Poland bolstered their chances on Saturday of reaching the World Cup's last 16 for the first time since 1986 after goals from Piotr Zielinski and Robert Lewandowski killed Saudi Arabia's efforts to advance a game early.
Zielinski scored after 39 minutes against the run of play and Lewandowski put the match beyond Saudi Arabia eight minutes from time, while goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny's stunning double save from a penalty in first half stoppage time kept Poland in the match against a Saudi side that was always on the attack.
The result leaves Poland needing only a point from their final Group C match against Argentina to guarantee their spot in the next round. Saudi Arabia were the better team for the first half and had the advantage of a few favoruable refereeing decisions but will rue the missed penalty from Salem Al-Dawsari, who scored the winner in their historic victory over Argentina on Tuesday. Read back all the action LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below!
Poland vs Saudi Arabia updates
GOAL! Lewandowski wraps it up!
PENALTY SAVED! Saudi Arabia denied
GOAL! Zielinski scores against the run of play!
How to watch: BBC One
Evening Standard score prediction
Poland 2 - 0 Saudi Arabia
15:10 , Alex Young
Here’s our match report from the game. A hard-fought win for Poland, and great relief for Lewandowski.
15:03 , Alex Young
98min: That’s your lot! Poland go top of Group C!
15:01 , Alex Young
91min: Seven minutes added on.
14:55 , Alex Young
90min: Almost a second for Lewandowski as he skips into the area, but waits slightly too long before trying to chip the ball over the keeper... who just about clears it.
14:52 , Alex Young
87min: Double change for Saudi Arabia as Al Shehri and Al Malki make way for Alobud and Al Dawsari.
14:51 , Alex Young
84min: The relief on Lewandowski’s face is evident. Made up for him.
14:48 , Alex Young
82min: That’s game, set and match as Lewandowski pounces on a mistake at the back to score his first ever World Cup goal!
Al Wahbi Al Malki was sloppy in possession, took his eye on the ball and Lewandowski swooped in to nick it off his toe before beating the keeper from just inside the area.
14:44 , Alex Young
77min: Had to score. Al Dawsari is found on the edge of the area but his sweeped shot skids past the post.
Had to score!
14:39 , Alex Young
73min: Saudi Arabia losing a bit of impetus as we approach the final 15 minutes. There will be more chances, you’d imagine, but they are playing more cautiously at the moment.
14:36 , Alex Young
70min: Piatek is on for Milik.
14:31 , Alex Young
66min: Poland denied again! This time Lewandowski’s shot is palmed onto the post!
14:28 , Alex Young
63min: Milik’s header crashes back off the bar. Completely free header seemingly out of nothing!
14:27 , Alex Young
62min: Change for Poland as goalscorer Zielinski makes way for Kaminski.
14:25 , Alex Young
60min: Huge chance!
Al Shehri is fed into the area on the left and with the angle getting tighter flashes a fierce drive wide. Has to hit the target.
14:23 , Alex Young
55min: Saudi Arabia just pushing and pushing but Poland are holding firm. Al Abid gets in behind Cash but the cross is sent behind for a corner, which is initially cleared and then sent back in with a speculative overhead kick.
14:16 , Alex Young
50min: Saudi Arabia on the front foot again, starting the second half how they did the first. Not too much in the way of clear-cut chances yet though.
14:11 , Alex Young
46min: Back underway. Saudi Arabia have swapped out Al Naji for Al Abid in one change.
14:05 , Alex Young
That really was a stunning double save from Szczesny, the second for the follow-up, especially.
Almost back underway.
13:55 , Alex Young
55min: That’s your lot!
Lewandowski’s poor control letting himself down on the break just before the whistle.
13:54 , Alex Young
51min: It’s got very sloppy as we approach half time.
13:49 , Alex Young
47min: Ten minutes added on, by the way.
13:47 , Alex Young
46min: INCREDIBLE DOUBLE SAVE FROM SCZCESNY!
Al Shehri is denied and then the follow up is also pushed over the bar!
13:44 , Alex Young
44min: PENALTY TO SAUDI ARABIA!
13:43 , Alex Young
42min: Calls for a penalty to Saudi Arabia, with VAR having a look...
13:40 , Alex Young
40min: It’s been all Saudi Arabia but it’s Zielinski who fires home after Lewandowski cuts the ball back from inside the area!
13:38 , Alex Young
37min: Lewandowski is lucky not to get a booking of his own after bundling over Al Bulayhi and inadvertently stamping on his arm.
13:35 , Alex Young
34min: Poland enjoying their first bit of sustained pressure in Saudi Arabia’s half as Lewandowski bundles his way through but fouls the defender.
13:31 , Alex Young
30min: Frustration for Kanno who miscontrols the ball wildly and then, I guess instinctively, reaches up and slaps the ball back down, much to the bemusement of the Poland players screaming handball.
Off the line!
13:26 , Alex Young
26min: A big chance as Bielik’s header is cleared yards out by a Saudi Arabia defender.
13:22 , Alex Young
21min: Break in play as Al Burayk gets treatment after a clash with Cash.
On another day, that could have been a second yellow.
13:19 , Alex Young
19min: Now Milik gets booked. Again, Poland need to chill.
13:17 , Alex Young
16min: Cash gets a yellow for a rash challenge. That’s exactly what Saudi Arabia wanted.
13:14 , Alex Young
14min: Corner again comes to nothing.
13:14 , Alex Young
A blistering shot from Al Dawsari from the edge of the area stings Szczesny’s palms and the Saudis win another corner.
