Football: Cole's finishing leads the Poles a merry dance

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The Independent Online
Poland Under-21 . . .1

England Under-21. . .4

ANDREW COLE, Newcastle United's pounds 1.75m striker, kept England's slender hopes of a place in the Uefa Under-21 Championship finals flickering with two goals in his side's 4-1 win against Poland in Jastrzebie yesterday. If it is as easy as it proved for their youngsters, England will have few worries in today's World Cup qualifier in Katowice.

After losing their first two games, Lawrie McMenemy's side took their total to seven points from the last four with a stirring comeback. Cole, signed by Kevin Keegan from Bristol Rovers to help assist Newcastle's promotion drive, sustained a cut above his left eye after extending his goal tally at Under-21 level to three from five internationals.

The Poles surprised England by taking the lead after 90 seconds. At a corner taken by Slawomir Wojciechowski, Roman Dabrowski was allowed an overhead shot which gave Oldham's previously unbeaten goalkeeper, Paul Gerrard, no chance.

England turned the game around with two goals inside a minute, with Tottenham's Darren Anderton the architect of the revival. His 36th- minute cross was deflected to the Southampton defender, Richard Hall, lurking on the far post and he struck his header past the struggling Majdan.

Before the Poles recovered, Hall met an Anderton free-kick with another powerful header. This time the goalkeeper parried but Cole was on the line to tap in. Cole struck again three minutes after the break, exchanging passes with Anderton before stroking a shot against the base of the far post. The ball rebounded neatly back into his unhindered path.

Eight minutes from time Anderton met Neil Ardley's right-wing cross with a half-volley past the luckless Majdan. McMenemy praised Cole and Anderton, saying: 'They make a terrific combination.

'Andrew is bubbly, just like Ian Wright, though Darren is a lot quieter. But he's an incredible lad. He takes a lot of tight marking but he has this great ability to hurdle people - and he is one of the best deliverers of a dead ball that I've ever seen.'

POLAND: Majdan; Stolarczyk, Jacek, Kubik, Ledwon, Ruta (Piotr, 54), Moskalewicz, Kasperski (Probierz, 73), Bociek, Wojciechowski, Dabrowski.

ENGLAND: Gerrard (Oldham); Ardley (Wimbledon), Small (Aston Villa), Jackson (Everton), Hall (Southampton), Ehiogu (Aston Villa), Cox (Aston Villa), Sheron (Manchester City), Cole (Newcastle), Redknapp (Liverpool), Anderton (Tottenham). Substitute: Clark (Newcastle) for Hall, 63.

Referee: I Koho (Finland).