Football: Grosicki scores Poland hat-trick in win against Finland

Polish national football team defeated Finland 5:1 in a friendly game held at Stadion Energa in Gdańsk, northern Poland, with three goals by Kamil Grosicki.

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Jerzy Brzęczek, the coach of the Polish team, who had recently recovered from COVID-19 decided to keep some of the team’s stars on the bench and send some younger players including debutants. Bartłomiej Drągowski of AC Fiorentina played his first game as a goalkeeper of the national team. Sebastian Walukiewicz representing Cagliari Calcio created a pair of central defenders with Southampton FC’s Jan Bednarek. Michał Karbownik, a former player of Legia Warsaw, who was signed this week by Brighton & Hove Albion FC, but loaned back to the team from Polish capital until the end of the season, replaced on the left side of the defence Maciej Rybus, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and injured Arkadiusz Reca.

Karbownik’s new teammate, Jakub Moder, who also joined Brighton & Hove Albion, was also placed in the first squad of the Polish team. His transfer from Lech Poznań was the highest in the history of the Polish Ekstaklasa. The English club paid around EUR 10.5 mln for the Polish midfielder but also loaned him back to the club from Poznań. However, the match against Finland was not his debut, as he played around 15 minutes in Poland’s lost game against the Netherlands in UEFA Nations League.

One man’s half

Poland dominated the first half of the game. From the beginning, Polish players were the attacking side, who created many opportunities to score.

The first 45 minutes was the show of Kamil Grosicki, who was Poland’s captain in this match. He started in the 9th minute when Arkadiusz Milik managed to pass him the ball and the midfielder of West Bromwich Albion netted with a kick from just outside the penalty box.

In the 18th minute, Poles conducted a counter-attack after a corner kick for Finland. Moder passed the ball to Grosicki who found himself in the box and Polish captain scored for the second time from close range.

Grosicki completed a hat-trick in the 38th minute. Hertha BSC’s Krzysztof Piątek centred the ball into the box, a Finnish defender kicked the ball out, but straight to the Polish captain, who quickly made a decision to take a shot and put the ball in the net.

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More debuts, goal conceded

Another debutant was sent into the pitch at the beginning of the second half. Defender Paweł Bochniewicz of Dutch club SC Heerenveen replaced Walukiewicz.

Finland started the second part of the match with a desire to decrease the lead of Poles. They created some opportunities but were unable to defeat Drągowski.

Poland responded to this situation in the 54th minute. Damian Kądzior of SD Eibar received the ball from Grosicki, passed a few Finnish players and passed to Piątek, who scored his sixth goal in a twelfth game in the national colours.

The only goal for Finland was scored in the 68th minute. Bochniewicz made a mistake and lost the ball, which finally reached Ilmari Niskanen, who placed the ball in the net with a precise left-foot kick.

The Polish high victory was sealed by Arkadiusz Milik in the 87th minute. The forward who was not placed in the squad of SSC Napoli for matches of Italian league received a ball from Karbownik and defeated Finland’s goalkeeper with a precise kick.

Earlier, Alan Czerwiński of Lech Poznań was brought into the pitch. He was the fifth debutant in the Polish team in this match.

Now Poland will face two rivals in the UEFA Nations League. On Sunday, again in Gdańsk, the Polish team will play against Italy, while on October 14 the rival of Poles will be Bosnia Herzegovina. The game will be held in Wrocław, south-west Poland.