Scots held by Poland

2014-10-15 08:28
Steven Naismith (Supplied)

Cape Town - Scotland had to settle for a share of the spoils with Poland on Tuesday night after their Euro 2016 qualifier in Warsaw ended in a 2-2 draw.

The hosts took the lead early on through Krzysztof Maczynski at the Warsaw National Stadium, but Gordon Strachan's side hit back shortly after with an equaliser from Shaun Maloney.

Steven Naismith then put the visitors in front just before the hour mark, only for Arkadiusz Milik to find a reply for the Group D leaders 19 minutes later to earn them a point.

The Scots looked good in the early stages of the game, but a defensive error proved their undoing on 11 minutes when Alan Hutton gifted possession to Maczynski on the edge of the area and the midfielder fired home in off the post to give the Poles the lead.

However, Strachan's men did take long to respond as they restored parity on 18 minutes with a quality goal started off by a sumptuous cross-field pass from Steven Fletcher, which picked out Ikechi Anya. 

The Watford winger brought the ball under control in one touch before cutting it back for Maloney, who hit a first-time shot past a diving Wojciech Szczesny from 12 yards out to level the scores.

David Marshall gave Scotland a scare midway through the first half when he fumbled a long-range shot from Kamil Grosicki and the resulting corner from the midfielder, although the danger was averted on both occasions as the half passed without any further incidents.

Arkadiusz Milik squandered two chances to restore Poland lead early in the second half, first when he scuffed an effort after being teed up by Lukasz Piszczek inside the area, before firing over from Kamil Glik's header.

But the Scots went in front for the first time shortly after when a free-kick from James Morrison near the halfway line found Naismith at the back post and the Everton forward eluded his marker to flick the ball past Szczesny from six yards out.

Milik should have done better when he was presented with a similar chance to score for the White Eagles but he sent his header over the crossbar, while at the other end Maloney went close to extending his side's lead with a fierce strike that was pushed over the target by Szczesny.

But Milik would make amends for his earlier misses when he brought Adam Nawalka's team back on level terms with 14 minutes remaining on the clock.

It was a good finish from the striker as he latched onto a pass from Artur Jedrzejczyk, after the left-back had brought down a cross-field ball, to steer his shot across Marshall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Marshall then produced a fine save to deny Robert Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker had shown silky skills to create the chance for himself.

And the visitors had the woodwork to thank for keeping them in the match at the death after Sebastian Mila released Grosicki through on goal, but even though he managed to round Marshall, the midfielder was denied by the frame of the goal.

Read more on:    scotland  |  euro 2016  |  socccer

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