Poland has a strong team at their disposal and placed second in their World Cup qualification group. Mexico, which may be effective on their day, concluded qualification matches on even points with Canada. Last week, Poland defeated Chile 1-0, giving the team some encouragement. Stadium 974, the first temporary stadium in World Cup history built from 974 repurposed shipping containers, will host the Mexico vs Poland match.
It was not unusual for Poland to leave Russia early in 2018. Despite having qualified for three of the last five competitions, they haven’t advanced past the group stage since 1986. In stark contrast, El Tri have advanced from their first-round group in each of their last eight finals appearances, with their last failure occurring in 1978.
Since January 2019, Gerardo Martino – the former manager of Argentina who had guided the Albicelestes to the 2015 Copa America Final before they were defeated by hosts Chile on penalties – has been in charge of the Mexican team. Mexico lost to Sweden 2-1 in their final pre-season friendly, their third defeat in as many games while, without conceding a goal, Poland won back-to-back games.
Mexico got eight clean sheets during the third round of CONCACAF qualifying, but scoring goals has been a challenge. There is even greater pressure on Hirving Lozano up top because Raul Jimenez is out of shape and has played just three Premier League games this season.
Since Argentina – one of the favourites – is also in Group C, Poland’s first match against Mexico would certainly be important if they are to go past the group stage for the first time since 1986. It is number 26, as per FIFA rankings. A lot will depend on striker Robert Lewandowski.
As far as their head-to-head record is concerned, Poland and Mexico are tied at three victories each in the eight games that have been played between them. In the first match between Mexico and Poland in a FIFA World Cup in 1978, Poland prevailed 3-1.
Robert Lewandowski, one of the finest strikers in history, is the centre of Poland’s attack and won’t require many opportunities. Winger Hirving Lozano, on the other hand, will likely lead the Mexican attack.