Robert Lewandowski scored in either half and set up Karol Linetty’s second against ten-man Bosnia and Herzegovina as Poland went top of Group A1.
Match in brief
A bright start from both sides gave way to an increasingly dangerous succession of Poland attacks after visiting defender Anel Ahmedhodžić was dismissed with 15 minutes gone, having been adjudged to have impeded Robert Lewandowski when he was clean through on goal.
Lewandowski wasted an excellent chance under little pressure, hit the post with a curling first-time effort from the edge of the penalty area and then slotted in the opener following some neat interplay. The captain then turned provider for Karol Linetty’s close-range header just before half time and sealed the win with a nonchalant volley from the perceptive Mateusz Klich’s precise left-wing cross.
Piotr Kozminski, Poland reporter
This has been a good run for Poland, following up an impressive win 5-1 over Finland in a friendly and a decent draw against Italy with this convincing win. Lewandowski proved he is among the best in the world but players such as Klich and Linetty are big winners from the last few games. Youngsters including Sebastian Walukiewicz and Jakub Moder also showed their skills, giving Poland fans cause for optimism.
Fedja Krvavac, Bosnia and Herzegovina reporter
The visitors lacked strength, focus and accurate passing tonight. Even with a man less, they lost the battles in midfield, did not perform and looked visibly fatigued after two tough matches, compounded by injury problems. Poland, led by Lewandowski, were simply too strong, and the Bosnians must now look to the matches ahead in their UEFA Nations League campaign.
Jerzy Brzęczek, Poland coach: “We have played three games in a row and every game has given us something positive. First of all, we got points in important matches. We used lot of players, we checked various possibilities. Is the king Lewandowski back? He is not back because he had not gone anywhere. Mateusz Klich? I have always believed in him. Sometimes a player just needs time to adjust himself. But he has always done everything he could for the national team.”
Robert Lewandowski, Poland striker: “Was it a perfect game for Poland? No, definitely not. We can do better, especially with pressing. But of course we are satisfied. We did our job, got three points and did not concede any goals. I was feeling okay – I had a slight injury but it didn’t bother me.”
Dušan Bajević, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach: “We played well and had a few chances but lost control after the red card. We had to replace Pjanić because he was in pain due to injury. Lewandowski showed that he is among the best players in Europe and everything he did was of high quality. The players are tired both mentally and physically. Congratulations to them for enduring it all. We do not look for excuses because it is difficult for others as well. The good thing about all this is that we gave everyone a chance and saw what we had.”
Edin Džeko, Bosnia and Herzegovina forward: “Given what we saw in the first 20 minutes, we did not expect such a heavy defeat. It wasn’t at all easy to play 70 minutes with a player less, but the guys gave their best. We have to move on but we expected a lot more and if we hadn’t received a red card it would certainly have been different. There is no need to talk about luck and misfortune. Luck could have gone in our favour but it didn’t. We have new, young players and they represent the future of this national team.”
• The hosts won their first home match in the UEFA Nations League (D1 L2).
• Poland have conceded one goal or less in seven of their eight UEFA Nations League matches.
• Jerzy Brzęczek’s side have won 11 of their last 15 matches (L2).
• They have lost only two of their last 15 competitive matches (W10).
• Bosnia and Herzegovina have lost six of their last eight away games.
• Miralem Pjanić became the visitors’ second most-capped player outright, overtaking Emir Spahić (94).
Poland: Szczęsny; Kędziora (Karbownik 72), Glik, Bednarek, Reca; Góralski, Linetty; Jóźwiak (Bereszyński 72), Klich (Kądzior 64), Grosicki (K. Piątek 64); Lewandowski (Milik 58)
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Šehić’; Kolašinac, Saničanin, Ahmedhodžić, Cipetić; Pjanić (Hadzikadunic 33), Hadžiahmetović (Hajradinović 74), Cimirot; Krunić (Milošević 74), Džeko (Prevljak 58), Višća (Gojak 58)