A rare evening in Warsaw

So, after the closely-fought 2-1 win over Scotland in Dortmund the Nationalmannschaft are back in action against neighbours Poland in Warsaw. Adam Nawałka’s side come into the game off the back of a seven-goal thrashing of group minnows Gibraltar, and the two teams face up for their first match since the rather dull 0-0 draw in the buildup to the World Cup – and their first competitive encounter since the Euro 2008 finals when Lukas Podolski would inspire Germany to a comfortable 2-0 win.

The match sees a debut for in-form Bayer 04 Leverkusen winger Karim Bellarabi, while VfB Stuttgart right-back Antonio Rüdiger makes his competitive debut. Interestingly, his first outing in the Nationaltrikot would come in that goalless draw against the Poles in Hamburg.

It’s a mild and slightly damp October evening in the Polish capital as the two teams walk out onto the pitch for the national anthems, and the continued absence of new skipper Bastian Schweinsteiger means goalkeeper Manuel Neuer takes the armband again as he meets FC Bayern München team mate Robert Lewandowski for the pre-match formalities. Poland are in their home colours of white shirts and red shorts, while Joachim Löw’s side are in the famous red and black hooped Trikot last worn during the 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in Belo Horizonte.

1 min. The home side kick off, and within a minute debutant Bellarabi is clattered by Jakub Wawrzyniak.

3 mins. Amidst a chorus of whistles from the home supporters, Germany look to settle down by keeping hold of the ball and getting their passing game going.

5 mins. Following a firm clearance from Mats Hummels, Thomas Müller and Mario Götze work their way through the centre of the field, but Bellarabi’s ball into the box is a little too firm.

9 mins. Müller chases the ball into the box and his no chance of reaching it, and he is inexplicably pushed by the roving arm of Kamil Glik. Müller doesn’t protest much but the referee could easily have awarded a penalty against the Polish defender.

10 mins. Götze sets up Müller who turns and shoots from the edge of the box, but it is straight at Polish ‘keeper Wojciech Szczęsny.

15 mins. Lewandowski is set free and breaks into the box, and Rüdiger challenges well. The Polish striker is looking for a penalty but the Portuguese referee waves play on.

16 mins. Götze skips towards the edge of the box and is brought down by Wawrzyniak.

17 mins. Toni Kroos floats the free-kick towards the far post towards Hummels, but the ball is intercepts and goes behind for a corner which is easily cleared.

22 mins. Kroos looks to shoot from distance but sends his effort well high and wide of the target.

23 mins. As we reach the half-way stage of the first half, it has been comfortable so far for Jogi Löw’s side who have bosses most of the possession. They works down the right flank and Bellarabi looks to find Müller but Szczęsny collects.

24 mins. Hummels fail to control a pass and Jérôme Boateng becomes the second German player to go into the referee’s notebook.

28 mins. Rüdiger sends Müller free down the right, but his cross floats harmlessly over the opposition penalty area.

29 mins. The visitors put another good move together, but Bellarabi’s shot from the edge of the box is blocked before Erik Durm scuffs an effort well wide.

31 mins. Bellarabi sends in a well-hit cross towards Müller, but Glik clears for a corner. The corner comes to nothing, and Boateng’s deflected shot from distance is gathered by Szczęsny with Müller lurking in the six-yard box.

35 mins. Poland win a soft free-kick out on the left and Lewandowski is able to get a foot on the ball as he looks to strike, but Neuer has it. The flag is raised for offside.

37 mins. A poor pass in the Polish half by Müller almost sets up an attack for the home side, but the Germans recover well to clear the danger.

38 mins. A lovely move on the right and a crisp cross from Götze finds Bellarabi out on the left juts at the edge of the six-yard box, but the Leverkusen winger’s low left-footed shot skids narrowly wide of the far post.

39 mins. A Polish moves break down and Germany counter at pace as an exquisite through ball from André Schürrle sets Müller free down the middle. With no support the FC Bayern man has to go it alone, and manages to get a shot in which rolls just wide of the left upright.

41 mins. The men in black and red have upped the ante now, and Schürrle and Bellarabi are right at the centre of it. A floated ball out from the right towards the far post finds Bellarabi, whose well-struck shot is brilliantly parried by Szczęsny. However the flag is raised for what is a very narrow offside decision.

43 mins. Götze and Müller open up the Polish defence again, and Müller finds Bellarabi to his left just inside the box. He cuts back inside the defender and sets himself up for a shot with his favoured tight foot, but his effort is just a little too weak and Szczęsny makes the save with relative ease.

45 mins. Germany win a corner out on the right, and after a bit of a goalmouth scramble Hummels blasts a shot high over the target.

45+1 mins. The whistle blows for half-time.

It has been a dominant performance for Germany, but with no return in terms of goals. Debutant Karim Bellarabi has shown good pace and has managed to get behind the Polish defence, but has been unable to convert a couple of decent chances. Both André Schürrle and Mario Götze had looked to push the pace and Thomas Müller has been his usual disruptive self.

The sides return for the start of the second half, with no personnel changes for either side.

46 mins. Germany get the second half underway.

47 mins. Kroos remains down on the ground and gets some treatment after an awkward challenge from Lewandowski.

50 mins. There’s more pressure from the Mannschaft, but the final ball is not coming yet.

51 mins. From nowhere, Poland open the scoring as the Mannschaft are caught cold on the break against the run of play. Durm is unable to clear and the ball falls to his Borussia Dortmund team mate Łukasz Piszczek, whose cross is well met by Arkadiusz Milik. Neuer is off his line way too late, and his left stranded à la Schumacher 1986 as the ball hits the back of the German net. 0-1.

