Tagged in: draw

England’s perfect World Cup qualifying run ended by late Poland equalizer

Poland scored a stoppage-time equalizer to bring an end to England’s perfect start to World Cup qualification and secure an important 1-1 draw in Warsaw.

Gareth Southgate’s side, who lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties in July, had won their opening five matches in Group I.

Harry Kane’s long-range effort in the 72nd minute had them on course to extend that to six games before Damian Szymanski struck in the 92nd minute to earn Poland an unlikely draw.

“An amazing feeling. I’m glad we managed to score that goal in the last minutes. I’m happy,” Symanszki said. “I’ve worked hard for this, struggled with injuries. To play against England, to score a goal, it’s a dream come true.”

This was England’s toughest test in Group I so far with Poland set up to frustrate through defensive play and gamesmanship but the visitors looked set to come through and take a big step towards next year’s World Cup finals.

England’s efforts were frustrated in the opening 45 minutes as they failed to trouble Wojciech Szczesny in goal for Poland.

The hosts’ main threat, Robert Lewandowski, meanwhile, was restricted to one half-chance, which was tidily dealt with by Jordan Pickford.

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A fast-paced but uneventful first-half burst into life just as the referee whistled for half-time with England and Poland players coming together. 

Harry Maguire appeared incensed about something, while Poland defender Kamil Glik was called back by the referee as he tried to leave the pitch. Eventually things settled down and both players were cautioned.

There was an incident just before half-time which has been reported to the FA guys,” Kane said postmatch. “They’re taking care of it and investigating it and we’ll go from there. Allegedly it was something that was done, not said. We haven’t chance to look at the footage and talk to the lad.”

England stepped things up after the break with Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling troubling the Poland rearguard but, again, without really causing Szczesny too much cause for concern.

That was until the 72nd minute when Kane’s powerful, swerving shot flew past the former Arsenal goalkeeper from 32 yards out to put England in front.

It was the 15th consecutive qualifier, for Euros and World Cup, in which Kane has scored and it looked to have brought a sixth straight victory in this campaign.

England have 16 points from six games with Albania second on 12 points, Poland on 11 and Hungary on 10 points. The top team in the group qualifies for next year’s World Cup in Qatar with the second place team heading into the playoffs.

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Tottenham suffer late draw but reach Europa League last-32 stage

Tottenham Hotspur earned the point they needed to reach the Europa League knockout stage on Thursday as they were held to a roller-coaster 3-3 draw at LASK Linz after Mamoudou Karamoko grabbed a stoppage-time equalizer for the Austrians.

Royal Antwerp lead Group J on 12 points after five games with Spurs second on 10 points. LASK are third with seven points and Bulgarian side Ludogorets are bottom without a point. Tottenham host Antwerp next week to decide the group winners.

Spurs struggled to settle in the first half and LASK went ahead in the 42nd minute as defender Matt Doherty slipped and Peter Michor finished a counter-attack by whipping a bouncing drive into the net which beat keeper Joe Hart at the far post.

The visitors leveled when Andres Andrade was penalized for handball in the area and Gareth Bale slammed home the resulting spot kick in first-half stoppage time before Son Heung-Min put Tottenham ahead 11 minutes into the second half.

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LASK equalized with a shot from Johannes Eggestein in the 84th minute but again they quickly conceded a penalty which substitute Dele Alli dispatched to make it 3-2.

Spurs looked set to win until Karamoko picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled a fine shot past Hart to snatch a late point but the visitors had done enough to make the last 32.

Spurs manager Jose Mourinho was left to stew over the dropped points.

“Not good [performance]. The result better than the performance. The second half better than the first half,” Mourinho stated after the match.

“Some players individually had very good performances but some players individually had very poor performances. The only good thing I take from the game is that we are qualified.”

Spurs were without club captain Harry Kane for the game, with Mourinho saying he rested his star striker ahead of a pivotal North London derby versus Arsenal this weekend.

“I believe [Kane] is going to be fit. I’m not sure. He’s having treatment but I could be doing some bluff and pretend he’s in trouble, but he’s not and I think he’ll play [against Arsenal],” Mourinho stated.

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