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Poland perform to perfection

Saturday, 26 March 2005

[1] Poland cruised to their biggest victory margin since their record 9-0 win against Norway in 1963 to remain within a point of England in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group 6.

Frankowski hat-trick

[2] Tomasz Frankowski scored a hat-trick to keep pressure on England, 4-0 victors on Saturday against Northern Ireland, and maintain the gap with third-placed Austria at four points. Azerbaijan, however, slumped to the bottom of the pool on goal difference behind Wales.

Early goals

[3] Frankowski's first came on 12 minutes as Tomasz Klos headed a cross back for the striker to put in. Four minutes later a Maciej Zurawski cross from the right hit Azerbaijan defender Rafael Amirbekov, went past goalkeeper Dmitri Kramarenko and finally bounced in for an own goal off of full-back Aftandil Hajiev.

Nabiev denied

[4] Zurawski was denied on 32 minutes when his stinging right foot volley came off the angle of cross and bar, and eight minutes later the visitors almost pulled one back when Nadir Nabiev broke through but saw his first shot blocked by Jerzy Dudek and his effort from the rebound fly over.

Lead increases

[5] Almost immediately, Poland went up the other end and Kamil Kosowski curled a low left-foot shot past Kramarenko at the far post to give his side a 3-0 half-time lead.

Frankowski again

[6] Frankowski went close not long after the hour when he ran at the defence and his effort beat the goalkeeper but also the far post. However, moments later he scored his second after teaming up well with Jacek Krzynówek, who played him in square for the easiest of finishes.

Treble complete

[7] Four minutes later Frankowski secured his hat-trick when again Krzynówek caused mayhem down the left flank and pulled back to the forward to steer the ball high into the net from the centre of the area. Krzynówek deservedly scored himself on 72 minutes, when he came off the left wing and drilled high past Kramarenko from the angle of the area.

Substitute strikes

[8] Polands seventh came five minutes before the end when Tomasz Rzasa again exploited the visitors weak right side and cut back to substitute Marek Saganowski who spun in the area before drilling the ball home. But more was to follow as Saganowski turned the ball in from close range with a minute to go. Poland face Northern Ireland on Wednesday, when Azerbaijan travel to England.

Poland's Jacek Krzynówek runs clear of Gurban Gurbanov