Arkadiusz Milik is there to meet Łukasz Piszczek’s cross. Manuel Neuer is way too late, and Poland take the lead

53 mins. Germany are stung into action and look to respond immediately, but Bellarabi’s neat ball finds Götze who dances his way into the six-yard box before his low shot is well parried by Szczęsny.

54 mins. Germany win a free-kick some thirty yards out but Kroos’ floating ball is easily collected by Szczęsny.

55 mins. Schürrle curls a left-footed shot on target but Szczęsny is on hand to collect.

56 mins. The atmosphere has been ramped up now, and Lewandowski is booked for a late challenge on Neuer.

58 mins. The fleet-footed Bellarabi looks to weave between two white shirts and is brought down and Germany are awarded a free-kick. Kroos sends a floated ball into the box but Poland clear.

60 mins. Schürrle cuts inside from the left and has a shot with his right foot which is on target, but Szczęsny once again has everything right behind it. As in the 2011 friendly, the Polish ‘keeper is having an excellent game.

63 mins. An excellent chance after more excellent buildup play from the visitors. This time Durm has the time and space to line up a shot at goal, but his decision to go for placement rather than power makes it easy for Szczęsny.

65 mins. Lewandowski challenges Kroos from behind, and is perhaps lucky to escape a second yellow card. Moments later the Polish striker is just offside.

67 mins. Another half-chance for Bellarabi, but again his taking the extra touch allows Szczęsny to collect.

70 mins. Poland are defending like Trojans here, and on the break Kamil Grosicki has a sight of goal but his shot is gathered by Neuer.

71 mins. The home side make their first change as Grosicki is replaced by Waldemar Sobota, and moments later Kramer makes way for Julian Draxler as the Nationaltrainer looks to press harder for the equaliser.

73 mins. Rüdiger sets up Draxler, whose well-struck left-footed effort from just outside the box is deflected for a corner. Once again though, the Eckball comes to nothing.

74 mins. Bellarabi looks to flat another cross into the danger zone, but once again Szczęsny shows a safe pair of hands.

76 mins. Poland charge forward on the break, but Hummels shuts things down with an outstanding challenge. Unfortunately the counterattack breaks down.

77 mins. Changes for both sides as Sebastian Mila is on for Milik and Lukas Podolski replaces Schürrle to win his 119 international cap.

79 mins. Bellarabi finds the space to unleash a blockbuster effort from the edge of the penalty area, but Szczęsny pulls out the save of the evening to deny the debutant.

81 mins. Now the woodwork denies the Mannschaft as a thunderous left-footed drive on the volley from Podolski slams against the crossbar. The shot from some eleven yards is stuck perfectly, and once again the Germans have to rue their luck. It is looking like it is going to be one of those rare eveings.

83 mins. The final roll of the dice now for Jogi Löw, as Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Max Kruse is on for right-back Rüdiger.

84 mins. Wawrzyniak replaced by Artur Jędrzejczyk for Poland.

85 mins. Bellarabi is booked for a high challenge.

86 mins. Bellarabi has a shot blocked with looks like a Polish arm, and from the rebound Götze sends his shot over the target.

87 mins. Poland break down the right, and Lewandowski holds off Durm brilliantly before rolling the ball inside for substitute Mila, who surely settles the issue with a calm left-footed finish. Barring a miracle it is Germany’s first defeat in a any tournament qualifying game since 2007, and their first ever defeat against the Poles.

Sebastian Mila sends the ball past Manuel Neuer, and Poland wrap up an historic victory.

90+2 mins. Two minutes into the four added for injury time, Podolski first has a shot blocked before by the excellent Glik before being fouled just outside the area. Kroos floats the free-kick over the wall, but also over the crossbar.

90+4 mins. The final whistle blows, and history is made as the raucous home crowd go wild. As in 1990 when Berti Vogts’ side would fall to a one goal defeat in Wales, the World Champions suffer a shock defeat on the road.

Germany for all their possession have been far too profligate in front of goal, while Poland have clinically converted two of a handful of opportunities. The shot count actually reads 22-4 in favour of the visitors, and it has clearly been a case of it being one of “those” rare evenings. Unlucky though the defeat may have been, it is now true to say that the World Cup winners’ party is now well and truly over.

The defeat ends the Nationalmannschaft’s unbeaten run of eighteen games in competitive internationals; the last such defeat would come in the Euro 2012 semi-final against Italy – in the same stadium.

v Poland, Stadion Narodowy, Warszawa 11.10.2014

0-2 (0-0)
– / Milik 51., Mila 88.

Germany: Neuer (c) – Rüdiger (83. Kruse), Boateng, Hummels, Durm – Kramer (71. Draxler), Kroos – Bellarabi*, Götze, Schürrle (77. Podolski) – Müller

Poland: Szczęsny – Piszczek, Szukała, Glik, Wawrzyniak (84. Jędrzejczyk) – Krychowiak, Jodłowiec – Grosicki (71. Sobota), Rybus – Milik (77. Mila), Lewandowski (c)

* Full international debut

Referee: Pedro Proença (Portugal)
Assistants: Bertino Miranda, Tiago Trigo (Portugal)
Goal Line Assistants: João Capela, Bruno Esteves (Portugal)
Fourth Official: Luis Campos (Portugal)

Yellow Cards: Boateng, Bellarabi / Piszczek, Szukala, Lewandowski
Red Cards: – / –

Ball Possession: 62% / 38%
Attempts on Target: 11 / 3
Attempts off Target: 12 / 1
Corners: 6 / 0
Fouls Committed: 11 / 15

Attendance: 56,934

A rare evening in Warsaw

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.