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Euro 2024: Poland invites itself into the France group

Robert Lewandowski's Poland qualified for the Euro on penalties (0-0, 5 tab 4) against Wales in the play-offs on Tuesday evening in Cardiff, and will be the third opponent of the French team in group stage, with the Netherlands and Austria.

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Euro 2024: Poland invites itself into the France group

Robert Lewandowski's Poland qualified for the Euro on penalties (0-0, 5 tab 4) against Wales in the play-offs on Tuesday evening in Cardiff, and will be the third opponent of the French team in group stage, with the Netherlands and Austria. By having to go through a tense penalty shootout, the Poles snatched the very last ticket for the competition which will take place from mid-June to mid-July in Germany, after Ukraine's victory against Iceland (2 -1) - in Poland because of the war - and the qualification on penalties of Georgia against Greece.

Completely delighted, Robert Lewandowski undoubtedly also heaved a big sigh of relief when he thought that, at the age of 35, he could have said goodbye to major international selection competitions. This would have been a resounding failure as the country has always participated in the Euro since 2008.

During the game, the star striker was muzzled by the Welsh defense and had little influence on the game when, in frustration, he came down to help with the build-up. He made up for it by shooting first on penalties to show his team the way: calmly, he played Danny Ward by watching until the end where the goalkeeper was going to dive. Then, his four teammates found the target in complete tranquility despite the hostility of the public, while the Welshman Daniel James, the last shooter, saw his shot rejected by Wojciech Szczesny, the hero of the evening without a doubt.

Because the goalkeeper had to work hard during the game. The Welsh, without their usual injured captain Aaron Ramsey, getting used to playing without Gareth Bale retired at the start of 2023, have long made their collective strength and desire speak for themselves. Their supporters pushed until the end, singing with the support of a brass band.

It was the Red Dragons who were the most dangerous in the first half and for a good part of the second: header close to the target from Ben Davies in the 17th minute, a goal disallowed for an offside of a few centimeters just before the break, a header from Kieffer Moore from a beautiful tap by Szczesny... In the other area, the Poles were not very sharp. The Welsh also started the extra time better and Szczesny again had to repel with the tips of his gloves a low cross very close to his goal (99th).

On the counterattack that followed, Piotrowski almost found the top corner which slipped away at the last moment. The Poles had to seek salvation at the end of the suspense and celebrated their qualification with dignity in front of their supporters.

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