Football: Polish question - Five key confrontations between the two nations

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The Independent Online

5 Jan 1966, Goodison Park: The first meeting between the countries came a month after Alf Ramsey's wingless wonders had revealed a first glimpse of potential World Cup-winning form with a 2-0 win against Spain in the Bernabeu. England came down to earth with not so much a bump as a squelch on a mud-bath of a pitch against a defensive Polish side. They needed a late Bobby Moore header to avoid defeat.


5 July 1966, Chorzow: Six days before the opening of the World Cup, Martin Peters played his way into Ramsey's master plan with a tireless performance in midfield. Jimmy Greaves sowed seeds of doubt in the mind of the manager with a quiet display up front. It was, though, an impressive England display. Victory was never in doubt after Roger Hunt scored with a stunning long-range drive in the 15th minute.


6 June 1973, Chorzow: England's only defeat in 13 meetings with Poland proved costly to their World Cup qualifying quest. It was a bad night for Moore, who deflected Robert Gadocha's seventh-minute free-kick past Peter Shilton and who was caught in possession a minute into the second half, Wlodzimierz Lubanski scoring Poland's second. It was a night to forget, too, for Alan Ball, sent off in the closing stages.

17 October 1973, Wembley: Brian Clough called him "a clown" but Jan Tomaszewski had the last laugh, his keeping acrobatics ensuring Poland would be going to the World Cup finals at England's expense. Needing to win, England fell behind on the hour, Norman Hunter failing to cut out a ball to Gadocha, who raced clear and cut the ball back for Jan Domarski to beat Shilton. Allan Clarke's penalty was not enough.


11 June 1986, Monterrey: Defeat in their last group match would have meant an early departure from the Mexico World Cup for Bobby Robson's team. The right foot of Hodd put them on the path to victory, Glenn Hoddle's raking pass to Gary Lineker propelling the six-man move that culminated in Lineker sweeping England ahead. With two more goals inside the opening 26 minutes, Lineker brushed Poland aside.