World Cup qualifier: Five-star Poland hammer San Marino to keep hopes alive
Last Updated: 10/09/13 10:53pm
Piotr Zielinski grabbed a brace as Poland raced past San Marino with a 5-1 victory on Tuesday evening
Piotr Zielinski scored twice as Poland brushed past San Marino, who had the consolation of breaking their goal duck in World Cup qualifying Group H.
Alessandro Della Valle ended San Marino's five-year wait for a goal to cancel out Zielinski's opener but Jakub Blaszczykowski, Waldemar Sobota, Zielinski again and Adrian Mierzejewski restored order at the Stadio Olimpico.
The result keeps Poland in the qualifying picture, although they lie fourth and trail group leaders England by three points.
San Marino keeper Aldo Simoncini had already saved well from Pawel Brozek and Sobota before the opener arrived in the 11th minute, Zielinski finishing after Sebastian Boenisch delivered the ball from the right.
Zielinski saw a volley saved before the hosts surprisingly equalised, Della Valle heading home their first competitive goal since October 2008 from Matteo Vitaioli's free-kick.
Poland's response was swift, Blaszczykowski hammering home to restore their lead within two minutes.
Pawel Brozek then set up Sobota to give Poland a 3-1 half-time lead.
They went in search of further goals at the start of the second period, Zielinski and Piotr Celeban going close before Brozek forced a scrambling save from Simoncini.
The hosts' experienced striker Andy Selva volleyed over from 25 yards before Poland's fourth finally arrived, Zielinski curling home a free-kick after Della Valle fouled Mateusz Klich.
Mierzejewski hammered home the fifth and Simoncini brilliantly denied Klich, before Alessandro Bianchi went close to a brilliant second for San Marino in injury time.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 10th Sep - Group F
Russia3 - 1Israel
Luxembourg3 - 2N Ireland
Tue 10th Sep - Group G
Lithuania2 - 0Liechtenstein
Slovakia1 - 2Bosnia
Greece1 - 0Latvia
Tue 10th Sep - Group B
Armenia0 - 1Denmark
Malta1 - 2Bulgaria
Italy2 - 1Czech Rep
Tue 10th Sep - Group C
Kazakhstan0 - 1Sweden
Austria1 - 0Rep Ireland
Faroe Islands0 - 3Germany
Tue 10th Sep - Group E
Norway0 - 2Switzerland
Cyprus0 - 2Slovenia
Iceland2 - 1Albania
Tue 10th Sep - Group I
Georgia0 - 1Finland
Belarus2 - 4France
Tue 10th Sep - Group D
Romania0 - 2Turkey
Andorra0 - 2Netherlands
Hungary5 - 1Estonia
Tue 10th Sep - Group A
Macedonia1 - 2Scotland
Wales0 - 3Serbia
Tue 10th Sep - Group H
San Marino1 - 5Poland
Ukraine0 - 0England
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I
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England captain Steven Gerrard has told the nation's fans he is confident of safe progress to the World Cup in Brazil.
Foreign players block young English talent - but our kids must seize their chances, says Kevin Phillips.
England must do more with the ball if they are to qualify for the World Cup, says Matt Le Tissier.
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