Soccer-Poland level late to end England's winning streak


Soccer Football - World Cup - UEFA Qualifiers - Group I - Poland v England - PGE Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland - September 8, 2021 Poland's Damian Szymanski celebrates with teammates after the match REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

WARSAW (Reuters) -Damian Szymanski headed in a stoppage time equaliser as Poland ended England's 100% record in Group I to draw their World Cup qualifier 1-1 on Wednesday.

Harry Kane had fired England ahead with a swerving strike in the 72nd minute as Gareth Southgate's side looked set for a sixth straight win.

But in the second minute of stoppage time, substitute Szymanski rose well at the back post to nod in a floated cross from Robert Lewandowski as Poland kept their hopes of qualification alive.

England have 16 points from six games with Albania second on 12 points, Poland on 11 and Hungary on 10 points.

The top team in the group qualifies for next year's World Cup in Qatar with the second place team heading into the playoffs.

It had been an unremarkable game until the final 20 minutes with a mass scuffle on the halftime whistle the most notable incident of the first half.

Television images showed Kamil Glik had nipped the neck of England's Kyle Walker but it was not clear if that alone had caused the fracas.

Poland defender Glik and England's Harry Maguire were booked following the pushing and shoving outbreak and Southgate said a report had been submitted about the incident.

"We're getting to grips with what that was. There's been a report put in and we need to find out a little bit more about what's happened," he said.

"At the moment we're still gathering all the evidence so there's no point in me speculating any further," he added.

After the interval the game continued its pattern of conservative passing from England and solid defence from the home side.

But Kane silenced the Warsaw crowd when he picked the ball up deep and from almost 30 metres beat Wojciech Szczesny with a shot that swerved late.

It was the 15th straight qualifier, for Euros and World Cup, in which Kane has scored and it looked to have brought a sixth straight win in this campaign.

Strangely Southgate chose not to make any substitutions while Poland made five changes and the home side ended strongly.

England keeper Jordan Pickford survived a scare nine minutes from the end when he took his time over a clearance and his effort was charged down by Karol Swiderski and flew goalwards but the England keeper scrambled back just in time.

Then came the late blow from Paulo Sousa's side as Lewandowski carved out some space for a cross from the left and Symanszki timed his jump and header perfectly.

"An amazing feeling. I'm glad we managed to score that goal in the last minutes. I'm happy," said Symanszki.

"I've worked hard for this, struggled with injuries. To play against England, to score a goal, it's a dream come true."

(Reporting by Simon Evans, additional reporting by Anita Kobylinska, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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