Gareth Southgate conceded that England still had work to do to reach the 2022 World Cup when Damien Sezmanski’s stopper equalizer drew 1-1 with Poland in Warsaw on Wednesday.
As the winner of Group I of European Qualifying, the Three Lines are still in a good position to secure their place in Qatar, with a four-point lead over second-placed Albania and a five-point lead over Poland.
The short game on goalmouth action seemed to turn into a stalemate until Hurricane’s long-range strike betrayed Wojciech Szczecin 18 minutes later.
But Sezmanski saved a point that was shattered by a header from Robert Lewandowski’s cross in place of Paul’s chances of finishing second in the group and the playoffs for the World Cup.
With clashing against Andorra and San Marino in their remaining four games, qualifying for Qatar should be a bit more formal than for Southgate men.
However, the England boss was again questioned about his reluctance to use a star-studded bench in the Premier League.
Despite reaching the first major international final in 55 years, Southgate was criticized during Euro 2020 for not using the depth of its offer.
For the first time since the Euro 96 semi-final, England have not made a single substitute.
In contrast, Polish boss Paolo Sousa used all five of his allotted changes, including the introduction of Sezmanski.
“We were in complete control of the game,” Southgate said. “You can bring players into the game when it’s not that easy in the later stages.
“We knew we were very much in Qatar if we won the game. No, we still have work to do, but I can’t blame the players the way they responded in the summer. ۔ “
England made an impressive comeback from their disappointing Euro 2020, beating Hungary and Andorra 4-0 earlier in the week.
But the visitors were forced to work hard against the side that was expected to be their closest challenger in the group.
Kane missed out on a great opportunity for England in the first half as his head was easily blocked by Rahim Sterling’s cross.
The Tottenham striker finally scored his 41st international goal after a long-distance break from a break that went away from Szczesny.
“It’s probably one of the best goals I’ve ever scored for England,” Kane said.
Poland clearly saw this as the last chance to take some points from us and get closer to us in the group.
“I thought we handled it well. It wasn’t easy to play the Hungarian game and away from home. The boys stepped up and gave a good performance.”
Jordan Pickford gave Poland an almost equal gift when his clearance was received by Kroll Svedersky, but Everton Stop was thankful for a kind of bounce that allowed him to collect the ball before it crossed the line.
Pickford was helpless in the 92nd minute, but Jacob Moder turned to Kill Walker to open England’s defense and the ball finally broke for Robert Lewandowski, who lifted Seizmanski to the far post for a header.