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Mexico, Poland battle to frustrating World Cup draw

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The PST Extra crew breaks down the key points of Mexico and Poland's draw at the World Cup and what the two teams' outlooks are for the rest of the group stage.

With Group C favorites Argentina losing vs Saudi Arabia earlier in the day, both Mexico and Poland desperately needed a win in their 2022 World Cup opener at Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday, but a goal never came for either side.

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Robert Lewandowski had the game’s best scoring chance from 12 yards away, but the Poland captain was denied by 37-year-old goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the 58th minute. Lewandowski’s penalty attempt was subpar at best, at an easy high to save and not hit with much power.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

The draw means that in order to advance from the group, either (or both) of Mexico and Poland will need to beat Saudi Arabia, who currently sit top of the group, and take at least one point vs Argentina.

Mexico vs Poland

Photo: FotMob.com

[ MORE: Latest Group C standings, schedule, scores ]


How to watch Mexico vs Poland live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET, Tuesday
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

At various points during qualifying, Tata found himself under plenty of pressure as many fans doubted he would still be in charge if/when Mexico took the field in Qatar. Here’s the positive spin on Mexico’s recent World Cup appearances: seven straight tournaments, seven straight times they advanced from the group stage. Now, here’s the negative spin: seven straight eliminations in the round of 16; zero quarterfinal appearances; 0-for-7 after losing to Brazil in 2018. Alexis Vega could be the next Mexican star to make the jump to Europe, and potentially the Premier League, with a strong showing at the World Cup. A number of European clubs, including fellow Mexico star Raul Jimenez’s Wolves, are reportedly interested in the 24-year-old Guadalajara winger.

As for Poland, 2022 will be back-to-back World Cup appearances, on the heels of missing back-to-back tournaments in 2010 and 2014. They were eliminated from the group after two games in 2018, before winning in their farewell appearance on matchday 3. For many of the stars the world has become so familiar with in recent years, this will be their last hurrah, as Lewandowski (34), Kamil Glik (34), Kamil Grosicki (34), Grzegorz Krychowiak (32) approach the finish line internationally. Between them, 414 caps’ worth of experience at a very high level. Poland haven’t been to the knockout rounds of the World Cup since 1986 in, coincidentally, Mexico.


Mexico quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 13
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (2nd place)
Coach: Gerardo “Tata” Martino
Key players: Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez


Poland quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 26
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs, Path B
Coach: Czeslaw Michniewicz
Key players: Robert Lewandowski, Wojciech Szczesny, Piotr Zielinski

Follow @AndyEdMLS