Robert Lewandowski scored a last-gasp header to hand Poland a 2-1 victory over Armenia in Warsaw. Ryan Hubbard reports from the Stadion Narodowy.
Adam Nawałka’s Poland side got off to a disapointing start in Kazakhstan on Sunday evening, surrendering a two-goal lead to draw two-apiece at the Astana Arena.
When the performances are assessed, and the verdicts handed out, it likely won’t make pretty reading. Not a single Legia player stood out as offering an inspired performance in their second leg against Dundalk. But when the history books look back, they won’t comment on an untidiness in possession or a lack of clinical instinct in front of goal. They will merely state that Legia Warsaw qualified for the group stages of the Champions League for the 2016/17 season.
In their 1996 hit Three Lions, Frank Skinner and David Baddiel sang “Thirty years of hurt never stopped me dreaming”. It may now have only been twenty years for Polish football fans, but they will be able to dream much more easily tonight, as Legia Warsaw put one foot into the Champions League group stage with a 2-0 victory over Irish champions Dundalk.
The Ekstraklasa’s points-split took effect last week, with drama both on and off-the-pitch deciding the league’s outcome. Now entering the final seven rounds of the season, there is plenty to play for at both ends of the table, and plenty of talking points from Matchday number 31. Here are five of them:
A riotous performance saw Poland hit five goals for the third time under Adam Nawałka, as Finland were put to the sword with a comprehensive 5-0 victory in Wrocław, in the Poles’ final game before their Euro 2016 warm-ups in June.
On a night where performance was much supposed to be much more important than result, Jakub Błaszczykowski’s first-half volley was enough to separate Adam Nawałka’s nervy Poles from a resilient visiting Serbian side on Wednesday evening.
Poland boss Adam Nawałka was applauded into his post-match press conference, after a 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland ensured guidance through a qualifying campaign for the first time since 2007. First half goals from Grzegorz Krychowiak and Robert Lewandowski, either side of a Jonathan Walters penalty, were just enough to secure a third straight appearance at the European Championships, avoiding a perilous play-off.
Adam Nawałka’s Polish side have been tasked with requiring at least a low-scoring draw at home to Ireland on Sunday, after rescuing a point with the final kick of the game against Scotland in Glasgow.
A resilient Górnik Zabrze side held on with ten men for the final ten minutes, leaving Legia Warsaw coach Henning Berg’s final act in charge of the club to surrender a ten-point gap from Piast Gliwice, and the top spot which they so desperately crave.