Poland level late to end England's winning streak

Poland came from behind to score in the second minute of stoppage time

Damian Szymanski headed in an overtime equaliser as Poland ended England's 100 per cent record in Group I to draw their World Cup qualifier 1-1 on Wednesday.

Harry Kane fired England ahead with a swerving strike in the 72nd minute as Gareth Southgate's side looked set for a sixth straight win.

But in the second minute of injury time, substitute Szymanski rose well at the back post to nod in a floated cross from Robert Lewandowski to keep Poland's hopes of qualification alive.

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 play-offs.

It had been an unremarkable game until the final 20 minutes, with a mass scuffle on the half-time whistle the most notable incident of the first half.

Television images showed Kamil Glik nipped the neck of England's Kyle Walker but it was not clear if that alone caused the fracas.

Poland defender Glik and England's Harry Maguire were booked after the pushing and shoving and Southgate said a report had been submitted about the incident.

"We're getting to grips with what that was," he said. "There's been a report put in and we need to find out a little bit more about what's happened.

"At the moment we're still gathering all the evidence so there's no point in me speculating any further."

After the interval the game continued its pattern of conservative passing from England and solid defence from the home side.

But Kane silenced the Warsaw crowd when he picked the ball up deep and from almost 30 metres beat Wojciech Szczesny with a shot that swerved late.

It was the 15th straight qualifier, for Euros and World Cup, in which Kane has scored.

Strangely, Southgate chose not to make any substitutions, while Poland made five changes and the home side ended strongly.

England keeper Jordan Pickford survived a scare nine minutes from the end when he took his time over a clearance and his effort was charged down by Karol Swiderski and flew goalwards, but the England keeper scrambled back just in time.

Then came the late blow from Paulo Sousa's side as Lewandowski carved out some space for a cross from the left and Szymanski timed his jump and header perfectly.

"An amazing feeling. I'm glad we managed to score that goal in the last minutes. I'm happy," said Szymanski.

"I've worked hard for this, struggled with injuries. To play against England, to score a goal, it's a dream come true."

Updated: September 8th 2021, 11:00 PM
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