Wednesday, December 22, 2010

At their opening game against Argentina Druzina Polska dropped their first bomb: they played exciting attacking football and won 3-2. Stunning the football, the Poles also disturbed the situation in the ‘certain’ Group 4 – it was no longer certain one. Poland suddenly had a chance to qualify for the second round.
Polish captain and playmaker Deyna much stronger than his more famous opponent Heredia. New names were noted and they played with white jerseys, not with skyblue-white stripes.

Robert Gadocha with a lethal free kick. The picture clearly tells the difference of class.
‘Iron’ defense vs speedy attack – the bankruptcy of old-style football was evident as well as the end of South American illusions of ‘modern football’: modern football was attacking and scoring. And did the Poles score!
Their second match was clear even before the beginning – there was no doubt that Haiti will lose, the only question was by how many goals. Turned out by seven – the Polish win 7-0 was the second highest result in the whole World Cup. What was not clear before the game was that Poland will be qualifying for the second round – there was possibility, depending on the result of Italy-Argentina. Since this match ended in a draw, Poland surprisingly, but deservingly, qualified before the third round robin round.

Morini clears the ball and Yazalade watches. Italy looked like crawling to the second round.
Good for the Poles, but bad for Argentina – now it was ‘certain’ that they were going home. Poland was still thaught just a lucky freak team – surely they played well so far and pleased everybody, but it was time the Polish bubble to burst. Enthusiasm is one thing; quality – quite another. Besides, Poland does not need any more points and surely will take it easy. Besides, Italy needs just one point and who on earth is the master of scoreless ties and extracting points just when needed? Besides, Rivera and company vs Deyna and whatstheirnames? No contest…
And no contest it was: Poland won 2-1. The result was… a compliment to Italy, for it suggest some kind of almost equal play. On the pitch Poland was much better and short of miracle Italy standed no chance. A second Polish bomb exploded.
Anastazi tackled by Polish defense. The picture really displays the most distinctive feature of total football – those, who practiced it always outnumbered the opposition. Anywhere on the pitch.
The result benefited Argentina; Italy went home in disgrace, and Poland not only ended first in Group 4, but had the best record of all teams – 3 wins in 3 games. Best scoring record too – their lethal attack scored 12 goals. Yugoslavia was second with 10 goals, but 9 of them were scored against Zaire. Poland scored 5 goals in the nets of the most defensive teams! Lubanski was already forgotten – there was a trio of fantastic players – Lato - Szarmach – Gadocha – entertaining the watching public with shattering attacks and goals. There was Deyna commanding the game from midfield. There was Kasperczak running everywhere. There were Gorgon and Szymanowski killing opposite attacks, but going ahead whenever they had a chance. There was Tomaszewski between the goalposts – the goalie called ‘a joke’ by Brian Clough was hardly a joke. The world was quickly learning Polish names.