World Cup Qualifying - European - Group I

Poland 1-1 England: Three Lions drop their first points in World Cup qualifying

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in Warsaw
Harry Kane in action for England against Poland in Warsaw in a World Cup qualifier
England dropped their first points in Group I

Poland snatched an injury-time equaliser to deprive England of three points in Warsaw and a sixth straight victory in their qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

England looked on course to maintain that perfect sequence of results in European Group I and take another giant stride towards Qatar after a moment of quality from Harry Kane gave them the lead when he sent a dipping drive past Poland keeper Wojciech Szczesny with 18 minutes left.

Gareth Southgate's side had performed with commendable maturity to control Poland and a hostile crowd giving thunderous backing to their team - but it all changed one minute into four minutes of stoppage time.

England had restricted the great Poland striker Robert Lewandowski to limited opportunities but he delivered a perfect cross for substitute Damian Szymanski to rise above Luke Shaw at the far post to head past Jordan Pickford.

It was a bitter blow to England's players, who sank to their knees in disappointment, after fighting so hard but a draw does not cause too much damage and they still remain in control of their own destiny.

The Three Lions are four points clear at the top of Group I with four games remaining.

England's players were once again loudly jeered when taking the knee after the Poland fans had warmly applauded their national anthem, boos drowned out after gestures from Szczesny and Lewandowski.

England are four points clear at the top of Group I with four games to play

Kane confirms his class

Kane had a turbulent summer, unsettled at Spurs as speculation of a move to Manchester City accompanied his every move, but he is back in the old routine for England without barely breaking his stride.

This was billed as the battle between Kane and his Poland opposite number Lewandowski but this was a game where it was possible to simply enjoy two masters of their craft at work.

Kane picked up the ball 25 yards out with 18 minutes left before proving he is ever the opportunist by flashing a dipping swerving drive beyond the deceived Szczesny.

It was his 41st goal for England, making him the country's fifth highest international goalscorer and continued an incredible record of scoring in 15 consecutive World Cup and Euro qualifiers.

He is a single-minded leader and a striker of genuine class and Southgate and England were once again grateful to that cutting edge he brings them.

Kane's strike may not have brought victory but a point is still an acceptable result despite the painful conclusion here in Warsaw.

Harry Kane scores for England against Poland in a World Cup qualifer
Kane scored for only the second time from outside the box for England

England suffer painful ending

It all went wrong for England in those chaotic final moments but until Poland's late surge they had once again shown they are developing and have not suffered too many after-effects from the Euro 2020 final loss to Italy on penalties.

Poland tested England out with their intensity and physical commitment but Southgate's side stood strong while also having to deal with a crowd of 56,212 made up entirely of home support.

Every attack and moment of encouragement sent huge roars around this superb stadium but England remained composed, apart from a half-time flashpoint when Harry Maguire and Kamil Glik were booked after the whistle after Poland's Karol Linetty appeared to pinch Kyle Walker.

It was only late on that England wobbled, Walker diving in rashly in the build-up to Poland's leveller, as the home side were rewarded for the way they stuck to their task.

Poland's players celebrate scoring against England in a World Cup qualifier in Warsaw
Poland are third in the group - five points behind leaders England with four matches to play

England's players jeered again

This state-of-the-art Warsaw stadium is a magnificent, atmospheric arena but once again the spotlight was on the crowd after England's players suffered racist abuse during their qualifying win in Hungary.

As England's national anthem started to play, it was met with some jeers but in gestures that did them huge credit, former Arsenal keeper Szczesny appealed for those Poland fans responsible to stope while Lewandowski pointed to the "Respect" slogan on his shirt.

It had a remarkable impact as those few jeers turned into genuinely warm applause from the vast majority of the crowd throughout the anthem.

Sadly, the same did not apply when England's players took the knee, where they were once again met with a crescendo of booing.

