Robert Lewandowski’s Poland coach and teammates insisted they still expect the striker to score his first World Cup goal in Qatar despite his missed penalty in Tuesday’s stalemate with Mexico.
Playing in his fifth World Cup, 37-year-old goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saved Lewandowski’s 58th-minute spot-kick.
Lewandowski, one of his generation’s best strikers, is still yet to find the net in four World Cup matches.
“Things like that happen even to the greatest players — (Diego) Maradona, Socrates, (Michel) Platini,” said Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz.
“That’s football. I know how much he wants to score at a World Cup. It’s not easy for him.”
Former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak told AFP he was pleased with Poland’s reaction after the miss.
“When you don’t score a penalty, you are disappointed, but what’s most important is the reaction — you cannot concede a goal,” he said.
“We are all together with Robert and I hope in the next game we will take the three points.”
Right-back Matty Cash said Lewandowski was experienced enough to put the disappointment behind him ahead of their next Group C game on Saturday against surprise leaders Saudi Arabia.
“Football is football. It’s a penalty and he knows better than anyone, you score ’em or you miss ’em.
“He will be back, no problem.”
Lewandowski came into the tournament in top form, with 18 goals in his first 19 games for Barcelona after moving from Bayern Munich in the close-season.
The 34-year-old is his country’s all-time record scorer with 76 goals and he netted 344 times in eight seasons with Bayern.