Polish club sides and the national team have all seen a recurring theme in international competition. The Polish side, after putting in a solid effort and missing several good opportunities, loses in the end due to either an individual’s error or a referee mistake.
Polish national team
This was the story of last Friday’s Ukraine-Poland World Cup qualifying game as well. The Polish team was dominant through most of the game. It had its chances, particularly before the halftime whistle. First, Polish defender Kamil Glik hit a header perfectly inside the opponent’s penalty box, but the ball was stopped by a Ukrainian player just before it crossed the goal line.
The other major opportunity for the Polish team was after a great shot by Waldemar Sobota, which Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov managed to save with his fingertips.
In the second half Poland continued to control the game, but in the 64th minute, after a quick counterattack – and a mistake by Polish defender Grzegorz Wojtkowiak – Ukranian striker Andriy Yarmolenko scored the only goal of the game.
The defeat means that Poland lost any chance it had to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. This week’s game against England will change nothing for the Polish team.
It looks like this qualifying campaign was the first and the last for Poland’s coach Waldemar Fornalik, who will likely lose his job very soon. The question is whether his replacement will have a better idea of how to field the same players and inspire them to put in the same quality of play they do on a regular basis for their club sides.
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