Competition date 31 March 2021 Competition type FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Euro Qualifier
Home team England goals
  • goal scored by H. Kane Goal type PEN (PEN)
  • goal scored by H. Maguire
England badge
Home team score 2
Away team score 1
Poland badge
Away team Poland goals
  • goal scored by J. Moder
Home team goals
  • goal scored by H. Kane Goal type Penalty Goal
  • goal scored by H. Maguire
Away team goals
    goal scored by
  • J. Moder
England celebrate their first goal against Poland

Gareth's analysis

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate assesses the game, while we also take a look back at some of our old games against Poland 

England's Gareth Southgate

England boss Gareth Southgate saw his team make it three wins from three games in March's international window, as they made a perfect start to their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

And after their narrow win over Poland at Wembley, Southgate admits there's still plenty to work on as attentions now switch to the summer's EURO 2020 tournament.

He also backed John Stones, after the Manchester City defender recovered from an error in the build-up to Poland's equaliser to set up Harry Maguire's winner.

“I thought we were very good in the first half and in control of the game," he said.

"To concede a goal like we did can hit the team but they stuck at it, recovered their composure and found an important set-piece winner.

“He [John Stones] managed to compose himself for the rest of the game and had a part in the winning goal, which was important.

"You can fold in those moments and he didn’t. He’s been having a really good season. He’s made a mistake tonight, he knows that, but he’s bounced back from it during the game and he’s got to keep doing that.

“We’ve played a very good Poland side and we’ve done a lot of good things this week – but we can see there’s still a step to go.

"We had a lot of players missing that we might have been able to refresh the team with in the last two matches – that slight fatigue started to tell but the players stuck at it and they deserved the win."


The Three Lions and Poland have met 19 times over the years, with the majority of them coming in FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

England have enjoyed the better of the head-to-head record too with eleven wins, while there's been seven draws and the Poles have picked up one victory which came during the infamous 1974 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win in Chorzow.

Our first meeting

England 1-1 Poland
5 January 1966
Goodison Park, Everton FC

It was a few months before England's finest moment in 1966 when the nations first met on the international stage, in a friendly game at Goodison Park.

And it looked as though Poland were going to edge the game, after Jezy Sadek put them in front late in the first half. But England drew level in the 74th minute when captain Bobby Moore scored as Sir Alf Ramsey's side put in their final preparations for the 1966 World Cup Finals on home soil.

England's Wayne Rooney in action against Poland in 2013

Last time out

England 2-0 Poland
15 October 2013
Wembley Stadium

Our last game with the Poles came towards the tail end of the qualifying campaign for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil when we last locked horns with the Poles.

And it was a thrilling and nailbiting game, with plenty of chances, saves and turned into a real end-to-end encounter. It was England who edged ahead just before the break through Wayne Rooney after a lively first half.

There were opportunities at both ends in the second period, but Roy Hodgson's side had to wait until the 88th minute for a second goal, when Steven Gerrard doubled the advantage to give England some breathing space and relief.

England's Allan Clarke sees a shot saved by Jan Tomaszewski at Wembley in 1973

The famous game

England 1-1 Poland
17 October 1973
Wembley Stadium

After losing the aforementioned away game against Poland, England's qualification for the 1974 World Cup came down to the final group match at Wembley.

Ramsey's side knew a win would be enough to see them reach the finals in West Germany, but it proved to be a frustrating afternoon.

With the game all square at half time, it was Poland who shocked Wembley by taking the lead through Jan Domarski. An equaliser came via an Allan Clarke penalty but Polish keeper Jan Tomaszewski, famously ridiculed as a clown by Brian Clough before the match, went on to have an inspired game and kept his team level.

Unfortunately, the result wasn't good enough for the Three Lions, who missed out on the World Cup Finals the following summer.

European Qualifying head-to-head

Happy night for Harrys

Three Lions take charge in qualifying group thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Harry Maguire

England's Harry Maguire celebrates his winning goal

By Paul Martin 

Harry Maguire’s late strike ensured England’s victorious start to World Cup qualifying continued as the Three Lions overcame Poland by 2-1 at Wembley.

A Harry Kane penalty had given the hosts a half-time lead but Jakub Moder capitalised on a defensive error to equalise in the 58th minute.

