Fans of Poland’s national soccer team are used to must-win games. Unfortunately, this year such matches are coming far earlier in the World Cup qualifying stage than they should. In early September, with four matches still left for the Polish team in their qualifying campaign, Poland needed to beat Montenegro to keep alive any realistic hope of advancing to next year’s tournament.
Things looked bad early on, when in the 11th minute Dejan Damjanovic scored for Montenegro. Poland replied five minutes later with Robert Lewandowski equalizing, but those two goals were the only ones scored during the game. While Poland managed to put the ball in the net in the last minute, the referee disallowed the goal, since one of the Polish players was offside.
Though the game did see a few controversial calls, mostly against the Polish side, the responsibility for the loss falls squarely on the Polish players. Besides a few moments in which they dominated the opposition, the Polish side looked listless, unable to score the winning goal.
In their second September qualifying game, Poland easily beat San Marino 5-1. Goals were scored by Piort Zieliński (twice), Jakub Błaszczykowski, Waldemar Sobota and Adrian Mierzejewski. Still, Polish fans had reason to be angry: San Marino was allowed to score its first competitive goal in over four years. Alessandro Della Valle was the lucky goal-scorer.
Currently, after eight rounds of games played, Poland sits in fourth place in its group, with 13 points. England is in the lead with 16 points, and is trailed by Ukraine and Montenegro with 15 points each. Poland needs to win its last two group games – away at England and Ukraine – and hope for some very surprising results in other games if they are to advance further.
From Warsaw Business Journal
Will cabinet reshuffle save PO?
BY Remi Adekoya
What’s next for Jarosław Gowin?
BY Remi Adekoya