.

attempt failed. Krzysztof Piatek (Poland) header from the center of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jakub Kaminski with a cross.

Foul by Feras Al Brikan (Saudi Arabia).

Bartosz Bereszynski (Poland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

attempt failed. Abdulelah Al Malki (Saudi Arabia) left footed shot from the center of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Sultan Al Ghannam (Saudi Arabia).

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