Wednesday 7 December 2016

Wary Poles now expect a fight to the death

Published 06/09/2015 | 02:30

Lukasz Fabianski is expecting Ireland to make a late challenge for Euro 2016 qualification
Lukasz Fabianski is expecting Ireland to make a late challenge for Euro 2016 qualification

Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is expecting Ireland to mount a late charge on the automatic qualifying berth from Euro Group D they thought was theirs, writes John Fallon.

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Germany ended Poland's unbeaten run in the campaign and displaced them at the summit on Friday by recording a 3-1 win in Frankfurt.

Now, the Swansea City stopper reckons they're locked in a three-way shoot-out with Scotland and Ireland to reach next year's showpiece in France along with Germany.

"Ireland are back in the qualification hunt, which is something I always expected," insisted the 30-year-old.

"Firstly, we must beat Gibraltar on Monday before thinking about the final pair of games in October against Scotland and Ireland.

"Georgia beating Scotland on Friday was a bonus because they were our main rival for second place. Now, Ireland will feel they can take that spot too.

"Poland's destiny is still in our own hands. Losing to Germany was disappointing but we pushed them hard and could have equalised before they scored a third goal near the end.

"We are not favourites to qualify anymore but, if it means we have to beat Ireland at home to finish second, we will take that."

Germany can now secure a top-two finish when they travel to Glasgow tomorrow.

"We're relieved to have won," said Thomas Muller, scorer of the opener. "I would have liked it if we had been a bit more stable and not wasted so many balls, but all in all we're happy to have beaten our strongest rivals in the group.

"Now we're top of the group and that's where we wanted to be."

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