Robert Lewandowski’s penalty pegs back France to earn point for Poland

There was the moment of unbridled joy Kylian Mbappé had presumably visualised in recent days: whipping off his black mask and celebrating before thousands of France supporters in the imposing, iconic steep Sudtribune. He struck a second-half penalty to relieve France’s goalscoring frustrations but by the end of a stodgy team performance he cut a contrasting figure, fidgeting with the mechanics of his mask in sticky heat. Mbappé was easily France’s best player but the bad news for France was there was another returning forward in the shape of Robert Lewandowski, who earned an unlikely point, also scoring from the spot.

It was a damaging goal with ramifications in Group D, Austria beating France to top spot. Lewandowski, Poland’s all-time record goalscorer and captain who scored 74 goals for Borussia Dortmund, had to retake his penalty after the France goalkeeper Mike Maignan jumped off his line prematurely to save his effort from 12 yards. Lewandowski kept his cool to repeat the same staggered run-up, waiting for Maignan to blink first, and he squeezed his shot into the same corner down to the goalkeeper’s right. Mbappé moved towards the touchline to ask questions of the fourth official, Rade Obrenovic, about the validity of Lewandowski’s second effort. There would be no reprieve.

Continue reading…

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *