England throw away a 1-0 lead to draw their World Cup qualification match against Poland, in a disappointing display from Roy Hodgson’s side.
The first half performance from England was far from confident against a team ranked 49 places lower in the Fifa world rankings. England’s passing often fell short and Poland were able to make a number of probing and dangerous attacks.
However, England took the lead in the 31st minute of the match via Wayne Rooney, who deflected a Steven Gerrard corner into the back of the net with his shoulder.
After half-time England started to sit deeper, granting Poland a large amount of possession and inviting a series threatening attacks. England still had chances, however, with Glen Johnson denied a penalty appeal and Wayne Rooney missing a relatively simple shot after Danny Welbeck worked hard to set him up.
However, moments after Rooney’s missed strike, Poland scored a well-deserved equaliser when defender Kamil Glik rose above England’s players to head the ball past keeper Joe Hart.
England increased their tempo following the goal, and substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain provided a level of energy that had been lacking in the English side. However, England were unable to secure a winning goal.
The result means England sit at the top of their World Cup qualification group, group H, on eight points. Montenegro are second on seven points.
England’s match against Poland took place at 4pm today, having been postponed from last night. Despite poor weather forecasts, officials neglected to close the roof on Warsaw’s National Stadium. Subsequent storms left the pitch waterlogged and unplayable.
Fans who missed the match due to the postponement have been told they will have their tickets refunded, helped by a £50,000 money-back scheme which will be part-funded by England players.
England would have felt confident going into the game, having lost only once against Poland in 17 meetings. England have won 10 times against Poland and drawn six times.
A 5-0 thrashing of San Marino, officially the worst international football team in the competition, would have also given the English players confidence ahead of the match.
However, the team would want to end 2012’s international matches, cementing a position at the top of the group at the same time.
England have won two games and drawn one in the opening round of matches as a part of the qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The team will play a further six matches next year.
Roy Hodgson’s players will only be guaranteed a ticket to Brazil if they finish at the top of group H. If not, England will enter round two, in which the runners-up play for four European places in the final competition. Thirteen European teams will feature amongst the 32 teams in the final competition.