The scene of his decisive missed penalty didn't let Robert Lewandowski rest after the final whistle either. The world footballer kept watching the action on a monitor in the dressing room, as reported by national coach Czeslaw Michniewicz. "I know how a captain feels when he misses a penalty. He was very emotional," said Michniewicz.
In the nerve duel from the point, his leading player missed being the celebrated man of the evening in the 0-0 draw against Mexico. In this role, Mexico's goalkeeping legend Guillermo Ochoa was celebrated by the loud Latin American fans.
Look at the next tasks
Lewandowski left the stadium at a fast pace and with a calm expression, trying to focus on the next tasks. "Now we are preparing for the next game against Saudi Arabia. It will be a very important game for us," said the 34-year-old, who then wants to score his first goal in his fifth World Cup game.
Due to the previous surprise victory of Saudi Arabia against the big group favorites Argentina around superstar Lionel Messi, the starting position in Group C is now extremely exciting - and Poland's possibility of the first World Cup round of 16 since 1986 is still promising.
In a win against the Saudis, Lewandowski would
While Lewandowski was one of the first to leave the stadium 974, the Mexicans celebrated their match winner Ochoa. The 37-year-old parried Lewandowski's shot with an outstanding reflex (58th minute). "It's good that I saved the penalty, I'm very happy about that. We kept a clean sheet and didn't concede a goal - that's a good point," said Ochoa.
The veteran revealed that he had been studying videos of opposing penalty takers with the Mexican goalkeeping coach for several weeks. "You look at more than 15, 20 penalties but you never know which side to go for," said Ochoa. In his fifth World Cup appearance, he became the first Mexican keeper since 1966 to save a penalty in regular time at a World Cup game.
Coach Gerardo Martino was satisfied with his team's performance but said: "We should have won the game." Because the Mexicans are now under pressure in the explosive duel with Argentina on Saturday. "We're playing against a great title contender," said Martino, who said he wasn't surprised by Messi's and his team's defeat. "We have to play our game and try to win."
Like a home game for Mexico
Then El Tri should again be supported by tens of thousands of fans. According to FIFA, 90,000 Mexicans in and around the stadium at the port of Doha made the start of the tournament an atmospheric home game for their team, with the jumping sometimes even vibrating the stands. "Thank you for what we got to experience today," said Ochoa. "It felt like a home game."
In contrast to the hot-blooded jubilation and La Ola waves for their selection, the numerous Mexican fans among the 39,369 spectators gave Lewandowski plenty of whistles during the warm-up program. With the decisive shot from the spot, the otherwise confident penalty taker then lost his nerve. "It just happens. Great players sometimes miss a penalty, it happened to others like Maradona. That's football," said Michniewicz. "It's such a shame for Robert. I know how badly he wanted that goal."