Lewandowski arrives at decisive clash with Argentina after breaking bad streak and scoring in the World Cup

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Robert Lewandowski’s tears after scoring the goal that sealed Poland’s victory over Saudi Arabia on Saturday showed the immense weight he had on his shoulders for never scoring in a World Cup, a streak he finally broke before the vital clash with Argentina in Group C close.

After stealing the ball from Abdulelah Al-Malki and making it 2-0 eight minutes from the end, Poland’s top scorer threw himself to the ground and his teammates threw themselves on him to celebrate Lewandowski finally breaking his World Cup drought.

The pressure was mounting for the Barcelona striker after failing to score in Poland’s three games at the 2018 World Cup and Tuesday’s opening draw against Mexico, in which he also missed a penalty.

At 34, Qatar could have been his last chance. In addition, the goal came in a match of great importance.

Poland needed at least a draw to have any real chance of reaching the knockout stages for the first time since 1986.

Poland now leads the zone with four points and on Wednesday will face a rising Argentina, which has three points after a 2-0 victory over Mexico also on Saturday with two goals from Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez.

Lewandowski could have scored in the 11th minute, when Matty Cash won the ball with a superb sweep and set it up, but referee Wilton Sampaio ruled he had committed a foul.

Lewandowski was instrumental in Poland’s two goals and most of his attacks, and showed all his class in the 39th minute, when with a genius he enabled Piotr Zielinski, who took a furious shot to put the 1-0.

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Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz changed tactics from the Mexico game, in which Lewandowski was the only striker. On Saturday he teamed up with Arkadiusz Milik and moved around the attacking front, acting as a centre-forward, as a pivot and also as an exquisite enabler.

“I think the older I get, the more excited I get, and I’m aware that this may be my last World Cup,” Lewandowski said after scoring his 77th international goal.

“The result of the team was the most important thing (…) We have a new day ahead of us and we have to prepare for the next game because we don’t know what’s going to happen next. We have to do everything we can.”

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