Poland have moved within three points of Group I leaders England after the away win over Albania. Poland were able to capitalise on the 1-1 draw between England and Hungary as the race to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup hots up in the group. With two games to play, four teams can still pick up a playoff spot at least in the group. England, Hungary, Poland and Albania are still in contention.
Group leaders England began the latest set of games with a five-point lead over Poland in third place, while Albania were in second place and four points adrift of the English team.
Poland were able to close the gap on England thanks to the second half strike from Karol Swiderski. Swiderski has been amongst the goals for Poland during their latest World Cup qualifying campaign and he was responsible for the lone goal in the big away win over Albania.
For England manager Gareth Southgate and his players, they were expected to beat Hungary at home but they could only play a 1-1 draw thanks in part to Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw paying the penalty midway through the first half. The Manchester United defender gave a penalty away for a high boot in the England box paving the way for Daniel Salloi to score the resulting penalty. The Freiburg attacker gave Hungary the lead from the spot on 24 minutes but the advantage lasted for just thirteen (13) minutes before Manchester City centre back John Stones restored parity for the Three Lions.
England got their equalisereight minutes from the break, but they were not able to complete the turnaround in the second half. The first half penalty given away by Manchester United player Luke Shaw ensured that England dropped points for justthe second gamein the qualifiers. England have 20 points from eight games at the top of the group, while Poland are in second place with 17 points. Albania and Hungary are in third and fourth place respectively with 15 points and 11 points respectively.