Szczesny, Lewandowski star in Poland’s frenetic win over Saudi Arabia

World Cup Group C just won’t quit as Wojciech Szczesny’s brilliant day led Poland to a 2-0 win over game Saudi Arabia on Saturday in Al Rayyan.

Piotr Zielinski had staked Poland to a lead when Szczesny saved Salem Al-Dawsari’s penalty and Mohammed Al Burayk’s bid at the rebound. Robert Lewandowski’s 82nd-minute goal salted away the win.


Szczesny finished the day with five saves and Poland’s knockout round hopes are alive heading into a final day fight with Argentina.

The Saudis upset of Argentina on the first matchday keeps them in line for a knockout berth ahead of a scrap with Mexico, who plays Argentina at 2pm ET Saturday after drawing Mexico 0-0.

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Green Falcons for real but ex-Arsenal star Szczesny has his day

By all accounts, Saudi Arabia should’ve taken at least a point from this game. The Green Falcons might’ve deserved all three and it felt like the stadium was sold out to Saudi fans as they piled forward looking to add Poland to Argentina on their win list.

Unfortunately for the Saudis, Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was having none of it.

Szczesny added five saves to the four he made against Mexico to stretch his clean sheet run to two matches, and he was also aided by some big defender blocks and some near-misses from the Saudis.

Robert Lewandowski assisted Piotr Zielinski’s goal and then single-handedly delivered the Eagles their insurance marker with a turnover and finish past Mohammed Al Owais.

For Lewandowski, who had never scored at a World Cup, and Szczesny, who allowed five goals in two 2018 World Cup starts, this was pretty redemptive stuff.

Stars of the show

Wojciech Szczesny

Mohamed Kanno

Robert Lewandowski

Saud Abdulhamid

Piotr Zielinski

Piotr Zielinski goal video: Poland takes the lead

Wojciech Szczesny penalty save video

Robert Lewandowski goal video: Turnover salts away win

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

Kick off: 8am ET, Saturday (November 26)
Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Key storylines, players to watch closely

On the one hand, beating Lionel Messi and Argentina is an incredible result that will go down in history as one of, if not the, biggest upsets in World Cup history. That should be cherished forever, and it will be. But, at the same time, one can’t help but wonder how many more times they can win by scoring two goals from two shots on target (three in total).

As for Poland, a frustrating opening draw with Mexico was made all the more so by the fact that Saudi Arabia, the presumed cellar dwellers of Group C, had already taken three points from their most difficult fixture. Both Poland and Mexico needed a victory to feel comfortable with both the group leaders and the group giants still to come. Frankowski and Milik both come into the Poland starting lineup as they look to take the game to Saudi Arabia.

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

Saudi Arabia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 51
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group B)
Coach: Herve Renard
Key players: Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammed Al-Owais

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