Even after an incredible goal from skipper Harry Kane, England could only manage a point against Poland after playing out a 1-1 draw in the Group I match of the World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday.
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After toned down first-half performances from both sides, England drew first blood through Kane, leading the Three Lions frontline, whose long-range effort dipped and swerved past a stretching Wojciech Szczęsny, who was between the sticks for Poland.
The Spurs star‘s goal was on the verge of turning into an eventual winner, but late into injury time, midfielder Damian Szymanski headed home a Robert Lewandowski cross to bring Poland level. The home fans in National Stadium Warsaw were filled with euphoria as with his first international goal, Szymanski broke the English heats.
Although England enjoyed the lion’s share of possession throughout the game, they failed to capitalise on their chances. Lewandowski failed to get on the scoresheet himself but registered a crucial assist. Meanwhile, Kane with his wonder strike against Poland became the fifth-highest goalscorer in England history with 41 goals.
After fielding an experimental side in the victory against Andorra, manager Gareth Southgate reverted back to his more traditional lineup for the game against Poland. With Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling on the flanks, this is the same starting XI that Southgate opted against Hungary.
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Meanwhile, for Poland, boss Paul Sousa went for a rarely used 3-1-4-2 with Lewandowski and Adam Buksa playing up top.
England are currently on top of Group I followed by Albania and then Poland. Only the group winner advances directly to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The runner-up goes to a 12-team, two-round playoffs bracket in March.
In the other World Cup qualifier matches, Italy’s new-look attacking lineup fired the Azzurri to a 5-0 win over Lithuania while Switzerland forward Haris Seferović had a penalty saved by Bailey Peacock-Farrell as his team was held to a 0-0 draw by Northern Ireland.