13:12 , Alex Young
11min: Saudi Arabia appear to have identified Cash as the weak link in Poland’s defence, and it’s working so far as he’s not getting much help from his team-mates.
13:08 , Alex Young
9min: The corner is cleared.
13:08 , Alex Young
8min: They aren’t shy, the Saudis. Brimming with confidence. Left-back Al Burayk has just had a pop from 35 yards, and wins a corner.
13:04 , Alex Young
5min: Saudi Arabia firmly on the foot front, but it’s all a bit frantic and rushed. Poland could do with slowing things down a bit.
13:02 , Alex Young
3min: A few meaty challenges early on from Saudi Arabia, one leaving Lewandowski with a small limp. He’ll be fine.
13:00 , Alex Young
1min: We’re up and running.
12:53 , Alex Young
Here come the teams.
12:49 , Alex Young
Saudi Arabia announce a national holiday after Tuesday’s victory over Argentina. Another win today will see them book their place in the knockout stages - week off?
12:35 , Alex Young
Atmosphere building inside the stadium. Can Lewandowski do with Messi didn’t?
Lewandowski to end drought?
12:21 , Matt Verri
Robert Lewandowski is still waiting for his first goal at a World Cup!
It looked likely to come in the opening match against Mexico but his penalty was saved by Guillermo Ochoa, who seems to have played at every World Cup in living memory.
Argentina to come in the final group-stage match - Poland need their main man to deliver this afternoon.
First the boss has heard of it...
12:10 , Matt Verri
Szczesny: We can’t play out from the back
12:02 , Matt Verri
Poland faced some criticism after the Mexico game for their direct style but judging by Wojciech Szczesny’s comments ahead of this game, don’t expect much to change!
“We’re not a nation that can play the ball from the back forward,” Szczesny said.
“We don’t have it in us like others do, we’re not technically capable to be able to build beautiful plays from the back. So we have to resort to long balls.
“This is why the ball must first be sent out to the opponent’s half at all costs, as only then can we try to do something with it there. This isn’t done as a result of chaos or anything like that, but it’s all according to plan. This is how we play.”
Milik gets the nod
11:49 , Matt Verri
Milik comes into the side in the big team news for Poland, they’ll hope that gives them a bit more attacking impetus.
Bereszynski and Bielik were both doubts but the pair have overcome those injury concerns to start.
As expected, Saudi Arabia are without Al-Shahrani and Al-Faraj, so have been forced to change the side that beat Argentina.
Saudi Arabia team news
11:42 , Matt Verri
Saudi Arabia XI: Al Owais, Abdulhamid, Al Amri, Al Bulayhi, Al Burayk, Alanjei, Al Malki, Kanno, Al Brikan, Al Dawsari, Al Sehri.
Poland team news
11:38 , Matt Verri
Poland XI: Szczesny, Bereszynski, Kiwior, Glik, Cash, Zielinski, Krychowiak, Bielik, Frankowski, Milik, Lewandowski.
Poland need a result
11:29 , Matt Verri
Poland played out a goalless draw with Mexico in their opening match, Robert Lewandowski’s missed penalty the crucial moment.
With a clash against Argentina to come, you feel it has to be three points for Poland if they’re to have a realistic chance of making it out of the group.
Big improvement needed in the final third - they were fairly toothless against Mexico.
Lot to live up to...
11:21 , Matt Verri
Saudi Arabia have got to somehow try and replicate the performance they produced against Argentina. Bit of a challenge, considering that was one of the biggest World Cup shocks ever,
There was a public holiday back home after that win - probably won’t get another one if they win again today!
They will have six points if that happens, and pretty much be through to the last 16.
Evening Standard prediction
11:11 , Matt Verri
Genuinely one of the hardest games of this World Cup to predict, it seems most sensible to expect Saudi to crash back to earth but the Poles have not looked convincing for some time.
Saudi Arabia without Al-Shahrani
11:04 , Matt Verri
Yasir Al-Shahrani suffered a fractured jaw and required surgery after a horror collision with his goalkeeper, meaning he is expected to play no further part in the World Cup.
Salman Al-Faraj came off just before half-time against Argentina and is a doubt, so his country could be forced into shuffling the pack in midfield too.
Match-winner Salem Al-Dawsari will be a hero back home forever after his strike, and will have the chance to further enhance his reputation this weekend.
Predicted Saudi Arabia XI: Al-Owais, Abdulhamid, Tambakti, Al-Bulayhi, Al-Burayk, Al-Malki, Al-Brikan, Al-Abid, Kanno, Al-Dawsari, Al-Shehri
Poland likely unchanged
10:55 , Alex Young
Robert Lewandowski will today be looking to put his penalty miss behind him as he looks for a first goal of this World Cup.
It would be no surprise if Poland were unchanged, though Arkadiusz Milik is an option should Czeslaw Michniewicz want more attacking ambition for his side.
Krystian Bielik came on at half-time in that game and is a minor injury doubt, as is Bartosz Bereszynski who has picked up a muscle injury.
Where to watch
10:46 , Alex Young
TV channel: In the UK, the match will be televised free-to-air and live on BBC One, with coverage beginning at 12.30pm.
Live stream: The BBC iPlayer will broadcast the match live online.
10:35 , Alex Young
Good morning and welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of the World Cup clash between Poland and Saudi Arabia.
Kick-off at the interestingly named Education City Stadium is at 1pm GMT.
Stick with us.