England clean sheet record on ice as Kane strides on – 5 things from Poland draw

By Mark Mann-Bryans

England ended their World Cup qualifying triple-header by conceding a last-gasp equaliser to draw in Poland

The Three Lions had won their opening five Group I matches, including back-to-back 4-0 victories over Hungary and Andorra in the past week.

But their trip to Warsaw posed more of a challenge and they left with a share of the spoils.

Here, the PA news agency take a look at some of the things we learnt from the game.

A change is as good as a rest

England boss Gareth Southgate once again made 11 changes as the likes of Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and captain Harry Kane were recalled. A completely altered side had won 4-0 against Andorra with Southgate reverting back to the team which won in Hungary by the same scoreline on Thursday. It was the first time since 1982 that an England team had made 11 changes from the previous fixture but it would take Southgate just three days to repeat the feat.

Kane the main man again

Kane scored a fine goal from distance to put England ahead in Warsaw. (Laszlo Balogh/AP) (AP)

Kane came off the bench to score a penalty against Andorra and continued a fine scoring run with his long-range strike here. He has now moved clear in fifth-place on England’s all-time goalscoring list with 41 goals and has found the back of the net in the last 15 World Cup or European Championship qualifying games. Kane now has Jimmy Greaves (44) as the next man in his sights as he aims to become England’s greatest ever striker.

Jeers for the knee

England players take the knee before the World Cup qualifier Poland. (Czarek Sokolowski/AP) (AP)

Once again England’s players were jeered for taking the knee before kick-off. Their stance against racism and discrimination was booed in Hungary last week, where England’s black players were targeted with monkey chants. There was, thankfully, no repeat of such abuse here but the home fans whistled through the pre-match gesture as Poland’s players opted to point to the “respect” logo on their shirt sleeves.

Clean sheet record put on hold

Poland manager Paulo Sousa oversaw a hard-fought draw over England. (Rafal Oleksiewicz/PA) (PA Wire)

England looked on course to hold on to their record 12th clean sheet in a calendar year. That was before Damian Szymanski came off the bench to score his first international goal for Poland, heading home in stoppage time. Jordan Pickford almost cost his side the achievement after his late clearance was charged down but he will be hoping to be part of a team that can still go on to break the record later this year.

No point panicking

England may feel slightly demoralised by conceding a late leveller but they still remain heavy favourites to qualify for Qatar 2022 as group winners. They sit four points clear of second-placed Albania with four games remaining, all of which will be played in the next two months. A trip to Andorra and a home clash with Hungary come in October before Albania visit Wembley on November 12 and the group wraps up away to minnows San Marino three days later.

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