Poland clinches spot at UEFA Euro 2024 after penalty shootout drama with Wales

Poland's goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saves a penalty from Wales Daniel James during Euro 2024 football play-off match between Wales and Poland at Cardiff City Stadium, Wales, Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Poland secured the final spot in this summer’s UEFA Euro 2024 tournament in Germany after beating Wales on penalties on Tuesday evening.

The match, held at the Cardiff City Stadium in the Welsh capital, was far from pretty and remained goalless after two hours of football, forcing the tie to be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

After nine successive penalties, Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny became the hero of the night by saving Wales’ final spot-kick from Daniel James to take them into the finals of UEFA’s flagship competition.

Both teams played cautiously, with respect for their opponent and careful defense. In the first half, the Poles had a dangerous moment from a Bartosz Slisz cross, with Karol Swiderski just missing the ball. Just before the break, Ben Davies directed the ball into Wojciech Szczęsny’s goal, but the goal was disallowed for being offside.

The hosts pressed at the start of the second half. In the 48th minute, Kieffer Moore headed precisely, but Szczęsny responded with an even better save. After a spell of clear Welsh dominance, the game balanced out. The Poles managed to hold onto the ball but lacked decisiveness in front of Danny Ward’s goal.

Regulation time ended without a result for either side, and the match went into extra time, where both teams had their chances. Jakub Piotrowski came close to scoring, but his shot narrowly missed the post. Ultimately, the match went to penalties to decide the Euro 2024 qualifier, with Poland triumphing 5:4.

Scorers for the White and Reds included Robert Lewandowski, Sebastian Szymański, Przemysław Frankowski, Nicola Zalewski, and Krzysztof Piątek.

Poland is now set to play in Group D at Euro 2024 in Germany, alongside France, the Netherlands, and Austria.

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