Football: Poland beats Bosnia & Herzegovina, tops Nations League group

Robert Lewandowski’s brace and a goal from Karol Linetty helped Poland defeat Bosnia & Herzegovina 3:0 in the Nations League Division A Group 1 match in Wrocław, which put the hosts in the lead in their group.

After drawing 0:0 with Italy in Gdańsk, Poland took on Bosnia & Herzegovina in Wrocław. The hosts had a two-point-edge over the visitors halfway through the group competition, and victory on Wednesday would push them much closer to keeping their place in next season’s Nations League top division.

Despite his appearance being in doubt, Robert Lewandowski was put in front of the starting lineup. Compared to the previous match, Jacek Góralski and Karol Linetty replaced Grzegorz Krychowiak and Jakub Moder in the centre of the field, Kamil Grosicki took the place of Sebastian Szymański, while Jan Bednarek returned after card suspension.

However, the Bosnian team arrived in Wrocław with much stronger manpower than it had in September, when they lost to Poland 1:2 at home. The team coached by Dusan Bajevic was strengthened with all-time Bosnian top scorer Edin Dzeko, Barcelona’s Miralem Pjanić, Sead Kolasinac from Arsenal and others.

Both sides started the game actively seeking opportunities to surprise their rivals with vertical passes through their defence lines and shooting from distance. In the 15th minute Anel Ahmedhodzic was sent off after fouling Lewandowski who, in his opinion, was about to come one on one with the Bosnian goalkeeper. That controversial red card had a major impact on the course of the match.

Seven minutes later, Poland had the first perfect opportunity to score, but Lewandowski wasted a clear chance after a decent build up. The Polish captain found himself once again in a decent position in the 29th minute, only to hit the post.

Poland proved their superiority over their weakened rivals in the 40th minute, when Robert Lewandowski finally found the way to the net. In added time, the Bayern Munich striker recorded an assist when Karol Linetty’s header passed through the Bosnian goalkeeper to put the hosts 2-0 ahead.

Following a calm period after the second half kickoff, the hosts struck once again when unmarked Lewandowski bagged another one in the 52nd minute.

In the second half, Polish dominance with their extra man on the field was undisputed. After Lewandowski was substituted in the 58th minute, the pace of the Polish build up weakened and no more good goal chances were created, the final score was 3:0.

With two more gameweeks to go, Poland leads Group 1, ahead of Italy and the Netherlands, teams that drew 1:1 in their simultaneously played match. However, the team must hold their horses as their next opponents, the above mentioned teams, are clear favourites.
Nevertheless, with a five-point advantage over Bosnia & Herzegovina, Poland is inches away from securing their place in the top tier’s division of the Nations League.

Poland will play their next game on November 15 against Italy.

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