The Saudi national team lost to Poland 0-2 on Saturday at Education City Stadium, in the second round of Group C competitions in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Piotr Zielinski (39) and Robert Lewandowski (82) scored the winning goals for the Polish national team.
At the beginning of the match, the Saudi national team took the initiative to take possession of the ball and put pressure on the goal, while adopting a high defense method in order to force the Polish team to stay in its areas.
Al-Akhdar almost opened the scoring in the 13th minute, when Saud Abdel Hamid set up the ball in front of Mohamed Kno, to score from the first touch, a dangerous attempt that goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny narrowly pushed into a corner kick.
Among one of Poland’s rare attempts, Christian Bilik took a corner kick and headed the ball towards the goal, but the Saudi defense pushed it away to another corner before it crossed the line (26).
In contrast to the course of the Poland national team snatching the goal of progress in the 39th minute, when, following a quick attack, the ball reached inside the area to Robert Lewandowski, who set it up in front of Piotr Zielinski to shoot into the net.
The Saudi national team wasted a golden opportunity to score a draw, when the match referee awarded a penalty kick after referring to the video assistant referee, as a result of Saleh Al-Shehri being obstructed by Christian Bilek, and Salem Al-Dosari executed it, but goalkeeper Szczesny blocked it, and Muhammad Al-Buraik tried to follow it, but the Polish goalkeeper shone again in deflecting the ball to a corner kick (45).
With the start of the second half, the Saudi national team continued to pressure to score, with Polish players continuing to rely on defensive organization and closing the spaces in front of the attackers.
A dangerous opportunity was missed in the 55th minute when Saud Abdul Hameed led an attack on the left side and sent a cross pass that caused a dent in front of the goal before the ball reached Al Dosari to hit an attempt that was saved by the Polish goalkeeper, and the ball reached Abdullah Al Malki, who shot over the crossbar.
Then a new opportunity was missed when Al-Dosari passed a perfect ball to Firas Al-Buraikan inside the area, to hit with his left an attempt that passed outside the three sticks (60), followed by a shot from Kano over the goal.
For his part, the Poland national team continued its danger in counter-attacks, as it almost scored the second goal when Arkadiusz Milik rose to Przemyslaw Frankowski’s cross pass and played a header that bounced off the crossbar (63).
And the flood of Saudi opportunities continued, to witness the 78th minute another attempt via Abdullah Al-Maliki’s shot from the edge of the penalty area, which touched the post and turned into a corner kick.
But the Polish national team snatched the second goal due to a defensive mistake, when Lewandowski snatched the ball from Al-Maliki and singled the goal before he shot from under goalkeeper Muhammad Al-Owais (82), so that the remaining minutes passed without changing the result and Poland won with two clean goals.
The third and final round of group competitions will be held next Wednesday, November 30, when Saudi Arabia will meet Mexico, and Poland will meet Argentina.
On Tuesday, the first round saw Saudi Arabia defeat Argentina 2-1 and Mexico tied 0-0 with Poland.
The top two teams from each of the eight groups advance to the round of 16.