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    Repeated last-minute penalty didn’t determine game’s result. Poles to come back home

    The Polish footballers lost 1:3 to France in the match of the 1/8 finals of the World Cup in Qatar. Wojciech Szczęsny was beaten by Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe twice. An honourable goal for the white and red team was scored from a penalty kick by Robert Lewandowski.

    Polish footballers advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup after 36 years. In the 1/8 final, the White and Reds faced the defending champions, the French. Although it was not difficult to pick a favourite in this match-up, fans on the banks of the Vistula River believed that there would be another sensation at the World Cup in Qatar on Sunday.

    The selector, Czesław Michniewicz, decided to return to the formation of the match against Mexico, in which his charges successfully blocked the rivals’ access to the goal. The only change from that match was the introduction of Przemysław Frankowski in place of Nicola Zalewski.

    Robert Lewandowski – the only forward

    “Our biggest problem lately has been few passing options after receiving the ball. Most often only Robert Lewandowski was available, who was covered by two central defenders,” the selector explained the density of the midfield in an interview with TVP.

    “By getting out of the group we have achieved our minimum goal at this World Cup, but we are not going to limit ourselves to that. We want to play our best against the world champion,” Michniewicz added.

    Brave start for Poles

    The advantage of the French was evident from the first minutes, but the attitude of the Poles was admirable. The match was not just about one half of the pitch, and our players were able to bravely attack their rivals with high pressing. Finally, Lewandowski had the ball near the penalty area, and finally, the side defenders Matty Cash and Bartosz Bereszyński joined the action more decisively. Piotr Zieliński had a lot of freedom and was able to make good use of it.

    The biggest problem for the White-and-Reds was the play from the defensive line. Jakub Kiwior gave the impression of being stressed. He either dug the ball out blindly or passed it straight to his rival’s feet. After one such simple loss, Oliver Giroud could have opened the score, but he missed. Zieliński also had an excellent opportunity when Hugo Lloris had to show his mettle after a beautiful action on the wing. The rebound was saved from the goal line by French defenders.

    In the end, the experienced Kamil Grosicki made his World Cup debut in Qatar. The Pogoń Szczecin player brought a lot of life to the wing. Meanwhile, Mbappe again beat Szczęsny with a powerful and precise shot. In the end, a penalty kick was used by Robert Lewandowski – albeit only for the second time, after the offence committed by the French goalkeeper. The winner of the match will meet the better of the England-Senegal pairing in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.

    Goals: O. Giroud 44′, K. Mbappe 74′90′ – R. Lewandowski [p] 90’+9
    Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (Venezuela)

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