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Poland have qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Updated  

Jun-09 16:32 first published at 16:32 PM


It was a campaign that went down to the wire, one that showcased Poland’s finest and worst qualities as a squad, but one that eventually concluded in victory. But now comes the hard part. Despite having one of the world’s most feared attackers among its ranks, the country’s recent past in the sport’s premier competition has been unsatisfactory to say the least. Given that this could be Robert Lewandowski’s final World Cup, what are the possibilities of him and his team succeeding in Qatar, and what does success entail?

Poland’s World Cup Achievements

The World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will be Poland’s ninth appearance, and aside from a golden period in the mid-1970s and 1980s, it has largely been a disappointment. The team qualified for four championships in a succession, beginning in Germany in 1974 and finishing third in both that year and eight years later in Spain. In the intervening years, the team advanced from the group stages in Argentina and Mexico, something they have failed to do in any of the three tournaments they have been since.

Expectations for Qatar in 2022

Poland is in the fortunate position of being a dark horse for the 2022 World Cup, with the potential to go all the way while facing little expectation and pressure. To borrow a poker term that their admirers all over the world who frequent a kasyno online are acquainted with, they can simply go all in, toss the dice, and see what happens.

Poland is a long shot to win in Qatar, according to the oddsmakers, but they are part of a large group of teams perched on the shoulders of the ten nations with a realistic possibility of winning. The first task for Czesaw Michniewicz will be to bring his team out of the group. Then it’s knockout football, which means anything can happen.

Group of Poland

News that stands out

Poland is in Group C with Argentina (now ranked fourth in the world), Mexico (ranked ninth), and Saudi Arabia (ranked 49th). Poland is rated 26th in the world. The top two players from each group advance to the knockout rounds. The draw could certainly have been tougher but, in all likelihood, it will come down to a shootout between Poland and Mexico to see who joins Argentina, and those two teams play each other first. That implies neither team has a chance to play their way into the tournament. Losing will mean qualification is practically ruled out, but a draw will very likely mean that it is goal difference that will decide, something no one will want. The match on the 22nd of November, then, could be one of the most keenly fought games of the group stages.

Argentina

Argentina, led by Lionel Scaloni, has been in excellent form recently. A lot will be made of this being Messi’s last World Cup and, with all his problems at PSG, the diminutive number 10 will be eager to sign off his international career with his first World Cup success.

Mexico

Despite their high ranking, Mexico did not impress during qualifying, failing to find the back of the net in far too many games. Head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino came under a lot of pressure, and if they don’t win against Poland in that opening game, the pressure will only increase. They are solid and hard to break down, something that cannot be said of Mexico sides of the past, but it is at the other end of the field where they will struggle.

Saudi Arabia

Poland’s second game in Qatar is against the team both they and Mexico will need to beat to stand any chance of progression. Saudi Arabia raised some eyebrows by winning their qualification group, finishing ahead of Japan and Australia, both of whom have World Cup pedigree. They failed to carry that momentum through to the Asian Cup, however, and are ranked 49th for a reason. They will certainly be no pushovers and the conditions will suit them, but if Poland do manage to take all three points in their opening match, anything less in this game would be seen as a massive missed opportunity.

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