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Six of the best England v Poland matches

Soccer – World Cup Qualifying – Group Five – England v Poland – Wembley
(Image credit: PA)

England complete March’s World Cup qualification triple-header when Poland visit Wembley on Wednesday evening.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the previous meetings between the sides.

Poland 2 England 0 (World Cup 1974 qualifier) – June 6, 1973

Allan Clarke, Mike Summerbee, Alan Ball, Bobby Moore and Martin Peters leave Heathrow for Poland to their World Cup qualifier

Allan Clarke, Mike Summerbee, Alan Ball, Bobby Moore and Martin Peters leave Heathrow for Poland to their World Cup qualifier (PA)

The nations’ first competitive clash was a night to forget for England and Alan Ball in particular. The Three Lions’ World Cup qualification hopes were put in jeopardy thanks to goals from Robert Gadocha and Wlodzimierz Lubanski in Chorzow, with Ball seeing red for grabbing Lewslaw Cmikiewicz by the throat and kneeing him in the groin.

England 1 Poland 1 (World Cup 1974 qualifier) – October 17, 1973

Sir Alf Ramsey leaves the pitch after what proved to be his final match as England manager

Sir Alf Ramsey leaves the pitch after what proved to be his final match as England manager (PA)

Four months later and England’s qualification dreams were ended in what proved to be 1966 World Cup-winning manager Sir Alf Ramsey’s final match in charge. Jan Tomaszewski was dubbed a “circus clown in gloves” by Brian Clough in the build-up to the game, but it was England who were left red-faced at the final whistle following an incredible performance from the Polish goalkeeper. England had 36 attempts on goal, but only one – an Allan Clarke penalty – beat Tomaszewski. Jan Domarski equalised for Poland and England were denied a place at the 1974 World Cup.

England 3 Poland 0 (World Cup 1986 group match) – June 11, 1986

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England had to wait 13 years to exact revenge on the Polish. Around 23,000 fans watched on in Monterrey as England booked their place in the knockout stages of the Mexico World Cup thanks to a Gary Lineker hat-trick – the striker’s second for the national team and a treble that helped him on the way to winning the 1986 Golden Boot.

England 2 Poland 1 (World Cup 2006 qualifier) – October 12, 2005

Frank Lampard celebrates England's winner against Poland in 2005

Frank Lampard celebrates England’s winner against Poland in 2005 (Martin Rickett/PA)

England booked their ticket to the World Cup with a nervy win which assured them their place at the top of the group. England went 1-0 up at Old Trafford through Michael Owen, but Poland quickly hit back thanks to a goal from Tomasz Frankowski. Frank Lampard then gave the hosts the win 10 minutes from time.

Poland 1 England 1 (World Cup 2014 qualifier) – October 17, 2012

Roy Hodgson inspects the pitch before England's World Cup qualifier in Warsaw

Roy Hodgson inspects the pitch before England’s World Cup qualifier in Warsaw (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Poland spent £500million on a new stadium in Warsaw, but, despite heavy rain forecast for October 16, they did not close the roof and England’s game had to be delayed until 3pm the following day. When proceedings finally got under way, Wayne Rooney put England ahead, but Kamil Glik snatched a point for the Poles in the second half.

England 2 Poland 0 (World Cup 2014 qualifier) – October 15, 2013

Steven Gerrard celebrates after firing England to Brazil

Steven Gerrard celebrates after firing England to Brazil (Nick Potts/PA)

The last meeting of these sides saw England book their ticket to Rio, edging past Poland in a tight, thrilling encounter at Wembley. The 18,000-plus Polish fans inside the stadium made it feel anything but home for Roy Hodgson’s men, who huffed and puffed but could not find a way past Wojciech Szczesny until the 41st minute when Rooney finally broke the deadlock. The England supporters were left to bite their nails for most of the second half, but captain Steven Gerrard made sure of the win two minutes from time.