After the debacle of the previous evening's heavy rain and
postponement of the match,
to regroup and prepare themselves for this vital game in
In the end they came away with a deserved
point, and it could have been even better for them.
The pitch was obviously very heavy but perfectly
playable this time and the first action saw James Milner cross to the
far post, where Jermaine Defoe's shot was blocked.
Early on England
held possession well, mostly along the back four line, but the passes
forward were not of the best quality and there were few chances
created. On eight minutes
the first clear chance of the game fell to Kamil Grosicki of
Jakub Rawrzyniak sent in a dangerous cross from the left and
the unmarked Grosicki had a great chance.
Luckily for England
though he scuffed his shot and the ball was cleared.
Apart from some good chasing back from Wayne Rooney and a
booking for Eugeniusz Polanski after a foul on Defoe, there was very
little incident of note over the next ten minute spell.
Joe Hart had to move swiftly to dive at the feet of one home
attacker and then Milner put in a good cross from the right again.
It was noticeable how many times
were in behind Ashley Cole, as the Chelsea
man struggled in his 99th international.
But in the main England
defended comfortably and Hart was rarely troubled.
Rooney tried an unsuccessful chip and then
combined with Steven Gerrard but the ball wouldn't run for
The match was a poor one and both sides looked sluggish at
times, and frequently gave the ball away.
In the 26th minute Milner again fired in a good
cross to the near post, well defended by
And then two minutes later Robert Lewandowski shot wide after
again getting in behind Cole.
The next attack of the game brought
Gerrard won a corner and the skipper, also
playing his 99th game for
England, took the kick and there was
Rooney to glance a header into the far corner.
It was a goal England
just about deserved on the balance of play but replays suggested that
it had gone in off Rooney's shoulder and a Polish arm.
But at that moment no-one from
hit back strongly for the next few minutes and Wawryzniak shot over
from a good position. But
weathered the mini storm and after 36 minutes they had a free-kick
which was cleared as far as Tom Cleverley on the edge of the box, but
his follow-up shot squirmed wide.
attacking threat was weak then to be honest
Poland's was not much better and all
their star man Lewandowski wanted to do was foul his markers.
Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka both looked solid enough in
the centre of defence, and you certainly couldn't fault their effort.
Meanwhile, Cole's miserable night was compounded when he was
booked and then with just four minutes left of the half a long ball
sent Grosicki clear only for the forward to shoot wide when he really
should have done better.
Just before the break Glen Johnson's pace rescued
after a slip by Lescott and England
preserved their half-time lead without further alarm.
The second half began as the first had ended with
Johnson saving England
with a crucial interception, this time after a miskick by Jagielka.
On 50 minutes Ludovic Obraniak fired in a good shot which Hart
had to tip over the bar.
Ten minutes later Lukasz Piszczek shot wide from a good opening.
As you can see goal chances were well spaced out, although a
minute after that miss Johnson broke into the box before being bundled
over, no penalty said the ref.
Two good attacks on 65 minutes almost sealed the result for
Gerrard's free-kick to the far post set up Defoe but the Spurs
striker messed his shot up and the chance was lost, and then straight
after a low cross from the right was only just cut out.
They were golden chances, especially Defoe's, and
were to rue those misses.
Two minutes later Danny Welbeck came on for
Defoe, who to be fair, had had to plough a lone farrow for much of the
game, feeding off scraps.
Welbeck's first contribution almost brought that elusive second goal.
Milner's pass found the striker and eventually he was able to
tee up Rooney, but the scorer of 32
goals could not add to his tally as he shot over meekly.
That was the miss that broke the camel's back because in the
next minute Poland
found an equaliser.
corner from the right by Obraniak was met by a powerful header from
Kamil Glik and the ball flashed into
Hart had come off his line and failed to reach the ball as he
tried to cut out the corner, and Lescott was slow to react as Glik
came storming in. Did
Poland deserve their goal, probably, but up to that point England were
comfortable in defence and Hart had not really had a serious save to
make, so in many ways it was very disappointing.
Surprisingly Roy Hodgson then took off Rooney and
sent on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, which was strange because Rooney
still looked like England's
best bet for a goal.
Apart from another Glik header from a corner
easily saw out the remaining 20 minutes, which was creditable as the
atmosphere after Poland's
equaliser stepped up a notch and became quite intimidating.
It was all good experience for the
players, especially the younger ones in the team, and although there
was an air of disappointment after the match, a point in
is not to be sniffed at.
The Poles will have plenty to say in the future of this group that is