Lewandowski sends Poland into 2nd straight World Cup

AP , Tuesday 29 Mar 2022

Poland is heading to the World Cup - and of course Robert Lewandowski helped send his team there.

Lewandowski
Poland s Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring the opening goal of his team during the World Cup 2022 playoff soccer match between Poland and Sweden at Silesian Stadium, in Chorzow, southern Poland, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. AP

The prolific Bayern Munich striker converted a penalty in the 50th minute to set Poland on its way to a 2-0 win over Sweden on Tuesday in one of the European playoff finals for a place in this year's tournament in Qatar.

Piotr Zielinski added the second goal for the Poles, who will be competing in soccer's biggest event for the second straight time.

It might be the last opportunity for the 33-year-old Lewandowski, who took his tally of goals for his country to a remarkable 75 in 129 appearances.

As for Sweden's own veteran striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he surely won't be playing at another World Cup.

The 40-year-old Ibrahimovic, not fully fit after a recent Achilles tendon injury, came on as an 80th-minute substitute but couldn't find the goals to get Sweden through the playoffs again. In 2018, Sweden beat Italy over two legs at this stage to qualify but Poland crucially had the home advantage in a one-legged shootout this time and made it pay in Chorzow.

Lewandowski showed composure from the penalty spot to place a finish into the bottom corner after a stuttering run-up, moments after Jesper Karlstrom was adjudged to have bundled into halftime substitute Grzegorz Krychowiak.

Zielinski's goal came after a poor touch by Sweden center back Marcus Danielson, who failed to control a pass back to him. Zielinski ran through unchecked and curled a shot past goalkeeper Robin Olsen and just inside the post.

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