Adam Buksa and the Polish National Team returned to UEFA World Cup Qualifiers on Sunday afternoon as they took on San Marino.
Poland came into Sunday’s match in third place of Group I as they trailed second-placed Albania by two points and first-placed England by eight points. On the other hand, San Marino came into the match looking to score their first goal in UEFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Poland looked to build off the momentum generated in their previous outing against Albania. Goals from Robert Lewandowski, Adam Buksa, Grzegorz Krychowiak, and Karol Linetty propelled Poland to a 4-1 victory over Albania.
After making his senior international debut in Poland’s previous victory, Buksa started Sunday’s game on the bench for Poland.
It did not take long for the Bayern Munich forward to get Poland’s offense started as he scored the game’s opening goal in the 4th minute. As a deflected Polish cross bounced just outside the 18-yard-box, Karol Linetty would leap into the air and head the ball towards the net. Linetty’s header would find an awaiting Lewandowski inside the box. Lewandowski would maneuver his way to the left and send a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the net.
Lewandowski looked to score a second goal in the 14th minute, but his strike had too much power as it sailed over the crossbar.
Linetty would keep the Polish attack hot as he found the back of the net in the 16th minute. As Tymoteusz Puchacz’s pass found Linetty atop the center of the 6-yard-box, the midfielder tucked the ball into the top left corner of the net and gave Poland a quick 2-0 lead.
Lewandowski would add another to his stat line as he extended Poland’s lead in the 21st minute. After receiving a pass from Jakub Moder, Damian Szymanski would send the ball into the 6-yard-box. The touch was too much for Lewandowski, who lost possession for a brief second. After recovering the ball, Lewandowski managed to put it past a diving Elia Benedettini and into the back of the net.
San Marino forward Nicola Nanni would receive the game’s first booking after being awarded a yellow card in the 30th minute after fouling Michal Hélic.
The game’s first substation came in the 39th minute as Fabio Tomassini would come on for Dante Rossi, who sustained an injury after colliding with Jakub Moder. The newly instituted Tomassini would get on the ref’s bad side as he received a yellow card in the 40th minute, just moments after coming into the game.
Linetty would add a fourth goal to Poland’s scoring total as he ran onto the ball inside the box after Robert Lewandowski chipped the backline and placed the ball into the back of the net.
With Poland up 4-0 entering the second half, and with a game against first-placed England looming, Lewandowski’s night would end as Adam Buksa would come on to make his second appearance with the Polish National Team.
Nanni would become a national hero for San Marino in the 48th minute as he scored the country’s first goal in this round of World Cup Qualifiers. Kamil Piatkowski looked to complete a back pass to Michal Helik, but it strayed away from its target and into open space. Helik and Nanni would race after it, and Nanni would be the first to get to the ball as he took a shot from just outside the box and past Wojciech Szczesny and into the back of the net.
Buksa would help get Poland back on track as he scored his second international goal in as many matches in the 67th minute. As a loose header from a freekick rolled near the touchline, Helik would beat out the keeper and turned as he sent a cross towards the center of the box. Buksa would leap over the defender covering him and head the ball into the top right corner of a wide-open net as the keeper attempted to scramble back.
As second-half stoppage time arrived, many believed the scoring festivities had concluded, Buksa had other ideas.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Buksa would leap over a defender and into the air as he connected with Piatkowski’s cross. Buksa’s header would find its way past the keeper and into the back of the net and gave Poland a 6-1 lead in stoppage time.
Buksa was unfulfilled as he would earn his first professional hat trick in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Nicola Zalewski would send a bouncing low cross across the box where it found a trailing Buksa. Buksa would track the ball as he lifted his right leg and struck the ball past the keeper and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Although against a weak San Marino side, it was a day to remember for the Kraków-native, who scored a hat trick in only his second appearance on the national level. Buksa’s hat trick propels the goal total to four in two appearances with only 126 minutes.
After Sunday’s 7-1 victory over San Marino, Poland sits in second place of Group I with 10 points, and trail first placed England by 5 points.
Buksa and the Polish National Team return to action on Wednesday, September 8th, as Poland hosts England at 2:45 PM EST on ESPN+.