WARSAW, Poland. June 10 (AP) – Robert Lewandowski hit a hat-trick and stretched his 11-game run of scoring in successive 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as Poland consolidated its lead in Group E by beating Romania 3:1 on Saturday.
Final Score: Poland – Romania 3:1
Lewandowski made no mistake from the penalty spot before the half-hour mark after he had been fouled by Cristian Sapunaru, then claimed his 10th goal of this campaign with a header from open play.
He completed his hat-trick with another penalty just after the hour, after Alin Tosca fouled Piotr Zielinski.
Bogdan Stancu pulled one back with a brilliant finish for Romania but Poland never looked likely to drop to its first defeat as it restored its six-point lead in the group.
Lewandowski took his tally for this campaign to 11 goals, level with Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Group winners from the nine groups qualify automatically for the 32-team 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, while the eight runners-up with the best records against the sides first, third, fourth and fifth in their groups go on to play-offs to decide the other four tournament places allocated to Europe.
Poland – Romania 3:1 (1:0)
Goals: Lewandowski 29′ (Pk), 57′, 62′ (Pk) – Stancu 77′
Yellow carded: Săpunaru
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (France) Attendance: 57 128
Poland: 1. Wojciech Szczęsny – 20. Łukasz Piszczek, 4. Thiago Cionek, 2. Michał Pazdan, 3. Artur Jędrzejczyk – 16. Jakub Błaszczykowski, 5. Krzysztof Mączyński (44, 10. Grzegorz Krychowiak), 8. Karol Linetty (72, 7. Arkadiusz Milik), 19. Piotr Zieliński (81, 14. Łukasz Teodorczyk), 11. Kamil Grosicki – 9. Robert Lewandowski
Romania: 12. Ciprian Tătărușanu – 2. Romario Benzar, 6. Vlad Chiricheș, 22. Cristian Săpunaru, 3. Alin Toșca, 14. Iasmin Latovlevici (60, 10. Gheorghe Grozav) – 19. Bogdan Stancu, 18. Răzvan Marin (79, 20. Sergiu Hanca), 8. Mihai Pintilii, 7. Alexandru Chipciu (60, 23. Nicolae Stanciu) – 9. Florin Andone
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