NEWS
Thursday October 11 2018
Piatek not enough against Portugal

Portugal fought back from a Krzysztof Piatek opener to win 3-2 in Poland and break clear at the top of Italy’s Nations League group.

This result leaves the group with Portugal running away in the lead on six points from two games, the Azzurri and Poland locked together on one. If they can’t win the group, the most important thing is to avoid ‘relegation’ from League A.

Italy drew 1-1 with Poland and fell 1-0 in Portugal, so ahead of Sunday’s trip to this same Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, the other two teams in this Nations League group went head-to-head.

There were several Serie A figures on show, including 23-year-old Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek, who was given only his second senior cap after a record-shattering run of scoring in each of his first seven Serie A games.

Piatek continued his amazing form by towering above defenders to nod in a corner at the back post, his first goal for his country at senior level. It took his tally to 14 goals in 10 competitive games for club and country this season.

Portugal had a long period of pressure, which paid off when Andre Silva tapped in a Pizzi pull-back from the by-line. It was the second goal in two Nations League games for the Milan-owned striker.

The visitors were playing better and maintaining a lot of possession, turning the game around with a sensational Ruben Neves long ball over the top and Rafa Silva take to leave Lukasz Fabianski stranded, but in his attempt to block the finish, Kamil Glik accidentally pushed it into his own net.

After the restart, Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski hit a scorcher over the bar, but Bernardo Silva was allowed to cut inside on to his favoured left foot and drill into the far bottom corner with Fabianski again very late to react.

Portugal defender Pepe was booked and will be suspended for the next Nations League match against Italy in Milan on November 17.

Jan Bednarek almost got Poland back into it, his header on a Zielinski free kick whistling just wide, but the goal did arrive moments later when Kamil Grosicki whipped in a cross, deflected for Kuba Blaszczykowski’s ferocious half-volley from the edge of the box.

Fabianski was nearly caught out straying off his line again, as Renato Sanches dribbled round him, but Tomasz Kedziora got back for a crucial goal-line clearance.

Renato Sanches saw his powerful finish from the edge of the penalty area fingertipped over by Fabianski after another very strong Joao Cancelo run to the by-line.

Poland 2-3 Portugal

Piatek 18 (Pol), Andre Silva 31 (Por), Glik og 43 (Por), Bernardo Silva 52 (Por), Blaszczykowski 77 (Pol)

Poland: Fabianski; Bereszynski (Kedziora 46), Glik, Bednarek, Jedrzejczyk; Zielinski, Krychowiak, Klich (Blaszczykowski 63), Kurzawa (Grosicki 64); Lewandowski, Piatek

Portugal: Rui Patricio; Joao Cancelo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Mario Rui; William, Ruben Neves, Pizzi (Renato Sanches 75); Rafa Silva (Danilo 84), Andrè Silva, Bernardo Silva (Bruno Fernandes 91)

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