Adam Buksa and the Polish National Team returned to World Cup Qualifying action as they hosted Albania.
Albania entered Thursday’s match in third place of Group I with six points. Poland came in looking to change course as they entered the game in fourth place with four points. A big game for both sides as each national team looked to climb the standings and become one step closer to clinching a berth into the 2022 World Cup.
Revolution fans rejoiced as Poland’s starting XI was released. Buksa would earn his first international appearance as he and Bayern Munich legend Robert Lewandowski were tasked with generating Poland’s offense during the match.
Things got off to a chippy start as both sides got into each other’s faces after Albanian midfielder Amir Abrashi committed a harsh foul on Polish defender Kamil Glik. As Glik laid on the pitch in agony, fellow Polish teammates surrounded the referee pleading their case on Abrashi’s rough challenge. Both sides would exchange some words before small shoving matches took over the game. Abrashi would receive a yellow card for his misconduct shown on his tackle on Glik.
Albania’s rough play continued as midfielder Keidi Bare would receive a yellow card after committing a foul on midfielder Jakub Moder in the 7th minute. Bare will now miss Albania’s next match against Hungary as a result of that yellow card. Card issues continued for Albania in the 11th minute as midfielder Elseid Hysaj committed a foul on former Chicago Fire midfielder Przemyslaw Frankowski.
Lewandowski would elevate Poland after netting the game’s first goal in the 12th minute. Jakub Moder sent a free-kick from midfield towards the top right corner of the 6-yard-box, where it found an awaiting Glik. Glik would leap into the air and head the ball in towards the left side of the 6-yard box. Albanian keeper Etrit Berisha attempted to stay on his line, but it wouldn’t be enough as Lewandowski would leap over the defender and headed the ball into the back of the net.
After a rough couple of months for the Polish National Team, an opening goal from arguably the best active striker in the game was the perfect way to regenerate hope for the people in the stands at Stadion Narodowy.
Klaus Gjasula looked to find the equalizer for Albania in the 19th minute as he headed Berat Djimsiti’s cross from the center of the box, but his headed attempt would be high and wide of the Polish net.
Sokol Cikilleshi would be the one to find the equalizer for Albania as his diving touch on the ball from the left of the net would sneak around Wojciech Szczesny and into the back of the net.
Poland was forced to use their first substitution in the 33rd minute as Bartosz Bereszynski would replace an injured Pawel Dawidowicz.
In his international debut, the Revolution forward would make an impact as he scored Poland’s go-ahead goal in the 44th minute. After having his initial service cleared away by the Albanian defense, Przemyslaw Frankowski would lob another ball into the Albanian box, where it found an awaiting Buksa. Buksa would head the ball towards the left side of the goal. Buksa’s header would take a deflection off the left post and started bouncing towards the right. Everyone inside Stadion Narodowy watched breathlessly as the ball danced along the goal line. Luckily for Buksa and the Polish National Team, the ball would hook to the left over the goal line and bounce into the back of the net.
Considering how much Buksa aspired to represent his native Poland, it was hard to feel nothing other than pure happiness as the Kraków-native celebrated his first goal with the Polish National Team on home soil.
Midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak would ignite the crowd as he would extend Poland’s lead to two after scoring Poland’s third goal from close range in the 54th minute.
Buksa’s night ended in the 81st minute as a double substitution would have Tymoteusz Puchacz and Karol Swiderski come on for Maciej Rybus and Buksa. A solid debut from the Revolution forward, as he netted his first international goal.
Poland’s scoring would continue as Karol Swiderski’s right-footed shot from the center of the box would find the bottom right corner of the net.
A dominant performance for Poland as they pick up a 4-1 win over Albania with the help of four different goal scorers. With Poland’s victory over Albania and England’s 4-0 win over Hungary, Poland now sits in second place of Group I with 7 points and a plus-five goal differential.
Poland will look to generate some distance between them and third place as they return to action on Sunday, September 5th, as they take on last-placed San Marino at 2:45 PM EST on ESPN+.