England, world soccer champions in 1966, came close to being knocked out of next year's finals, when they went down 2-0 in a match against Poland on Wednesday (6 June).
GV Poland in white kick off from left to right
GV Play at mid-field Poland kicks ball out (3 shots)
GV Poland takes free kick and scores
GV Second half of game, Poland takes ball from English player and scores. Result: 2: nil.
SV Jubilant Poles after scoring.
GV Play at mid-field. Tussle on ground between Ball (England) and Polish player
SV Argument and players gather, referee intervenes
GV Ball sent off
Initials BB/0342 DS/PN/BB/0356
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Background: England, world soccer champions in 1966, came close to being knocked out of next year's finals, when they went down 2-0 in a match against Poland on Wednesday (6 June).
The match, before a 100,000 capacity crowd in Slaski Stadium in Katowice, Poland, was taken by Poland on a seventh minute goal by Jan Banas, and a second goal by Wlodek Lubanski, Poland's star striker, in the 46th minute.
England, which failed to reply to either Polish score, had added misery when its star midfielder Alan Ball was sent off by the referee, after a fracas at midfield with Poland's Leslaw Cmikiewicz.
The day's results boosted Wales to the top of the European Zone Group Five table. They have three points from three matches, the same as England, but lead on goals scored. Outcome of the qualifying rounds hinges on the final two matches, in which Poland meets England on its home field, and Wales at home.
SYNOPSIS: Poland met England in World Cup qualifying play on Wednesday. The Poles, in white, took the opening kickoff.
Poland dominated play almost from the beginning. Sharp midfield ball control by the Polish players kept the English side on the defensive.
The game was played in Slaski Stadium in Katowice, Poland, before a capacity crowd of one-hundred-thousand. The Polish fans were soon rewarded with the first Polish goal, scored on a free kick by Jan Banas, which put the Poles into a lead they never relinquishes.
Then, in the second half, Poland's star striker Wlodek Lubanski took to ball from England and kicked home the clinching goal -- making the score two-nil, for the Polish side.
England was unable to reply to either score, and suffered further misery with a fracas between midfielder Alan Ball and Leslaw Cmikiewicz of Poland, that ended with the two players grappling at midfield.
Heated words between players and officials and the sending off of Ball didn't alter the game's outcome. England, the nineteen-sixty-six winners of the world cup, stood close to being knocked out of next year's finals after the loss. The outcome of the qualifying rounds hinges on the coming final two matches, when Poland meets England, then Wales, which now leads the round.