Poland 1, England 1: Uninspired England Escape With a Point

Michael Regan - Getty Images

England's match against Poland kicked off from Warsaw after being postponed nearly 24 hours due to a waterlogged pitch, and with only the home side actually showing up to play football when it did the visitors were lucky to escape with a point.

In the end, England will feel lucky to go home with a point from a match that saw Poland dominate the run of play and create most of the quality chances despite that on paper the visitors appeared clear favourites. With the home side fired up by their supporters and with manager Roy Hodgson setting England out to defend first and play on the counter, though, the visiting favourites never did look favourites to take all three points—even after going up in the first half when Steven Gerrard's corner found an unmarked Wayne Rooney's shoulder and from there nestled in the back of the Polish goal.

Yet rather than breathing life into an England side in the midst of a passive, uninspiring performance, the first half goal only led to the visitors dropping deeper while the hosts appeared increasingly dangerous. It took until the 70th minute for Poland to equalize, and it took Joe Hart wildly misjudging the flight of the ball as he charged out intending to claim a cross, but when it finally came nobody watching will have thought it was anything less than deserved.

England, having played on the back foot for most of the match, then couldn't find a way into the match after Poland drew level, and as such they will feel fortunate to escape with a draw in the end. The real question is whether that feeling of having managed a fortunate escape against what ended up a quite formidable opponent can be considered acceptable for England.

When it came to Liverpool's participants, both Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson played the full ninety, with much of what little good England did with the ball coming through Gerrard while Johnson earnined praise for a last-ditch tackle on Robert Lewandowski that prevented a clear scoring chance. Less positively, the good Gerrard brought to the match for the visitors was balanced by too many wayward, over-ambitions balls that saw him frequently handed possession over to Poland.

Against a better side, perhaps, England's passive counter game and spending the final minutes desperately hoping to simply not lose might not be such a bad thing. Against a side ranked fifty spots below them in it's another story entirely. Still, tonight England find themselves on top of Group H with eight points after four games, and if in the end they achieve qualification then that's all many will care about, entertaining football and convincing performances be damned.

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