Poland on top of Group G after brilliant 4:0 win against Israel
Poland have won against Israel 4:0 (1:0) in the fourth game of Euro 2020 qualifiers in Group G. Coach Jerzy Brzęczek's team remain on top of the group table with 12 points and no goals conceded.
Last Friday, the white-and-reds won in Skopje against North Macedonia, however, the style of the small 1:0 victory could raise concerns. Therefore, before the game against Israel, coach Jerzy Brzęczek decided to make some changes.
This time, he left winger Przemysław Frankowski on the bench and moved playmaker Piotr Zieliński in his place. Goal scorer from Skopje, AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piątek was picked to start the game and so it meant Poland have chosen to play with two strikers in front. Captain Robert Lewandowski played his 106th international game and thus matched the record holder Jakub Błaszczykowski who is currently recovering from an injury. Experienced goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański celebrated his 50th game for Poland. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Polish Football Association, the home team played in special shirts vertically divided into halves, one white and the other red. The anniversary was also marked in other ways. For example, in the 19th minute and 19th second (as a symbol of the year 1919), on the signal gave by the announcer, the fans started to wave the specially prepared Polish flags.
The atmosphere at the PGE National Stadium was spectacular, but the first 30 minutes of the game not so much. Except for a strike by Piotr Zieliński that went just outside the post in the 20th minute, the home team had problems with creating chances. The visitors didn't just want to defend themselves. They were quite close on a few occasions, but either the shots were too weak or poor decisions were made in crucial moments (one dribble too many).
In the 35th minute, the crowds gathered at the stadium in Warsaw finally had a reason to cheer. Robert Lewandowski sent the ball through the penalty area towards Tomasz Kędziora who quickly passed it to Krzysztof Piątek. The AC Milan prolific forward struck a powerful first-touch shot underneath the crossbar and gave Poland the lead. This was Piątek's third goal in the qualifiers - he scored the winning goals in two previous games against Austria (1:0) and North Macedonia (1:0).
In the stoppage time of the first half, Poland could increase their lead. After Robert Lewandowski was brought down about 18 metres from the goal, the referee dictated a free kick. The captain took the shot himself but his effort went over the bar.
In the 56th minute, Poland's captain had an even better opportunity. After Sheran Yeini's hand ball in the penalty area, the referee pointed at the spot and Robert Lewandowski converted the penalty in style. This was his 57th goal for the national team and the new all-time record in Polish football.
Less than three minutes later it was laredy 3:0. This time, after an incisive long pass by Piotr Zieliński, it was Kamil Grosicki's left-footed volley that went into the net, although the Israeli goalkeeper Ariel Harush could have done better to parry the ball. He made a much bigger mistake in the 84th minute. In a fairly easy situation he passed the ball straight to Arkadiusz Milik. Napoli striker who was brought onto the pitch only moments earlier immediately passed the ball to another substitute, Damian Kądzior whose simple left foot finish gave Poland their fourth goal. It was Kądzior's first-ever goal for the national team.
After four games in Group G, Poland have 12 points and 8-0 goal difference. Although the qualification aren't even halfway done, Poland is getting very close to achieving success. Second-placed Israel is already five point behind the leaders, while the third Austria are six points behind.
Autor: gf / Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Newspix