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914 vs. Poland

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1012 vs. Poland
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
2014 FIFA World Cup UEFA Group H qualification match

England 2 Poland 0 [1-0]

The National Stadium, Wembley, Brent, Greater London
Kick-off (BST): 8.00pm
Attendance: 85,186

Wayne Rooney kicked off 92 minutes 45:01 & 46:59
[0-0] Andros Townsend hits crossbar from 30 yds 26:09
[1-0] Wayne Rooney header 41
 6 yard header in to the far post from a Baines cross
[2-0] Steven Gerrard 88 87:36
stretched and chipped in from 12 yards from a Milner thro' ball
  Match Summary

Frank Lampard 76 75:32
Wayne Rooney
80 79:44

Artur Jędrzejczyk
77 76:21
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Andy Townsend

Match Summary


Officials from Slovenia

England Squad



Poland Squad
Referee (sky blue) - Damir Skomina
37 (5 August 1976), Koper, FIFA-listed 2003
fourth match, W 2 - D 1 - L 1 - F 7: A 5

Assistant Referees - Matej ´┐Żunič, 30 (11 May 1983), and Bojan Ul, 43 (20 August 1970).
Fourth official -
Matej Jug, 33 (25 September 1980), FIFA-listed 2007.

18 Goal Attempts 6
9 Attempts on Target 2
1 Hit Bar/Post 0
17 Corner Kicks Won 4
1 Offside Calls Against 3
7 Fouls Conceded 7
60.8% Possession 39.2%

England Team



FIFA (12 Sept 2013) 17th
EFO ranking Group 1 (2nd)
ELO rating 6th
Colours: The Nike 2013 home uniform - White crew neck jerseys with navy blue collar, blue shorts, white socks with thin blue tops.
Capt: Steven Gerrard
(32nd (38) captaincy (5))
Manager: Roy Hodgson, 66 (9 August 1947), appointed 1 May 2012,
22nd match, W 13 - D 8 - L 1 - F 50 - A 18.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 26
179 days
19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 37 28ᵍᵃ
2 Smalling, Christopher L. 23
327 days
22 November 1989 RB Manchester United FC 7 0
3 Baines, Leighton J. 28
308 days
11 December 1984 LB Everton FC 21 1
4 Gerrard, Steven G. 33
138 days
30 May 1980 RDM Liverpool FC 107 21
5 Cahill, Gary J. 27
300 days
19 December 1985 CD Chelsea FC 20 2
the 163rd/164th player to reach the 20-app milestone
6 Jagielka, Philip N. 31
59 days
17 August 1982 CD Everton FC 23 1
7 Townsend, Andros D., off 86th min. 22
91 days
16 July 1991 RM Tottenham Hotspur FC 2 1
8 Carrick, Michael, off 71st min. 32
79 days
28 July 1981 LDM Manchester United FC 31 0
9 Sturridge, Daniel A. 24
44 days
1 September 1989 CF Liverpool FC 8 2
Rooney, Wayne M. 27
356 days
24 October 1985 AM Manchester United FC 86 37
Rooney cautioned in the 80th min for a foul after he mistimed his challenge on Peszko, bringing down the sprinting Pole.
11 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., off 82nd min. 22
323 days
26 November 1990 LM Manchester United FC 20 8
the 163rd/164th player to reach the 20-app milestone
England Substitutes
scoreline: England 1 Poland 0
16 Lampard, Frank J., on 71st min (70:36) for Carrick 35
117 days
20 June 1978 LDM Chelsea FC 102 86 28
Lampard cautioned in the 76th min for a foul, he was chasing the ball with Peszko out to the touchline, his niggling eventually brought the player down. 16
15 Wilshere, Jack A.G., on 82nd min (81:46) for Welbeck 21
287 days
1 January 1992 LM Arsenal FC 12 8 0
17 Milner, James P., on 86th min. (85:56) for Townsend 27
284 days
4 January 1986 RM Manchester City FC 43 25 1
result: England 2 Poland 0
unused substitutes: 12-Phil Jones, 13-John Ruddy, 14-Kieran Gibbs, 18-Ross Barkley, 19-Jermain Defoe, 20-Raheem Sterling, 21-Rickie Lambert, 22-Fraser Forster.


England have now gone nineteen qualification matches unbeaten (W12 D7).
The fiftieth match played by England on a Tuesday.

