Polandís Performances in Qualifying for Euro 2008
Euro 2008 is surprisingly the first ever UEFA European Championship finals that Poland have qualified for, and their Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker has much to thank striker Euzebiusz Smolarek for, as his nine goals, including two in the game that decided their qualification, a 2-0 win against Belgium, helped them on their way.
Poland didn’t get off to a great start though in this eight team group, when an opening game 3-1 home defeat by Finland was swiftly followed by a 1-1 draw at home with Serbia. They responded perfectly to this shaky start though by going on a six-game winning streak which included a wonderful 2-1 win over Portugal, with Smolarek scoring both of their goals.
A surprising 1-0 defeat in Armenia shook the team up but they managed to get over this setback when a late goal salvaged a 2-2 draw in Portugal, and after securing another point in Finland, they finished off the job with defeats of Kazakhstan and Belgium. Poland managed to secure pole position in their group by holding out against Serbia in Belgrade with a creditable 2-2 draw in the final qualifier, a result which also, by the way, ended Serbia’s chances of qualifying for the finals.
Tags: Euro 2008, Poland, Leo Beenhakker