- Poland qualify for third consecutive UEFA EURO finals
- Robert Lewandowski equals competition record of 13 goals in a qualifying group
- Grzegorz Krychowiak's opener had been cancelled out by Jon Walters's penalty
- Poland's latest success on lucky 11 October date
- Republic of Ireland in next month's play-offs
Robert Lewandowski scored the goal that booked Poland's place at UEFA EURO 2016 and equalled a qualifying record into the bargain.
It was a superb header late in the first half that put Poland 2-1 up and took Lewandowski's tally in the group to 13, level with the benchmark set by David Healy ahead of UEFA EURO 2008. Poland thus finished second in Group D behind Germany and ahead of Ireland, who will take part in next month's play-offs, aiming to repeat their success against Estonia four years ago.
After a cautious first 13 minutes, Poland seized the lead. Kamil Grosicki took a clever corner passed back to Grzegorz Krychowiak on the edge of the box and the latter's shot caught Darren Randolph and the Ireland defence by surprise, in the same stadium where the Sevilla midfielder scored in last season's UEFA Europa League final.
Ireland responded immediately. Michał Pazdan's high kick caught the head of Shane Long on the edge of the box and Jon Walters converted the penalty.
Lewandowski heads the winner
Still, a 1-1 draw was sufficient for Poland, and just as well because Lewandowski seemed to be missing his usual foil Arkadiusz Milik, who had assisted six of his 12 qualifying goals before tonight. However, just before half-time, Lewandowski met Krzysztof Mączyński's cross with a stunning header from the edge of the box to match Healy's record and put Poland in front.
A 2-2 draw favoured Ireland in the head-to-head reckoning, but Poland looked the most likely scorers in the second half. Pazdan missed with a header and Randolph denied Grosicki in a one-on-one. Still, when John O'Shea received a second yellow card and was dismissed just before the end, Poland could celebrate their latest 11 October success after beating Portugal in 2006, the Czech Republic in 2008 and Germany a year ago.