Stadium records:

Steven Gerrard has played in 28 of England's 37 home matches at the National Stadium.
Joe Hart has now made a record fifteen consecutive National Stadium appearances since March 2011.
Wayne Rooney extends his goalscoring record at the Stadium, by scoring his thirteenth.
Manager Roy Hodgson was in charge of Finland against Poland for the European Championships qualifying match in September 2006 (3-1).
4-2-3-1 Hart -
Smalling, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines -
, Carrick (Lampard) -
(Milner), Rooney, Welbeck (Wilshire) -
Averages (Starting XI): Age 27 years 136 days Appearances/Goals 32.9 6.6


Poland Team



FIFA (12 Sept 2013) 65th
EFO ranking Group 7
ELO rating 46th
Colours: Made by Nike - Red crew neck jersey with white chest panel, red shorts, red socks.
Capt: Jakub Blaszczykowsk Manager: Waldemar Fornalik, 50 (11 April 1963), appointed 10 July 2012,
18th & final match, W 8 - D 4 - L 6 - F 33 - A 22.
Poland Lineup
12 Szczęsny, Wojciech T. 23
180 days
18 April 1990 G Arsenal FC, England 15 0
19 Celeban, Piotr 28
112 days
25 June 1985 RB SC Sporting Club SA Vaslui, Romania 9 0
3 Jędrzejczyk, Artur M. 25
345 days
4 November 1987 CD FK Krasnodar, Russia 10 1
Jędrzejczyk cautioned in the 77th min for a foul, after tugging back at Sturridge in midfield as the striker was attempting to run onto a through-ball.
15 Glik, Kamil J. 25
254 days
3 February 1988 CD Torino FC, Italy 22 2
2 Wojtkowiak, Grzegorz 29
262 days
26 January 1984 LB TSv München von 1860, Germany 22 0
8 Krychowiak, Grzegorz  23
259 days
29 January 1990 RDM Stade de Reims, France 15 0
6 Lewandowski, Mariusz, off 46th min. 34
150 days
18 May 1979 LDM FC Sevastopol, Ukraine 66 6
16 Błaszczykowski, Jakub 27
305 days
14 December 1985 RM BV Borussia 1909 Dortmund, Germany 66 14
18 Mierzejewski, Adrian, off 76th min. 26
343 days
6 November 1986 AM Trabzonspor AŞ, Turkey 40 3
5 Sobota, Waldemar, off 65th min. 26
149 days
19 May 1987 LM Club Brugge KV, Belgium 10 4
9 Lewandowski, Robert  25
55 days
21 August 1988 CF BV Borussia 1909 Dortmund, Germany 57 18
Poland Substitutes
scoreline: England 1 Poland 0
11 Klich, Mateusz, on 46th min. for M.Lewandowski 23
124 days
13 June 1990 LDM PEC Zwolle, Netherlands 6 1
17 Peszko, Sławomir K., on 65th min. (64:06) for Sobota 28
238 days
19 February 1985 LM 1. FC Köln 01/07, Germany, on loan from Parma FC, Italy 27 1
10 Zielinski, Piotr S., on 75th min. (74:50) for Mierzejewski 19
148 days
20 May 1994 AM Udinese Calcio, Italy 7 3
result: England 2 Poland 0
unused substitutes: 1-Artur Boruc, 4-Tomasz Jodłowiec, 7-Eugen Polański, 13-Marcin Wasilewski, 14-Jakub Wawrzyniak, 20-Artur Sobiech, 21-Jakub Rzeźniczak, 22-Łukasz Fabiański.
4-2-3-1 Szczęsny -
Celeban, Jędrzejczyk, Glik, Wojtkowiak -
M.Lewandowski (Klich) -
Blaszczykowski, Mierzejewski
(Zielinski), Sobota (Peszko) -
Averages (Starting XI): Age 27 years 22 days Appearances/Goals 30.2 4.4


    Match Report by Mike Payne

Everything was set, the crowd were in, the atmosphere was electric, the England team were on a high after the fine win against Montenegro, all that was left was for them to do, was to finish the job of qualifying for next summer's World Cup in Brazil.  And on this night they did just that, and in fine style too.

After a cagey opening five minutes, England began to push Poland back, and they were to stay on the front foot for almost all of the 90 minutes.  The first real chance came on eight minutes when Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney combined well to set up Leighton Baines for one of those trademark crosses of his.  As the ball came in Grzegorz Wojtkowiak just managed to intercept and clear for a corner.  Good job he did because Danny Welbeck was waiting to pounce behind him.  The only danger from Poland was always going to come from a breakaway, and from England's corner, Poland did break, and Robert Lewandowski was able to fire in a shot which Joe Hart saved.  England beware!

Andros Townsend was looking to carry on where he had left off against Montenegro, and already he was showing his pace.  On ten minutes he finally had a sight of goal as bustling play by Welbeck gave him possession in the centre-forward position.  Townsend didn't hesitate, and fired in a great shot which Wojciech Szczesny only saved at full stretch.  Welbeck couldn't quite force the rebound over the line as he was shoved off balance by a defender.  The pressure was building though and England were playing well at times.

Still the danger from the Poles was there though and Waldemar Sobota shot into the side-netting at Hart's near post after another swift breakaway.  At the other end Chris Smalling came within a whisker of a touch to Steven Gerrard's wicked inswinging free-kick.  But the best chance of the match so far fell to Poland on 22 minutes.  A brilliant breakaway following an England corner saw a clever dummy set up danger man Lewandowski with a clear shot.  Luckily for England he screwed his shot wide of Hart's left-hand post and we all breathed again!

