Poland going to World Cup, Sweden out

ebc lewandowski going to world cup with poland
ebc lewandowski going to world cup with poland

Poland is heading to the World Cup, but Sweden failed to reenact their 2018 qualification feat, when they beat Italy over two legs.

Robert Lewandowski, the prolific Bayern Munich striker converted a penalty in the 50th minute to set Poland on its way to a 2-0 win over Sweden.

The match was one of the European playoff finals played on Tuesday for a place in this year’s tournament in Qatar.

Piotr Zieliński added the second goal in Chorzow for the Poles, who will be competing in soccer’s biggest event for the second straight time.

It might be the last opportunity for the 33-year-old Lewandowski, who took his tally of goals for his country to a remarkable 75 in 129 appearances.

“It was really tough, this pressure,” Lewandowski said. “Even though I have taken many penalties in my career, this was one difficult.

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“I knew so many people were watching me at this moment … I knew this moment would have so much significance. It was not easy to focus on the ball at that moment, but I managed to do it.”

As for Sweden’s own veteran striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he surely won’t be playing at another World Cup.

The 40-year-old Ibrahimovic, not fully fit after a recent Achilles tendon injury, came on as an 80th-minute substitute but couldn’t find the goals to get Sweden through the playoffs again.

In 2018, Sweden beat Italy over two legs at this stage to qualify — without Ibrahimovic, who was retired from international soccer then.

Poland crucially had the home advantage in a one-legged shootout this time and made it pay in Chorzow.

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