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Published 08 September 2021 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Three Lions denied by late leveller

Written by:

Paul Martin

  • D. Szymański (92′)
  • K. Glik (48′)
  • G. Krychowiak (60′)
  • T. Puchacz (77′)
  • K. Linetty (79′)
  • D. Szymański (93′)
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers Group Stage
Wednesday 08 September, 07:45 PM Stadion Narodowy
1 1
HT: 0 - 0
  • H. Kane (72′)
  • K. Phillips (7′)
  • H. Maguire (48′)
Harry Kane's second-half strike in Poland cancelled out by a stoppage-time equaliser
Damian Szymanski’s stoppage-time header ended England’s 100 per cent record in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying as the Three Lions were held to a 1-1 draw by Poland in Warsaw.
Following a cagey first half, England stepped up a gear after the break and took the lead through Harry Kane’s long-range strike with 18 minutes to play.
But a late sting in the tail saw Szymanski convert Robert Lewandowski’s teasing cross as England’s defence was breached for the first time in this international week.
Gareth Southgate’s side remain unbeaten in Group I, having navigated perhaps their toughest tests and hold a four-point advantage at the summit going into October’s double header against Andorra and Hungary.
Having made eleven changes from Sunday’s win over Andorra, Southgate reverted to the starting XI which comfortably disposed of Hungary last week and the early exchanges were not dissimilar to the meeting in Budapest as England worked hard to quieten a lively home crowd.
John Stones and Declan Rice clear the danger under pressure from Poland striker Robert Lewandowski
John Stones and Declan Rice clear the danger under pressure from Poland striker Robert Lewandowski
Poland were first to threaten, with Tymoteusz Puchacz’s volley blocked following a deep cross before Brighton & Hove Albion’s Jakub Moder – one of two English-based players in the Poland side – saw a tame shot easily dealt with by Jordan Pickford.
Much of the pre-match conversation had surrounded the world-class strikers on either side and after Mason Mount fired over from an angle, both had chances to open the scoring in quick succession.
Kane was first to have a sight of goal but miscued his header after Raheem Sterling had beaten his man and delivered a tempting cross from the right.
Then came Lewandowski’s chance to break the deadlock, with the Poland talisman – who missed March’s reverse fixture through injury – denied by Pickford as he attempted to loft a bouncing ball over the goalkeeper from around eight yards out.
A feisty first half drew to a close in end-to-end fashion as Luke Shaw’s threatening cross beaten away by Wojciech Szczesny before England stood firm to clear a Poland free-kick in a dangerous position.
Both Harry Maguire and Kamil Glik received cautions following a skirmish after the whistle and England were quickest to find their composure in the second period.

Match Line Up

Jack Grealish signalled the visitors’ intentions with a cross-shot which drifted narrowly wide of Szczesny’s left-hand post before Sterling saw a shot blocked.
Kalvin Phillips then tried his luck from distance with England’s first shot on target and the Three Lions came within a whisker of opening the scoring just past the hour mark as pressure continued to be applied.
The chance came from an often profitable source, a Shaw free-kick picking out Harry Maguire, and the centre-half’s looping header struck the post – though an offside flag may have seen the goal ruled out had it found the net with Sterling in an offside position.
The lively Puchacz then surged into the box but sliced his effort wide as Poland provided a reminder as to their threat, while Lewandowski’s effort from distance was comfortably saved by Pickford.
Declan Rice looks to take control of the midfield in Warsaw
Declan Rice looks to take control of the midfield in Warsaw
England’s talisman was more successful from range a matter of minutes later though, as the deadlock was broken in style. 
Receiving Kyle Walker’s cushioned pass 25 yards from goal, Kane looked up and assessed his options before picking out the bottom corner with a fine strike to take his international tally to 41 and move clear of Michael Owen in England’s all-time goalscoring charts.
Paulo Sousa made a triple substitution with ten minutes to play as Poland sought a response and they nearly levelled following a heart-in-mouth moment for Pickford, who saw his clearance charged down by Karol Swiderski only to regather the ball as it bounced towards the line.
Lewandowski curled over in the final minute of normal time as the hosts continued to push but there was still time for a telling moment of quality from the Bayern Munich striker, whose cross from the left invited the onrushing Szymanski to head home the last-gasp equaliser after England had failed to clear Moder's earlier cross. 
09 Sep 2021 3:51

Highlights: Poland 1-1 England

See the best of the action in our highlights package

England (4-2-3-1): 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton); 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 6 Harry Maguire (Manchester United), 3 Luke Shaw (Manchester United); 4 Declan Rice (West Ham United), 8 Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United); 10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), 11 Mason Mount (Chelsea), 7 Jack Grealish (Manchester City); 9 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) (c)
Substitutes not used: 12 Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), 13 Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), 14 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 15 Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), 16 Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 17 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), 18 Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), 19 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), 20 Reece James (Chelsea), 21 Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), 22 Nick Pope (Burnley), 23 Patrick Bamford (Leeds United)
Goals: Kane 72’
Yellow cards: Phillips 7’, Maguire 45’
Poland (3-1-4-2): 1 Wojciech Szczesny; 3 Pawel Dawidowicz, 15 Kamil Glik, 5 Jan Bednarek; 10 Grzegorz Krychowiak; 7 Kamil Jozwiak, 8 Karol Linetty, 16 Jakub Moder, 23 Tymoteusz Puchacz; 14 Adam Buksa, 9 Robert Lewandowski
Substitutes: 11 Karol Swiderski for Buksa 63’, 17 Damian Szymanski for Krychowiak 68’, 6 Michal Helik for Glik 80’, 21 Przemyslaw Frankowski for Jowiak 80’, 13 Maciej Rybus for Puchacz 80’

Substitutes not used: 2 Kamil Piatkowski, 4 Tomasz Kedziora, 12 Lukasz Skorupski, 18 Nicola Zalewski, 19 Jakub Kaminski, 20 Bartosz Slisz, 22 Bartlomej Dragowski
Goals: Szymanski 90+2’
Yellow cards: Glik 45’, Krychowiak 60’, Puchacz 77’ Linetty 79’