Robert Lewandowski needed 903 minutes to break his duck for Poland after Euro 2012 opener. It was his third strike against San Marino as he also scored one in his international debut, almost five years ago. Tonight, he has taken from injured Kuba Błaszczykowski not only the captaincy but also the penalty duty – which was enough for Poland to make it through past part-time opponents.
Jakub Błaszczykowski was withdrawn at the last minute and replaced by Kamil Grosicki as Poland started strongly but could not capitalize on any from their eight corners in as much minutes from the kick off. San Marino did well to clear any danger and, if not, there was Simoncini to get few vital saves in the opening twenty minutes. But then a penalty was awarded for handball, and Lewandowski stepped in but his try only just made it over the line as visiting keeper went the right way and got his hand to the ball as well.
Breakthrough was relief for the striker and the team he has led onto the pitch tonight, and seven minutes later Mierzejewski crossed from the left with incoming Piszczek finding the right moment to link with the pass and add to his first strike for Poland he noted in Friday’s loss to Ukarine. Rest of the half went on as hosts failed to put similar pressure and only couple of occasions were created with Mierzejewski missing the best one with his shot going awfully over the bar.
Second half started with another withdrawal as Kamil Glik was taken off and Jakub Kosecki sent in by Waldemar Fornalik, meaning Poland were to play with three man defence for the first time in years. It was no bother for them though, as dominance was even more clearer when San Marino’s players lost rest of their energy and made more mistakes. Lewandowski was given his second chance to score from the spot and it was powerful effort down the middle that left Simoncini without a chance. Teodorczyk subbed unimpressive Milik on 59th minute and needed just seconds to get his goal, finishing Grosicki’s cross.
Last quarter was a show of fans’ frustration towards players’ inability, as Lewandowski was booed of for simple mis-control of the ball in the box, while Artur Boruc’s single contacts were cheered and “San Marino” chanted by 44,000 fans that turned up. Rinaldi could score for visitors but he was stopped by the keeper, but it was Kosecki who had the final say – Legia’s winger took advantage of fine, short pass from Lewandowski and finished in off the post.
Game gave absolutely no answers to Fornalik problems, and calls for his head may be repeated by press again, judging by the reception he and his team were given by fans at the final whistle. Goals were scored, Lewandowski got his breakthrough but it’s hard to see whether there was anything positive in what had happened on yet another uninspiring night at Warsaw’s National Stadium.
Poland 5-0 (2-0) San Marino
Lewandowski 21′, 51′, Piszczek 28′, Teodorczyk 61′, Kosecki 90′
Boruc – Piszczek, Glik (46′ Kosecki), Salamon (80′ Wasilewski), Wawrzyniak – Krychowiak, Polanski, Mierzejewski, Grosicki – Milik (59′ Teodorczyk), Lewandowski