Poland hold England 1-1 in qualifier

wayne-rooney_2074181b.jpg.crop_display.jpg

England were held to a 1-1 draw by Poland on Wednesday in a Group H qualifier that went ahead a day late after Tuesday's scheduled kick-off was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Wayne Rooney sent the Poles' morale sinking fifteen minutes from half-time, heading in a corner from captain Steven Gerrard for his 30th goal in an England shirt.

Poland's answer came in the 70th minute, thanks to Torino defender Kamil Glik, courtesy of another header from a corner.

"It's a decent point but we are disappointed," said Gerrard. "We know we can play better. We should have seen the game out but I still believe this will be a good point at the end of the day."

England goalkeeper Joe Hart took responsibility for the goal, having flapped as he tried to clear the corner.

"It was my fault and it cost us three points. They were knocking on the door but it was never going to open unless there was a mistake," he said.

Conscious of their underdog image - they stand 54th in the FIFA rankings to England's fifth - Poland took the game to their rivals from kick off.

The game had been billed as a personal battle between Poland's Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski and England's Manchester City keeper Joe Hart, who recently did battle in the Champions League.

But with Lewandowski failing to shine in the half, it was midfielder Kamil Grosicki who first sent home fans' pulses racing in the 58,000-capacity Kazimierz Gorski Stadium in the eighth minute, though poor control stymied his effort.

England took their chance after 15 minutes but James Milner's lateral pass failed to find a team-mate before Polish goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton smothered the ball.

Working hand-in-hand with fellow midfielder, French-born Ludovic Obraniak, Sivasspor's Grosicki continued to seek weak links in the England defence, to no avail.

Manchester City's Milner fed Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe up front in the 26th minute, only for the latter to lose the battle with Poland captain Marcin Wasilewski, standing in for the injured Kuba Blaszczykowski.

Two minutes later, Poland powered back, with Grosicki finding Lewandowski in the box, only for newcomer Pawel Wszolek to fail to latch onto the pass.

A minute after Rooney's goal put England up, Grosicki again came up empty.

For the remainder of the half, both teams failed to capitalise on corners and free kicks, while strikes from Glen Johnson and Grosicki went wide minutes from the whistle.

After the interval, Poland upped the pace in a drive to close the deficit, with corner-taking stalwart Obraniak firing over the bar in the 49th minute, followed by Lewandowski 10 minutes later.

A lone run by substitute Danny Welbeck then found Tyton floundering, but Rooney failed to make it two.

Poland's traditionally unforgiving fans began to harangue their team, but were suddenly silenced when a 70th-minute Obraniak corner found Glik, who earned his second Poland goal, as Hart came for the ball and was left stranded.

Ten minutes later, they were inches away from pulling ahead, as yet another Obraniak corner found Glik.

Three minutes from time, Milner found himself free, only for Tyton to beat him, before Obraniak pounded at Hart twice, the second time forcing the England keeper into a lunging save.

The Poles had been aware that history was against then having been England just once -- in the race to qualify for the 1974 World Cup, when they deprived the English of a berth at the finals -- and drawn six times in a total of 17 previous meetings.

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/196165" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-684451c9e2ac6432a0a6e41379ab06ae" value="form-684451c9e2ac6432a0a6e41379ab06ae" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="81489020" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.