Lewandowski crushes Scottish dreams

Robert Lewandowski, ster-doelskieter van Pole, staan Vrydag breed in Bafana se pad. Foto: Shaun Botterill, GETTY IMAGES
Robert Lewandowski, ster-doelskieter van Pole, staan Vrydag breed in Bafana se pad. Foto: Shaun Botterill, GETTY IMAGES

Glasgow - Robert Lewandowski scored four minutes into stoppage time to earn Poland a 2-2 Group D draw with Scotland at Hampden that ends the hosts' slender hopes of earning a place at Euro 2016.

The Poles got off to a flying start when Lewandowski continued his rich vein of goal-scoring form as he slotted home a third minute opener.

Matt Ritchie restored parity in the 45th minute with a wonder strike from 25 yards before Steven Fletcher fired Scotland in front with a sensational shot in the 62nd minute.

With time running out Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski bundled the ball over the line to keep his side just a point behind Ireland, who they face in a final showdown in Warsaw on Sunday, after they produced a shock 1-0 defeat of group leaders Germany in Dublin.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan said he felt sorry for his squad.

"I am hugely disappointed for the players. I've seen a group of lads give as much as they can give," Strachan lamented.

"I'm really proud of what they've done as they put so much work into that and they've been a bit unfortunate."

Polish manager Adam Nawalka said he always believed his side would get something from the match.

"I had a lot of faith in my team. Sometimes in games like this you feel a point means more to us than a win," Nawalka said.

"We had a great start and were in control of the game and playing very good for a substantial part of the match but that is football. If you work hard you get your luck."

Scotland knew all about the danger posed by Lewandowski, arguably Europe's in-form striker with 12 goals in his previous four matches, but they were helpless to stop him opening the scoring with just over two minutes played.

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