WARSAW, Sept. 8 (Reuters) – Damian Szymanski equalized the stoppage time as Poland broke England’s 100% Group I record to draw 1-1 on Wednesday in Cup qualifying of the world.
Harry Kane gave England the lead with a deflected strike in the 72nd minute as Gareth Southgate’s side looked set for a sixth straight victory.
But in the second minute of stoppage time, substitute Szymanski got up well at the far post to nod into a floating cross from Robert Lewandowski as Poland kept their qualifying hopes alive.
England have 16 points in six games with Albania second with 12 points, Poland with 11 and Hungary with 10 points.
The best team in the group advance to next year’s World Cup in Qatar, with the second team heading to the qualifiers.
It had been a mundane game until the last 20 minutes with a mass scuffle at the half-time whistle, the most notable incident of the first half.
TV footage showed Kamil Glik pinched Englishman Kyle Walker’s neck, but it was not clear if that alone caused the crash.
Polish defender Glik and England’s Harry Maguire were sentenced following the stampede outbreak and Southgate said a report had been submitted into the incident.
“We are starting to understand what it was. A report was tabled and we need to know a little more about what happened,” he said.
“At the moment, we are still collecting all the evidence, so there is no point in me speculating further,” he added.
After the break, play continued on its pattern of England’s conservative passing and home side strong defense.
But Kane silenced the Warsaw crowd when he recovered the ball deep and beat Wojciech Szczesny nearly 30 yards away with a shot that deflected late.
It was the 15th consecutive qualifying game, for the Euro and the World Cup, in which Kane scored and he appeared to have secured a sixth consecutive victory in this campaign.
Strangely, Southgate chose not to make any substitutions as Poland made five substitutions and the home side finished strong.
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford survived a scare with nine minutes remaining when he took his time for a clearance and his effort was repelled by Karol Swiderski and soared to the goal, but the England goalkeeper fell back just in time.
Then came Paulo Sousa’s late kick as Lewandowski carved out some space for a left cross and Symanszki timed his jump and header perfectly.
“An incredible feeling. I’m glad we managed to score this goal in the last few minutes. I’m happy,” said Symanszki.
“I worked hard for it, I fought against injuries. Playing against England, scoring a goal is a dream come true.”
Reporting by Simon Evans, additional reporting by Anita Kobylinska, editing by Pritha Sarkar
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