Men's National Team

WCQ: Szymanski Injury Time Goal Denies England

Damian Szymanski celebrates after scoring the late injury time goal against England / PZPN
WCQ: Szymanski Injury Time Goal Denies England

WARSAW, Poland. September 8 (AP) – In their third match of the September international break, the Poland national team drew 1:1 at home on Wednesday with England in FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifying.

Final score: Poland – England 1:1

England conceded in the second minute of stoppage time to draw in Warsaw and drop points for the first time in qualifying for next year’s World Cup.

Harry Kane’s goal from a powerful 30-meter shot in the 72nd minute looked like it would give England a sixth straight win in Group I but, in a rare sight of goal for Poland, Damian Szymanski headed home from a cross by Robert Lewandowski to cancel out any victory celebrations.

England’s lead in the group has now been trimmed to four points because Albania beat San Marino 5:0 to move a point above Poland in second place. Hungary beat Andorra 2:1 and was in fourth place, a point behind Poland.

After this draw, England still are considered as the big favourite to secure the sole automatic qualifying berth from the group, with games to come against San Marino and Andorra. Meanwhile, Poland have next to play San Marino, Albania, Andorra and Hungary.

Regardless, Poland’s Paulo Sousa remains confident for the upcoming games but admits that there are still improvements needed to be made.

“In the second half we had a lot of problems because the rival was playing very intensively. The English are used to such a game, so they were dangerous to us, but we defended ourselves well, not letting them spread our wings. If we had a bit more quality in our own crosses, we could be tempted to score one more goal” said the coach of the Polish national team, Paulo Sousa, after the match with England.

All eyes throughout the match after Kane’s goal were on Lewandowski in the so called dubbed “Lewandowski vs Kane battle of strikers”. While starved of service for most of the game, the Pole came out big in the closing minutes where he delivered a moment of class by standing up a perfect cross that Szymanski attacked, heading into the corner for his first international goal to tie the game.

“Until the very end, I believed that we could bring about an equalizer. From the first qualifying match against Hungary, we have been focused on the task of scoring goals and winning subsequent games. On the occasion of the last three matches, it must not be forgotten that as many as fourteen players who are part of this team could not play. We must work to ensure that we always have the right quality substitute in every position. However, I can say that we definitely have a team. The players understand their tasks, we grow as a team also because the reserve players also know what role they are to play. It makes us stronger and stronger.” he assessed.

Poland currently sit third in Group I with 11 points, below Albania who have 12 points, and England with 16.

_______________________________________

Poland – England 1:1 (0:0)
Goals: Szymański 90′ – Kane 72′

Yellow carded: Glik, Krychowiak, Puchacz, Linetty, Szymański – Phillips, Maguire
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Niemcy)
Attendance: 56 212

Poland: 1. Wojciech Szczęsny – 3. Paweł Dawidowicz, 15. Kamil Glik (80, 6. Michał Helik), 5. Jan Bednarek – 7. Kamil Jóźwiak (80, 21. Przemysław Frankowski), 8. Karol Linetty, 10. Grzegorz Krychowiak (68, 17. Damian Szymański), 16. Jakub Moder, 23. Tymoteusz Puchacz (80, 13. Maciej Rybus) – 14. Adam Buksa (63, 11. Karol Świderski), 9. Robert Lewandowski

England: 1. Jordan Pickford – 2. Kyle Walker, 5. John Stones, 6. Harry Maguire, 3. Luke Shaw – 10. Raheem Sterling, 8. Kalvin Phillips, 4. Declan Rice, 11. Mason Mount, 7. Jack Grealish – 9. Harry Kane

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