The game was still finely balanced but England still came forward positively, with Townsend looking lively, Welbeck always involved and Rooney looking to strike at every opportunity.  Carrick was playing a good pivotal role in midfield and although Gerrard was really busy his final passing was letting him down a little.  The best outlet from an attacking point of view was coming from Baines's brilliant runs down the left. A flurry of activity came from another of his superb crosses just before the half hour mark.  Welbeck then set up Townsend and the Tottenham forward showed no fear as he let fly with his left foot from 20 yards.  The ball beat Szczęsny all ends up but crashed back off the crossbar.  The ball found Daniel Sturridge and his quick feet opened up another chance with a fierce angled shot at goal.  This time Szczesny made a fine block as a goal seemed imminent.

Another fine move between Gerrard and Baines ended with a marvellous interception from Grzegorz Krychowiak.  From the corner a goalmouth scramble ensued and Welbeck poked in a shot that went agonisingly wide, with everyone's head in their hands in exasperation.  The pressure continued though, as Sturridge shot wide, Rooney and Gerrard combined for Welbeck to go close again, and Rooney himself had another shot saved.  Also the Polish defenders twice threw bodies into shots to block the way to goal.  The goal had to come and on 41 minutes, finally, England broke through.

Carrick fed Baines and this time the cross was inch-perfect as Rooney rose majestically to score with a fantastic header wide of the goalkeeper.  It was going to take a superb goal to beat the in-form Szczesny and this was certainly worthy of that accolade.  Two minutes later Sturridge missed a golden chance to make it two when Rooney's corner gave him a free header at the far post, so close.  Sobota then found the net for Poland but the flag was already up for offside.  That was the last real action of a pulsating first-half and there was still much to do for the England players.

After the break England started sluggishly and Poland almost took advantage.  Only a fine block by Gary Cahill prevented half-time substitute Mateusz Klich from making a sensational appearance.  From the corner Klich had another chance but shot over, it was another warning for the England players.

But to be fair England were soon on the offensive again as first Sturridge and then Welbeck re-asserted England's power with good efforts.  Welbeck then almost set another chance up after a lovely cross from Rooney, and then Gerrard's corner was headed at goal by Cahill and only a fine save from Szczesny saved Poland again.  The game was nip and tuck for a while with Carrick showing some fine controlled passing for England and Poland having their best spell of possession, without penetration.  On 56 minutes Krychowiak made a desperate interception to Rooney's great cross and so nearly put through his own goal.  That was another head in the hands moment, especially for an anguished Roy Hodgson on the bench! 

Another good move looked likely to bring another shot from Rooney but he took one touch too many and the opening was gone.  Gerrard shot just wide before Poland created their best chance.  Lewandowski beat the offside and latched on to a lobbed pass, but Hart came out quickly, stood tall, and just managed to half block the shot with Phil Jagielka completing the clearance, phew!

Townsend's run and shot was saved and this was nervous times for England.  Knowing that one mistake or a poor refereeing decision could undo all their excellent work so far.  1-0 was never going to be safe, and to their credit England continued to press forward in search of a game clinching second goal.  Rooney fired in a great shot after combining with the impressive Welbeck, and the goalkeeper saved well again.  Then Hodgson withdrew Carrick for Frank Lampard, Carrick going off to a well- deserved ovation.  Lampard's first contribution was to be booked and then Poland also had their first booking with Artur Jedrzejczyk incurring the wrath of the excellent referee Damir Skomina, who I thought had a great game.

Sturridge then burst into the box to force another fine save from Szczesny, and the match was reaching its climax.  Rooney was booked, Jack Wilshere and James Milner came on as substitutes for Sturridge and Townsend and two minutes later, at last, England secured the result.  Milner's quick lobbed pass found the skipper and Gerrard, for the first time, ran at the defence.  He crashed past two attempted tackles and as he fell he managed to toe-poke the ball wide of the goalkeeper.  Cue joyous scenes around the country, and a wonderful shot of the relief on Roy Hodgson's face.  Boy, how we all shared that relief!

Welbeck continued to make a nuisance of himself to force a corner, but now the stuffing had finally been knocked out of the battling Poles and the England fans were already celebrating as the referee blew his final whistle.

It had been a brilliant game of football, and considering so much was at stake, a fine performance by England.  So many players did well on the night and we can all now make plans to give a good showing in Brazil next summer.  It has been a tough journey, but was there ever any doubt we wouldn't make it?  I will leave you to make that decision.  A great Wembley night and the new stadium is starting to create a good deal of terrific memories now, long may it continue. 

And one last thing, after writing this report I can finally spell 'Szczesny'!!

Source Notes

BBC Sport
SkySports Football

Mike Payne - football historian and contributor