On this day: England held by Poland in Warsaw

On this day in 2012, England were held to a 1-1 draw by Poland in a fixture that was postponed for 24 hours after heavy rain during the previous evening.

After earning seven points from their opening three qualifying fixtures, England traveled to Warsaw on this day in 2012 hoping to move three points clear of early pacesetters Montenegro at the top of Group H.

Roy Hodgson's side had been scheduled to take on Poland 24 hours earlier but heavy rain hammered down on the National Stadium pitch after officials had opted against closing the retractable roof before it had provided significant damage.

The pitch was deemed unplayable after two inspections by the referee, and FIFA rules instructed that an attempt should be made to try to play any cancelled fixture a day later to avoid the possibility of disruption later in the qualifying campaign.

Around 2,500 England supporters were left out of pocket because of the postponement, but members of the England squad part-funded a money-back scheme for fans that lost out during the previous evening.

The match finally got underway at 4pm BST the next day, and Hodgson made no alterations to the lineup that he had selected for the original match, with Tom Cleverley and James Milner taking their place in midfield and Jermain Defoe partnering Wayne Rooney in attack.

General view of the pitch during the rain before the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier between Poland and England at the National Stadium on October 16, 2012© Getty Images

Poland began the encounter the better of the two sides, with Kamil Grosicki failing to test Joe Hart after finding some space inside the penalty area.

The hosts continued to dominate the play without providing a frequent threat to Hart's goal, but Robert Lewandowski wasted an opportunity shortly before the half-hour mark when he flashed a shot wide of the post from a tight angle.

England had struggled to get going but against the run of play, they took the lead on 31 minutes when Rooney got ahead of his marker to head Steven Gerrard's inswinging corner into the bottom corner.

Seven minutes later, Cleverley mis-cued a first-time effort wide of the post, before shortly before the break, Grosicki pulled his shot wide after being superbly found by Lewandowski.

Poland came out after the break on the front foot, with Ludovic Obraniak testing Hart with a 20-yard attempt and Lukasz Piszczek blasting the ball into the side-netting after he had capitalised on Lewandowski losing control of the ball.

Wayne Rooney of England celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier between Poland and England at the National Stadium on October 17, 2012© Getty Images

England slowly came back into the match, with Defoe seeing a speculative shot blocked and Rooney blazing an effort over, but with 20 minutes remaining, Poland equalised.

Kamil Glik shrugged off the attention of Joleon Lescott to head past Hart from a Obraniak corner, and the home side were in the ascendancy for the final quarter of the match.

Glik nearly netted his second with 10 minutes left but this time, his header cleared the crossbar to ensure that England would leave Warsaw with their early unbeaten record still intact while opening up a slender advantage over Montenegro.

The return fixture between the two teams proved to be the decisive match for England, and goals from Rooney and Gerrard ensured that the Three Lions secured their place at the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014.

However, the Wembley defeat saw Poland coach Waldemar Fornalik dismissed as manager of his national side after he could only lead his team to fourth place in Group H.

Joe Hart, Wayne Rooney and Joleon Lescott
Read Next:
Result: Glik header pegs back England
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City87102942522
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd86202121920
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs85211551017
4Watford84311313015
5Chelsea8413138513
6Arsenal84131210213
7Burnley834186213
8Liverpool83411312113
9Newcastle UnitedNewcastle832398111
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9324910-111
11West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom824279-210
12Southampton823379-29
13Huddersfield TownHuddersfield823359-49
14Swansea CitySwansea822458-38
15Everton8224513-88
16Stoke CityStoke8224918-98
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham9225817-98
18Leicester CityLeicester81341013-36
19Bournemouth8116412-84
20Crystal Palace8107218-163