But just as it looked as though the spoils may be shared, Maguire lashed home the winner five minutes from time to give Gareth Southgate’s side control of Group I following three wins from as many matches during this international break.

Southgate made one change from the side which beat Albania 2-0 on Sunday, Ben Chilwell replacing Luke Shaw at left-back, and the Chelsea defender was involved in England’s first half-chance of the evening.

Neat link-up between Chilwell and his clubmate Mason Mount saw the latter’s cross headed over by Phil Foden and the hosts continued to dominate the early stages without creating clear-cut opportunities.

That was until the 19th minute, when Raheem Sterling was bundled over by Michal Helik and referee Bjorn Kuipers had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

England's Mason Mount

Kane, who scored his first England goal in more than 500 days in Sunday’s victory in Tirana, stepped up to place his effort down the middle and become England’s most prolific penalty taker of all time – moving past Frank Lampard’s total of nine spot-kicks for the Three Lions.

Having won the penalty, Sterling remained a constant threat down the left. The Manchester City man twice weaved his way into the penalty area but saw an attempted square pass to Foden cut out before later being denied by a last-ditch Jan Bednarek challenge following a slaloming run.

Kane was next to go close, exchanging passes with Foden and letting fly from 20 yards with an effort which was well saved by Wojciech Szczesny.

The visitors, missing influential striker Robert Lewandowski, did not muster a shot on goal during a first half which saw England enjoy 69 per cent of possession and the hosts started on top after the interval.

An incisive move ended with Kyle Walker’s cross just evading Sterling and a Foden free-kick flew over the bar as the Three Lions looked to double their lead.

But just before the hour mark, Poland were back on terms as England were punished for a moment of sloppiness at the back.

Poland's Jan Moder

John Stones was caught in possession on the edge of the box by Moder, who exchanged passes with Milik before firing an unstoppable shot past Nick Pope and into the top corner.

Jolted by the equaliser, Southgate’s side set about restoring their advantage and Szczesny had to be quick off his line to deny Sterling following another dangerous run.

The former Arsenal man then kept out Phil Foden’s effort from a tight angle while Milik planted a header wide from eight yards out at the other end as both sides threatened to edge in front.

And with just five minutes to play, it was England who struck the decisive blow as their two centre-halves combined to devastating effect.

A deep corner from Foden was headed back across goal by Stones and Maguire thumped a half-volley into the roof of the net to put the hosts back in front.

Rafal Augustyniak blazed over from a long throw in added time as Poland searched for a leveller but England held on for a vital victory.

England line up to play Poland

England (4-3-3): 1 Nick Pope (Burnley); 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 6 Harry Maguire (Manchester United), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 3 Ben Chilwell (Chelsea); 8 Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), 4 Declan Rice (West Ham United), 7 Phil Foden (Manchester City); 11 Mason Mount (Chelsea), 9 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), 10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Substitutes: 16 Reece James (Chelsea) for Foden 86’, 18 Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) for Kane 89’, 14 Jesse Lingard (West Ham United, on loan from Manchester United) for Sterling 90’

Substitutes not used: 12 Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), 13 Dean Henderson (Manchester United), 15 Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 17 Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), 19 Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), 20 Luke Shaw (Manchester United), 21 Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa), 22 Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), 23 Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)

Goals: Kane 19’, Maguire 85’

Poland (3-5-2): 1 Wojciech Szczesny; 14 Michal Helik, 15 Kamil Glik, 5 Jan Bednarek; 18 Bartosz Bereszynski, 20 Piotr Zielinski, 10 Grzegorz Krychowiak, 16 Jakub Moder, 13 Macej Rybus; 23 Krzysztof Piatek, 9 Karol Swiderski

Substitutes: 7 Arkadiusz Milik for Swiderski 45’, 21 Kamil Jozwiak for Helik 54’, 6 Rafal Augustyniak for Piatek 76’, 11 Kamil Grosicki for Zielinski 86’, 3 Arkadiusz Reca for Rybus 86’

Substitutes not used: 2 Sebastian Kowalczyk, 4 Pawel Dawidowicz, 8 Kacper Kozlowski, 12 Karol Niemczycki, 17 Przemyslaw Placheta, 19 Sebastian Szymanski, 22 Lukasz Fabianski

Bookings: Milik 46’

Goals: Moder 58’