Robert Lewandowski suffered fresh World Cup misery as the Poland striker’s penalty was saved by Guillermo Ochoa in a 0-0 draw against Mexico on Tuesday.
Lewandowski has never scored at a World Cup and the Barcelona striker had admitted it would be a “huge dream” to finally get off the mark on the global stage.
Instead, the 34-year-old’s dream turned into a nightmare when he won a second-half penalty, only to see Ochoa deny him from the spot.
Lewandowski, Poland’s record scorer with 76 goals, has netted 18 times in 19 appearances for Barcelona, the club he joined in the close-season after bagging 344 goals in eight trophy-filled years at Bayern Munich.
Yet the World Cup has proved hellish for Lewandowski, with this latest goalless outing coming after he failed to score in Poland’s three games when they bowed out in the group stage four years ago.
Saudi Arabia’s stunning 2-1 win over Argentina earlier on Tuesday had blown open the race to progress to the last 16 from Group C.
But this was a frustrating draw for both teams, with Lewandowski wasting the best chance of a cagey game and Mexico ruing their failure to turn territorial dominance into goals.
Mexico boss Gerardo Martino had endured stinging criticism from fans and media following some poor pre-tournament performances, prompting him to dub himself “public enemy number one”.
That didn’t stop thousands of Mexico supporters making the long journey to support ‘El Tri’ in Qatar.