Harry Maguire struck with five minutes of normal time remaining as England beat Poland 2-1 at Wembley to pick up a maximum nine points from three World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
Paulo Sousa’s side were a slightly more difficult side for Gareth Southgate’s men to come up against, after the Three Lions had comfortably beaten San Marino in their opening group match and edged past Albania in Tirana on Sunday afternoon.
England started the first half on the front foot and were rewarded for it in the 19th minute after Raheem Sterling was brought down in the penalty area by Poland defender, Michal Helik. Harry Kane stepped up and dispatched the ball beyond Wojciech Szczęsny in the visitors net.
Southgate’s side wasted a few opportunites in this game and they were made to pay for it 13 minutes into the second half as John Stones’ error resulted in an equaliser for Poland as Jakub Moder emphatically fired the ball past Nick Pope in the hosts’ net.
In the seven appearances that Nick Pope has made for England, it was the first goal he had conceded in-between the sticks and it could have been disastrous until Stones atoned for his error by showing remarkable athleticism by heading a Phil Foden corner into the path of Harry Maguire, who powered a half-volley into the top of Szczęsny’s goal, despite the Juventus goalkeeper getting his finger tips to it.
- England have now won each of their last 20 home qualifying matches for the European Championship/World Cup – a run that stretches back to October 2012.
- Poland lost for only the third time in their last 26 qualifying matches for the Euros/World Cup (W19, D4).
- England have only lost one of their 20 international matches against Poland (W12, D7) and are unbeaten in their last 17 against them.
- Kane became England’s all-time leading penalty scorer, netting his 10th penalty and overtaking Frank Lampard, who scored nine.
- Stones only registered his third assist in his 324 senior matches for club and country.
- Kane has been directly involved in 30 goals in 21 Euros/World Cup qualifying matches (22 goals, 8 assists), scoring at least once in each of his last 12 such appearances, stretching back to October 2017.
England aren’t in action again until the summer as they face Austria and Romania in friendlies as they prepare for the delayed 2020 European Championships, which starts on 11 June. Whilst Poland also play friendly games in the summer, which are against Russia and Iceland as The Eagles gear up for the same tournament.