Prior to Harry Kane’s opener, the biggest talking point in England vs Poland came at half-time, when players clashed and Harry Maguire and Kamil Glik were shown yellow cards
Roy Keane questioned England’s “focus” after their players were embroiled in an ugly fracas on the stroke of half-time in their fixture with Poland.
Harry Kane’s long-range strike in the second half was cancelled out by Damian Szymanski’s last-gasp header as the spoils were shared in Wednesday night’s World Cup qualifier.
Prior to Kane’s strike, the biggest talking point from the match came at half-time, when players clashed and Harry Maguire and Kamil Glik were shown yellow cards.
Keane believes the incident only served to fire up the 55,000-strong crowd at Warsaw’s National Stadium and warned England not to rise to Poland’s regular fouling.
“Yeah most definitely,” Keane told ITV Sport at half-time when asked if Poland were trying to get under the Three Lions’ skin. “Plenty of tackles, plenty of fouls certainly the most I’ve seen in an international match.
“But England need to be careful not get caught in on all that, don’t back down but make sure you focus on the game because that will keep the fans on side as long as they’re in the game so England just have to be careful.”
While England emerged for the second half with more composure, the evening ended in disappointment for Gareth Southgate’s side as Szymanski equalised in the 92nd minute.
The result saw England drop points in World Cup qualifying Group I for the first time in their six outings so far.
It was far from a fluent performance for the visitors, who were arguably fortunate to open the scoring in the 72nd minute.
Was 1-1 a fair result? Comment below.
Kane’s swerving effort from far outside the box was not in the corner of the goal and Keane was adamant a better shot-stopper than Wojciech Szczesny would have kept it out.
“A world-class goalkeeper would have saved that,” he added.
Nonetheless, former England captain Terry Butcher was not disheartened by the draw in the Polish capital.
“That was bitty, gritty, I thought England would do enough with that Harry Kane goal. It was a really gritty performance but they’ve conceded a goal,” Butcher told BBC Radio 5 Live .
“The most important thing is that England haven’t lost the game. They’re still top of the group, the group’s in their hands, they’ve certainly got the games coming up where they will bag the points to go to Qatar.”
But Butcher did criticise Southgate’s decision not to use any of his five substitutions, adding: “Southgate had two substitutes out, Bukayo Saka was one, but he didn’t put them on.
“In the end, a bit of tiredness from the defenders led to a goal from Poland. England possibly deserved to win the game, but you have to praise Poland’s spirit.”