Tuesday 6 December 2016

Roberts Lewandowski puts Georgia to the sword as Poles lead way in Group D

Poland 4 Georgia 0

John Fallon

Published 13/06/2015 | 20:54

Poland's Robert Lewandowski scores a goal next to Georgia's Arkadiusz Milik (R) and Georgia's Lasha Dvali during the Euro 2016 Group D qualifying football match
Poland's Robert Lewandowski scores a goal next to Georgia's Arkadiusz Milik (R) and Georgia's Lasha Dvali during the Euro 2016 Group D qualifying football match

Robert Lewandowski's late hat-trick in Warsaw on Saturday evening helped Poland reinforce their status as leaders of Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualification group.

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After being held scoreless at the break, the Poles managed to grab the lead on 62 minutes through Arek Milik before their skipper banged in a hat-trick in the final four minutes.

Victory for Adam Nawalka’s trailblazers means Ireland must bridge a five-point gap over the final four ties to catch Poland for an automatic ticket to France next year.

Whilst the stadium illuminated to Lewandowski’s late blitz, there was an even bigger cheer when the result of Ireland’s game against Scotland in Dublin was announced,

Georgia, with their own qualification hopes long extinguished, succeeded in keeping the Polish juggernaut at bay in the opening 45 minutes thanks to a series of saves from Giorgi Loria.

Kamil Grosicki, back in the team after missing the draw against Ireland in March due to injury, was denied along with Lewandowski. Aleksandre Amisulasvili cleared off the line in the 19th minute after the Bayern Munich striker had rounded Loria.

Poland continued to press after the break and deservedly forged ahead through the player James McClean clobbered in Dublin.

From a short corner, the ball was played to Milik and the Ajax attacker cut inside before curling his shot into the far corner from 20 yards.

Although George Navalovsky might have equalised on the counter-attack when his snapshot struck the crossbar, Georgia were buried by the late goalrush.

Milik’s surge from the middle in the 89th minute allowed Lewandowski break clear and find the top corner with his left foot.

With the game into stoppage time, Poland’s top scorer made it 3-0 after nodding home a cross from Jakub Blaszczykowski, the substitute making his first appearance for 18 months.

Georgia’s misery was compounded a minute later as Lewandowski was once again left alone inside the box and he trickled the ball into the net for his 26th international goal in 68 outings.

POLAND: Fabianski; Piszczek, Szukala, Pazdan (Komorowski 89), Rybus; Krychowiak, Maczynski; Grosicki (Jodlowiec 80), Milik, Peszko (Blaszczykowski 64); Lewandowski.

GEORGIA: Loria; Lobjanidze, Kashia, Amisulasvili, Dvali, Navalovsky; Ananidze, Kobakhidze (Tskhadadze 76); Okriashvili (Daushvili 46), Kazaishvili; Vatsadze (Chanturia 63).

Referee: Aleksei Kulba

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