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WC Qualification Europe

  • October 17, 2012
  • • 11:00 AM
  • • Stadion Narodowy, Warszawa
  • Referee: G. Rocchi
  • • Attendance: 47000

Poland 1-1 England: Rooney opener not enough as Three Lions wobble in Warsaw

Roy Hodgson's men were nearly as damp as the Warsaw pitch on the night before as Kamil Glik equalized to earn a share of the points for the largely superior home side.

England's World Cup 2014 qualifier away in Poland produced a less-than-ideal performance from the visiting side and finished as a 1-1 draw.

Wayne Rooney's scrappy goal from a first-half corner was canceled out by Kamil Glik's reply from a corner of the hosts' own in the second period, in a game rescheduled from Tuesday due to a waterlogged pitch.

Both sides lined up with the same teams that had been named the day before, with Roy Hodgson deploying Tom Cleverley in an unfamiliar starting role on the left of midfield in a 4-4-2 formation.

After a damp start to proceedings Poland might have had the lead in the ninth minute. Jakub Wawrzyniak's low cross into the area reached Kamil Grosicki but the midfielder's first-time effort on his left foot was scuffed.

England was struggling to keep the ball past the halfway line with some lazy passes. The team's greatest threat – such as it was – in the first half-hour came through James Milner, getting forward on the right a little more than usual and nearly picking out Jermain Defoe at the near post.

England took the lead, though, through Rooney. The striker made up for an off-color opening 30 minutes by nodding in a Steven Gerrard corner. It came off his shoulder as much as his head but was still a vital break for the under-par visiting side.

Poland kept coming, Grosicki picking up a brilliant flicked pass forward from the dangerous Robert Lewandowski and firing his snapshot just wide in the area, but England's advantage held to halftime.

Immediately after the break, Glen Johnson bailed Phil Jagielka out when the Everton man's disastrous touch in the area nearly let Lewandowski in. Moments later, Joe Hart had to leap in order to deny Ludovic Obraniak's long-range thumper. England was defending deep and somewhat desperately, Lukas Piszczek spearheading sustained attacks.

Defoe, isolated in the second half, was robbed by Glik at close range shortly after the hour before being replaced by Danny Welbeck. The substitute looked to have teed up Rooney for a second as he drew Przemyslaw Tyton out of position but the Manchester United man blasted over messily.

England were suitably punished as Poland earned a corner at the other end and Glik, let in by Hart's ill-advised coming-out for the ball, headed home.

With the disappointing Rooney replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the home crowd sensed a winner and Glik came up to try for a second at another corner but headed over.

England remained on the back foot but had moments of threat at the other end, Milner flashing another cross across the face of goal upon which Welbeck nearly pounced and Oxlade-Chamberlain offering some much-needed pace.

To sneak all three points would have flattered Hodgson's men, however, and the end of the match did indeed come without a further breakthrough for either side.

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