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Poland Opponent Preview - Daegeon


Federation: Polski Zwiazek Pilki Noznej
Founded:  1919
FIFA Affiliated: 1923
Current FIFA World Ranking: 38th
World Cup final appearances: 6 – 1938 (11th), 1974 (3rd), 1978 (5th), 1982 (3rd), 1986 (14th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 13-7-5
Record vs. USA: 6-4-1; 30 GF, 13 GA
Most Recent Match vs. USA: USA 3, Poland 2 in Warsaw; October 10, 1990 (Vermes-2, Murray; Kosecki, Ziober)

FIRST UEFA NATION TO QUALIFY FOR 2002 WORLD CUP:  An unbeaten run of eight games in qualifying helped Poland become the first European nation (other then the defending champions France) to advance to the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.  Poland captured the UEFA Group 5 Title with an overall record of 6-1-3.

FIRST WORLD CUP APPEARANCE IN 16 YEARS:  Poland is making their first World Cup appearance in 16 years.  Previously, Poland made four straight World Cup appearances from 1974 to 1986.

NIGERIA-BORN STRIKER LEADS POLISH ATTACK:  Nigeria-Born Emmanuel Olisadebe (now a naturalized Polish citizen) led Poland’s offense by scoring eight of the team’s 19 goals in World Cup qualifying, which was tied for third best in UEFA.

WORLD CUP EXIT:  After holding high-hopes entering the 2002 World Cup, Poland has fallen flat in being outscored 6-0 by Korea and Portugal.  The team's 4-0 loss to Portugal on June 10 eliminated the team from contention for a spot in the Round of 16.  Against the U.S., Poland will be without the services of midfielders Piotr Swierczewski (two yellow cards) and Radoslaw Kaluzny (injured).  Forward Emmanuel Olisadebe and goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek will be looking to rebound against the U.S. after the team's disappointing opening losses.

2002 World Cup qualifying: Won UEFA “Group 5”

UEFA Group 5
Teams  GP W-L-T  GF:GA  PTS
Poland  10 6-1-3  21:11  21
Ukraine  10 4-1-5  13:8  17
Belarus  10 4-3-3  12:11  15
Norway  10 2-4-4  12:14  10
Wales  10 1-3-6  10:12   9
Armenia  10 0-5-5   7:19   5

Goalkeepers: 1-Jerzy Dudek, 12-Radoslaw Majdan, 22-Adam Matysek

Defenders: 2-Tomasz Klos, 3-Jacek Zielinski, 4-Michal Zewlakow, 6-Tomasz Hajto, 13-Arkadiusz Glowacki, 15-Tomasz Waldoch, 20-Jacek Bak

Midfielders: 5-Tomasz Rzasa, 7-Piotr Swierczewski, 10-Radoslaw Kaluzny, 16-Maciej Murawski, 17-Arkadiusz Bak, 18-Jacek Kryznowek, 21-Marek Kozminski, 23-Pawel Sibik

Forwards: 8-Cezary Kucharski, 9-Pawel Kryszalowicz, 11-Emmanuel Olisadebe, 14-Marcin Zewlakow, 19-Maciej Zuwarski

Head Coach: Jerzy Engel

Poland has twice finished in third place in the World Cup, in Germany 1974 and in Spain 1982.

Veteran forward Grzegorz Lato is the only Polish player to finish as the top scorer in a World Cup, scoring seven goals in Germany in 1974.

The only player to score four goals in one match and still end up on the losing team was Poland's Ernst Willimowski against Brazil in Italy 1938.  Leonidas of Brazil also scored four goals in that match, which the South Americans won 6-5.