Lewandowski calls on Poland to save face after World Cup elimination

AFP , Monday 25 Jun 2018,
Robert Lewandowski
Poland's forward Robert Lewandowski attends a press conference (Photo: AFP)

Poland skipper Robert Lewandowski has urged his team to salvage some pride in their final World Cup game against Japan as they faced up to the disappointment of an early elimination from the tournament.

The Poles came to Russia with high hopes but a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at the hands of Colombia on Sunday confirmed they will not make it out of their group.

It followed a 2-1 defeat against Senegal in their opening game in Group H and made them the first European team to be knocked out of the tournament.

"Right now we realise we didn't do well enough but that is something we cannot overcome," said Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski in a press conference at the team's base in Sochi.

"We fought as much as we could but that was all we could do, bearing in mind the problems we had before the World Cup in terms of injuries and form."

Poland impressed in qualifying but their friendly results before the World Cup were mixed and a shoulder injury suffered by defensive stalwart Kamil Glik just before the competition has not helped.

Lewandowski, who has been unable to make an impact in the tournament, refused to be drawn on his own international future.

However, the 29-year-old did admit that the Japan match in Volgograd would be "for some of us... our last game for the national team".

He added: "We will continue playing the best we can, continue representing Poland and continue being proud of doing that."

Coach Adam Nawalka will be out of contract after the Japan match and it is unclear whether he will be offered a new deal.

"After the last fixture I am at the board's disposal and only then will decisions be taken," said Nawalka, who took over in late 2013 and led the side to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

(For more sports news and updates and a special World Cup 2018 coverage, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)


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