The game itself was played out in a noisy, vibrant atmosphere and the celebrations for the equaliser were worthy of a winner - but the contrasting behaviour before kick-off will once again be under scrutiny.

Player of the match

PhillipsKalvin Phillips

with an average of 7.24


  1. Squad number9Player nameLewandowski
    Average rating


  2. Squad number17Player nameSzymanski
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  3. Squad number16Player nameModer
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  4. Squad number5Player nameBednarek
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  5. Squad number23Player namePuchacz
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  6. Squad number7Player nameJózwiak
    Average rating


  7. Squad number11Player nameSwiderski
    Average rating


  8. Squad number14Player nameBuksa
    Average rating


  9. Squad number8Player nameLinetty
    Average rating


  10. Squad number10Player nameKrychowiak
    Average rating


  11. Squad number3Player nameDawidowicz
    Average rating


  12. Squad number13Player nameRybus
    Average rating


  13. Squad number21Player nameFrankowski
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  14. Squad number1Player nameSzczesny
    Average rating


  15. Squad number6Player nameHelik
    Average rating


  16. Squad number15Player nameGlik
    Average rating



  1. Squad number8Player namePhillips
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  2. Squad number7Player nameGrealish
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  3. Squad number4Player nameRice
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  4. Squad number9Player nameKane
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  5. Squad number3Player nameShaw
    Average rating


  6. Squad number6Player nameMaguire
    Average rating


  7. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating


  8. Squad number11Player nameMount
    Average rating


  9. Squad number2Player nameWalker
    Average rating


  10. Squad number1Player namePickford
    Average rating


  11. Squad number10Player nameSterling
    Average rating




Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Szczesny
  • 3Dawidowicz
  • 15GlikBooked at 45minsSubstituted forHelikat 80'minutes
  • 5Bednarek
  • 10KrychowiakBooked at 60minsSubstituted forSzymanskiat 68'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7JózwiakSubstituted forFrankowskiat 80'minutes
  • 8LinettyBooked at 79mins
  • 16Moder
  • 23PuchaczBooked at 77minsSubstituted forRybusat 80'minutes
  • 14BuksaSubstituted forSwiderskiat 63'minutes
  • 9Lewandowski


  • 2Piatkowski
  • 4Kedziora
  • 6Helik
  • 11Swiderski
  • 12Skorupski
  • 13Rybus
  • 17Szymanski
  • 18Zalewski
  • 19Kaminski
  • 20Slisz
  • 21Frankowski
  • 22Dragowski


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Pickford
  • 2Walker
  • 5Stones
  • 6MaguireBooked at 45mins
  • 3Shaw
  • 8PhillipsBooked at 7mins
  • 4Rice
  • 10Sterling
  • 11Mount
  • 7Grealish
  • 9Kane


  • 12Trippier
  • 13Johnstone
  • 14Henderson
  • 16Coady
  • 17Saka
  • 18Alexander-Arnold
  • 19Lingard
  • 20James
  • 21Bellingham
  • 22Pope
  • 23Bamford
Daniel Siebert

Match Stats

Home TeamPolandAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Poland 1, England 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Poland 1, England 1.

  3. Post update

    Raheem Sterling (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Michal Helik (Poland).

  5. Booking

    Damian Dawid Szymanski (Poland) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Poland 1, England 1. Damian Dawid Szymanski (Poland) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Robert Lewandowski with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Karol Linetty (Poland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Robert Lewandowski (Poland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jan Bednarek.

  9. Post update

    Harry Kane (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Damian Dawid Szymanski (Poland).

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Declan Rice (England) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

  12. Post update

    Harry Kane (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Maciej Rybus (Poland).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Poland. Maciej Rybus replaces Tymoteusz Puchacz.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Poland. Przemyslaw Frankowski replaces Kamil Józwiak.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Poland. Michal Helik replaces Kamil Glik because of an injury.

  17. Booking

    Karol Linetty (Poland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Harry Kane (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Karol Linetty (Poland).

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mason Mount (England) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

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