Forward Adam Buksa and the Polish National Team wrapped up this portion of UEFA World Cup Qualifiers on Wednesday afternoon as they hosted Group I leader England.
Poland came in riding the momentum they generated in their previous match-up, which saw them flatten San Marino 7-1. England looked to continue their shutout run in this portion of qualifiers after earning back-to-back 4-0 wins over Hungary and Andorra.
Revolution forward Adam Buksa returned to the starting XI after an outstanding performance in Poland’s previous match. Up 4-0 at halftime, the Kraków-native entered the game for Robert Lewandowksi. Buksa would net his first professional hat trick after bagging goals in the 67’, 90’+2, and 90’+3 minute.
Jakub Moder looked to find the opening goal in the 14th minute as he took a left-footed shot from a difficult angle and sent it towards the bottom left corner of the net. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was all over Moder’s attempt as he made the save and put an end to Poland’s chance.
Mason Mount looked to find the back of the net in the 16th minute as he sent a shot on goal from outside the box. Luckily for Wojciech Szczesny, the ball deflected off a Polish player before it could reach the net.
Buksa looked to continue his recent spell of success as he looked to get on to the end of Tymoteusz Puchacz’s cross into the box. Buksa worked himself around Harry Maguire and stretched his leg forward in an attempt to get on to the falling cross. Unfortunately, Buksa could not get on to the cross as it missed his outstretched foot and rolled towards the corner flag.
Harry Kane came close to scoring in the 21st minute as he headed Raheem Sterling’s cross towards the net, but his header was off target as a Polish defender was able to clear it from the box before anyone could follow up on it.
Lewandowski broke his way through the English backline in the 29th minute as Karol Linetty’s cross found Lewandowski open inside the box. Lewandowski lifted his right leg in the air, where he connected with the ball and sent it towards the net. Pickford was at the right place at the right time as he got both hands on it and prevented Lewandowski from scoring.
Tempers flared as the halftime whistle sounded. It seems the altercation may have stemmed from the freekick before halftime, where Kamil Glik had a scuffle with several English defenders.
Both sides began to jaw off at one another as they walked off the pitch. Some light shoving occurred when both sides were attempting to plea their case to the head referee. Both sides were able to blow their steam as the referee pulled Glik and Maguire to the side. After a brief conversation, both Glik and Maguire received yellow cards, and both sides proceeded to return to the locker room.
England came out of the locker room rolling as Jack Grealish looked to find the opening goal in the 47th minute, but his combination shot and cross skimmed right of the right goalpost and out for a goal kick.
Grzegorz Krychowiak would receive Poland’s first booking as he received a yellow card in the 60th minute after fouling Grealish.
Things got nervy for Poland in the 61st minute as Maguire’s headed cross from inside the box soared to the left side of the goal to an awaiting Sterling, who attempted to play the cross. Sterling would miss as the ball would bounce off the left goal post. It would not have counted as Sterling was in an offside position when the ball came in.
Buksa’s night would come to an end as he would be replaced by Karol Swiderski in the 63rd minute.
Kane would silence the fans inside the PGE Narodowy in the 72nd minute as he sent an absolute laser on goal from way outside the box would dip in towards the lower right corner of the net as it passed a diving Szczesny and into the back of the net. Down 1-0 in the 72nd minute, Poland needed to regroup and do so fast if they wanted to secure any points.
Nervy moments came for England in the 82nd minute. As Pickford looked to boot away the back pass from his defender, Karol Swiderski rushed towards Pickford and leaped into the air as he looked to make contact on Pickford’s attempt to clear.
Pickford’s clearance would bounce off Swiderski’s right foot and bounced back towards England’s open net. Pickford would turn on the jets as he rushed over to the ball and scooped it up before it could cross the goal line.
The game looked over as it entered stoppage time, but Damian Szymanski would have other plans. In the 92nd minute, Lewandowski found himself with the ball on the left side of the box.
In a last-ditch effort, Lewandowski sent the ball flying in the air to the other side of the box. Szymanski would get on to Lewandowski’s cross and headed the ball towards the right side of the net. Pickford raced to his left to save it but was too late as Szymanski’s header smashed into the back of the net.
The crowd erupted inside PGE Narodowy as Szymanski’s header leveled the game in stoppage time and propelled Poland to a 1-1 draw in a crucial match against England.
As this portion of qualifying comes to an end, Buksa has to be proud of himself. The Kraków-native was not only able to dawn his nation’s crest but also made his name know offensively, as the Revolution forward tallied four goals in only 198 minutes of action.
Poland returns to World Cup Qualifying action in October as they play two more matches as they take on San Marino and Albania on October 9th and 12th, respectively.
With his continued success in Major League Soccer and his recent prominence on the international level, it would not surprise me if we saw Adam Buksa dawning a Polish kit in October.