Poland sink San Marino to keep dream alive
Sun Sep 10
Poland refused to give up their play-off hopes in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group H as Piotr Zieliński scored twice to help them ease to a win in San Marino.
The No10 opened the scoring after ten minutes before a shock equaliser from Alessandro Della Valle, the hosts' first goal in this qualifying campaign. Jakub Błaszczykowski and Waldemar Sobota restored and then secured the advantage before the interval and Zieliński and Adrian Mierzejewski finished off the scoring after the break to leave Waldemar Fornalik's side three points off leaders England and two behind Montenegro and Ukraine.
The visitors should have been ahead on four minutes but Paweł Brożek, in for the injured Robert Lewandowski, failed to beat Aldo Simoncini when clean through. The 19-year-old Zieliński proved deadlier in opening the scoring as he converted Sebastian Boenisch's neat ball, but the lead did not last as Della Valle headed in Matteo Vitaioli's free-kick. Parity lasted just a minute as captain Błaszczykowski sent the ball between the legs of the San Marino keeper to restore the advantage before Sobota drove in from 15 metres.
Udinese Calcio's Zieliński got his second on 66 minutes, crashing in an outstanding free-kick, before he slipped in substitute Mierzejewski who made no mistake to score the fifth. With trips to Ukraine and England awaiting Poland in their final two games they face an uphill struggle to reach Brazil, but the win in Serravalle keeps their chances alive.
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