Mexico and Poland began their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign with an entertaining goalless draw at Stadium 974 in Doha on Tuesday, November 22. The two teams went into the match hoping to take all three points following Argentina's shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia earlier in the day.
The North American side dominated the proceedings right from kickoff and had the majority of chances. Their best chance of the first half fell Alexis Vega's way when he outjumped Matty Cash at the back post but failed to get his header on target.
The second half was also an evenly fought contest until VAR awarded Poland a penalty following Hector Moreno's tug on Robert Lewandowski in the box. The Barcelona striker, however, saw his spot kick saved by Guillermo Ochoa.
Energized by that save, Mexico did their best to break through the Polish defense, even throwing on Raul Jimenez late in the match. It wasn't meant to be, as both teams had to settle for a point each in Ras Abu Aboud, Doha.
Here are the player ratings from Mexico vs Poland:
Mexico player ratings
Guillermo Ochoa - 9/10
97% pass accuracy, 35 touches, 29 passes completed, two saves made and one penalty saved — Guillermo Ochoa has made his mark at yet another World Cup.
With his appearance against Poland, the Mexico goalkeeper became one of the few players in history to go to five men’s World Cups and the 37-year-old has shown that he is in Qatar by merit and not just for his experience.
Jorge Sanchez - 7/10
The right-back was an all-action presence on the right flank. He bossed the wing for Mexico, popping up in defense and attack at crucial phases of play. He linked up well with Hirving Lozano and caused the Polish backline a lot of headaches. Picked up a yellow card for his efforts, while making Wojciech Szczesny make a fantastic save at the end of the first half.
Hector Moreno - 6/10
Hector Moreno was defensively strong and kept the Polish attack at bay until a brainfart saw him pull Lewandowski down and concede a penalty. If not for Ochoa's heroics, he'd be rated much lesser and would have faced the ire of his teammates and fans.
Cesar Montes - 7/10
Like his fellow defenders, he worked hard to keep Poland at bay in the first half. Did what was asked of him well and ensured his keeper had little to do — besides the penalty save.
Jesus Gallardo - 7/10
The left flank was where Jesus Gallardo set up shop and he did well to complement Sanchez on the other wing. His most telling contribution was a good recovery tackle to dispossess Jakub Kaminski.
Edson Alvarez - 6/10
A solid presence in Mexico's midfield, Edson Alvarez worked hard to ensure the Polish midfielders did not take control of the proceedings.
Hector Herrera - 6/10
Like Alvarez, Hector Herrera worked hard in the middle of the park without producing anything spectacular, barring a backheel that set Vega through on goal. Saw him get substituted in the 71st minute.
Luis Chavez - 7/10
Luis Chavez was the best of the Mexican midfield trio, which wasn't very hard to achieve. His one big moment was a great ball over the Polish defense in the first half for Gallardo, putting him in a good position to have a shot on goal.
Hirving Lozano - 8/10
A livewire throughout the match, Hirving Lozano made the most of the few opportunities he had on the ball. He looked the most likely to create a goal, if not score, against Poland.
Had a good understanding with Sanchez on the right wing before tactical changes saw him switch flanks in search of a breakthrough.
Henry Martin - 3/10
All issues with the misfiring Mexican attack can be traced down to Henry Martin, however harsh that may sound. While the job of replacing Raul Jimenez was not easy, he made zero impact on the game and the fans were happy to see the half-fit Jimenez replace him in the second half.
Alexis Vega - 7/10
Lozano and Alexis Vega were the two sharpest attackers for Mexico, with both causing problems on either wing. An all-energetic performance from the winger saw him relentlessly press Poland players from the front and deny them time to pick their passes.
Raul Jimenez - 5/10
Replaced an ineffective Martin. While he could not put his name on the scoresheet, Gerardo Martino will be hoping that the few minutes he got under his belt will see him build confidence and start the remaining group-stage games.
Carlos Rodriguez - 4/10
Entered the game with less than 20 minutes left and didn't do anything, good or bad, to change Mexico's fortunes.
Uriel Antuna - 3/10
A late substitute who entered the game in the dying minutes, Uriel Antuna did well to win a corner for Mexico, his only notable contribution.
Poland player ratings
Wojciech Szczesny - 7/10
Despite seeing his team on the back foot for major parts of the match, Wojciech Szczesny remained a calming presence between the sticks.
Kamil Glik - 8/10
In his 100th cap for Poland, Kamil Glik used all the experience he has gathered over the years to deal with the tricky Mexican attack. The veteran first kept Martin quiet and later his replacement Jimenez too. A solid, if unspectacular, performance.
Jakub Kiwior - 7/10
Followed Glik's lead and formed a good partnership at the heart of the Polish defence. Did his defensive duties well and kept Mexico's chances to a minimum.
Matty Cash - 6/10
The right-back was more comfortable in attack than defending. He was beaten a few times, most notably by Vega, and his frustration showed in a few misplaced passes. Did his best to drive his team forward without much success, as Mexico defended diligently.
Bartosz Bereszynski - 6/10
Bartosz Bereszynski, a natural right-back playing at left-back, was not at his best on the left flank. That said, despite being honed into an uncomfortable role, he did his best and barely put a foot wrong.
Grzegorz Krychowiak - 6/10
Krychowiak had a physical presence in the middle of the pitch and had more influence than usual thanks to the team's defensive setup. While he did his defensive duties diligently, he was not of much use going forward.
Piotr Zielinski - 5/10
Instead of linking up with Lewandowski up front, Piotr Zielinski spent most of the time tracking back and helping out defensively, which left the Barcelona striker isolated in attack. Instead of being one of Poland's best attackers, he saw the game pass by him quickly before his late substitution.
Sebastian Szymanski - 5/10
Another attack-minded player who did his defensive duties well but failed to inspire on the few occasions Poland managed to string together an attack.
Nicola Zalewski - 4/10
As is the theme with the other Polish midfielders, he made no telling contributions in attack while doing his best to help the team when not in possession against Mexico. Hooked at half-time and he could not have any complaints about it.
Jakub Kaminski - 5/10
The Polish winger did little to support Lewandowski up front and, to put it nicely, had a very unremarkable performance.
Robert Lewandowski - 5/10
Left to feed on scraps in attack, the captain had a glorious chance of putting his team ahead from the penalty spot close to the hour mark. He fluffed his lines and as the game wore on, the Mexican players almost became immune to his aura, which is something that should worry coach Czeslaw Michniewicz heading into the next match.
Krystian Bielik - 5/10
Came on as a halftime substitute to shore up the numbers in midfield and he did well defensively.
Arkadiusz Milik - 5/10
There have been calls for Arkadiusz Milik to be paired with Lewandowski up front to make the most of Poland's attack, and that idea will be strengthened following a toothless performance in the attacking third against Mexico.