- European World Cup Qualifiers
- 17 October 2012, 4:00pm
- National Stadium, Warsaw
2023: Apparently there's a live 40th anniversary episode of Emmerdale tomorrow night. Little do Fifa know the pressure they're putting on ITV's programme schedulers at this moment... A reminder that a second pitch inspection is due at 2045. Still no-one is optimistic about it going ahead. Many, many Polish fans have simply left the stadium.
2006: Breaking news (of sorts) - Fifa have said they will try to get the game to go ahead in the next three quarters of an hour. How they will attempt to achieve this on a COMPLETELY WATERLOGGED pitch is anyone's guess, especially as it's still raining and the roof is STILL OPEN! Apologies for all the capital letters, but this is beyond farcical. Poor old Adrian Chiles is like a man trying to eat soup with a fork as he desperately tries to fill time on ITV. Fifa rules apparently state that any postponed qualifying games must be played within 24 hours, so if it does get called off tonight, there will be plenty of England fans 'calling in sick' and scrabbling to find an extra night's accommodation in Warsaw!
2000: Two Fifa delegates have strutted on to the pitch and are throwing a ball around to test the pitch. It's plugging like a golf ball in some particularly thick mud. As has been pretty obvious to anyone for the last couple of hours, it's very, very wet. It didn't need a particularly unscientific ball-chucking experiment to confirm that! And yet still the roof remains open! The officials have now left the pitch and a decision is presumably imminent...
1950: Not long now until a decision and general concensus is that this game won't be played tonight. The rain continues to pour down in Warsaw, the roof remains open, the pitch remains utterly sodden and entirely ignored by any ground staff, England's coaching staff are on the sidelines staring through the deluge in disbelief and England's fans are preparing for a very long and grumpy journey home.
1943: An update for you - Roy Hodgson has told ITV's pitch side reporter he thinks there's no way the game can go ahead tonight. Another snippet for you - the roof apparently cannot be closed in the stadium because it's RAINING TOO HARD! Yes, folks, you read that correctly. This is a bonafide farce. There are suggestions the game could be postponed until tomorrow night. Confirmation at 2000 BST.
1935: We've just heard that a decision about whether tonight's game will go ahead will be made at 2000 British time. The view of Lee Dixon is that there is 'no way' the game can kick off any time soon. There's so much standing water on the pitch, and yet THE ROOF REMAINS OPEN and no ground staff are working on the surface at all! Staggering.
1928: We're hearing troubling news about the conditions in Warsaw. Despite the fact the stadium has a retractable roof, they've decided not to use it and that stupidity may yet lead to a postponement. Very heavy rain has left big puddles of surface water over the pitch. Some are saying it looks unplayable. No official decision as yet.
Tonight's England line-up looks like this - Hart; G Johnson, Jagielka, Lescott, Cole; Milner, Gerrard, Carrick, Cleverley; Rooney, Defoe. So, as reported on Monday, Roy Hodgson has made six changes from the San Marino game. Out go Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Theo Walcott (all due to injury), Leighton Baines, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck. The only unexpected news is that Tom Cleverley keeps his place with Oxlade-Chamberlain benched. Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole are recalled to win their 99th caps, three of the back line are changed, James Milner returns in place of Walcott and Welbeck in particular can count himself rather unlucky to be ousted by Defoe. Use the boxes on the right to have your say on tonight's game.
We've had plenty of comments in already. Dan in Yorkshire says: "Gutting for welbeck, played a blinder against san Marino. Not a fan of milner starting with the likes of Chamberlain and Lennon on the England bench. Stevie G opening 40yrd screamer anyone?" Steve in Ashford is also unimpressed: "Typical England manager. Drop younger players who did well for those who have no long term future. Wonder why we never do well in major tournaments, should keep them and let them develop in the team rather than blame club football for bringing in overseas." Dan in Stoke is a little more perky though: "Glad to see rooney, cleverley and carrick in midfield. They are working really well at club level and showed friday that they can follow it up on the international stage!" Keep your comments coming.
- European World Cup Qualifiers
- 17 October 2012, 4:00pm
- National Stadium, Warsaw
England missed the chance to move three points clear at the top of World Cup qualifying Group H after a disappointing 1-1 draw in Poland.
Wayne Rooney's first half goal - his 32nd for his country - was cancelled out by Kamil Glik's header midway through the second period.
England will head into the five-month winter break from competitive action at the top of Group H - and in the cold light of day a point away to the Poles should not be viewed as a disastrous result.
But of concern to head coach Roy Hodgson will be the quality of England's performance.
This was an unconvincing display from the Three Lions, similar to some of those under Steve McClaren, and they were second best for the majority of the second half.
England were guilty of needlessly giving the ball away too often when in possession after a positive opening with Michael Carrick out of sorts in midfield.
There was a lack of width and Poland found space down their right flank to exploit.
England also lacked creativity with Jermain Defoe having one of his least effective games and it was no surprise that their goal came from a set piece.
The game eventually got under way 20 hours late after a waterlogged pitch caused the original game to be postponed last night.
This time the retractable roof was closed and ensured the match could finally be played, although the surface cut up quite significantly in parts.
Hodgson opted to persevere with the line-up he originally selected for the game with skipper Steven Gerrard and left-back Ashley Cole winning their 99th caps.
There were several hundred England fans inside the stadium although the postponement inevitably mean a sizeable proportion of the 2,500 supporters who made the original trip had returned home.
England began on the offensive and James Milner made a powerful run into the Poland box from a Gerrard knockdown.
His deep cross picked out the run of Tom Cleverley, who struck his volley cleanly enough but saw it bounce off Lukasz Piszczek to safety.
Polish midfielder Eugen Polanski became the first player to be booked in the 11th minute for bringing down Defoe.
Poland exploited space down their right flank and Joe Hart had to be alert to clear the ball away from the feet of Piszczek after he attempted to make contact with a pass from Kamil Grosicki.
Home skipper Marcin Wasilewski had to be alert to get in front of Defoe at the near post as he tried to take advantage of a low Milner ball into the danger area.
Poland seriously threatened for the first time when a poor clearance by Hart fell straight to Grosicki. He released Robert Lewandowski, who skipped past the challenge of Cleverley and into the penalty area before firing a cross-shot past the far post.
Rooney silenced the home crowd after 31 minutes when he reacted first to Gerrard's corner and glanced a header past Poland goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton into the corner of the net, via the shoulder of Piszczek.
Cole picked up his first yellow card of the qualification campaign for time-wasting after 38 minutes.
Grosicki should have done better after getting past Joleon Lescott but he screwed his shot past the post as Poland reacted positively to going behind.
A mistake by Phil Jagielka almost let in Pawel Wszolek for an equaliser two minutes into the second half. The Everton centre-back miskicked attempting to clear with Wszolek unmarked behind him but Glen Johnson slid in to retrieve the situation.
Hart had to be alert to turn over Ludovic Obraniak's powerful drive from the angle of the penalty box.
Then Piszczek was only inches off target with a low half volley which hit the side netting.
Glik was booked a minute later for handball and, from Gerrard's free-kick, Defoe miskicked at the far post.
But an equaliser was looking increasingly likely and it arrived in the 70th minute as Glik got in front of Lescott to head Obraniak's corner past Hart.
Poland looked the more likely to snatch a winner after Rooney was taken off and replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with 17 minutes remaining.
But England remained firm despite retreating deeper and deeper and have now been beaten only once in 18 meetings with the Poles.