Poland prepared for Russia test
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Each side has a win, a draw and a defeat to their name in their three previous meetings as co-hosts Poland take on Russia in Warsaw in their second UEFA EURO 2012 Group A game.
Article top media content
It has been honours even in three previous matches between Poland and Russia as the teams meet in Warsaw in the second round of UEFA EURO 2012 Group A fixtures.
• Poland's record in three games against Russia is W1 D1 L1.
• The teams' first encounter since Russia became an independent nation was on 2 June 1996, Russia's final preparation match prior to their appearance at EURO '96. Yuri Kovtun (21) and Vladimir Beschastnykh (73) gave the hosts a 2-0 win in Moscow.
• Poland gained revenge in Chorzow on 27 May 1998 after neither team had qualified for that year's FIFA World Cup. Mirosław Trzeciak, making his first start for his country, scored in the fourth minute and a double from defender Tomasz Hajto (57, 90) sealed a 3-1 win after Aleksei Gerasimenko's eighth-minute equaliser.
• The most recent meeting was a 2-2 draw in Moscow in August 2007.
• Poland's record in 11 meetings with the Soviet Union was W2 D3 L6 F8 A23.
• A 0-0 draw with the USSR at the Camp Nou took Poland into the 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-finals. After losing 2-0 to Italy, Poland beat France 3-2 to take the bronze medal.
• Russian striker Viktor Ponedelnik hit a hat-trick as the USSR beat Poland 7-1 in a friendly ahead of the 1960 UEFA European Championship; Ponedelnik also got the winner in the final against Yugoslavia.
• The designated away team has never won a game between Poland and Russia or the USSR; the home side have recorded ten victories with four draws.
Selected previous meetings
22 August 2007: Russia 2-2 Poland (Sychev 21, Pavlyuchenko 34; Krzynówek 73 Błaszczykowski 77) – Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow, friendly
Russia: Gabulov (Shunin 46), V Berezutski (Anyukov 46; Vorobyov 84), Kolodin, A Berezutski (Torbinski 56), Saenko, Semshov, Arshavin, Bilyaletdinov, Zhirkov (Zyryanov 46), Sychev, Pavlyuchenko (Pogrebnyak 46).
Poland: Boruc (Kuszczak 46), Golański (Wasilewski 46), Dudka, Bąk (Żewłakow 46), Bronowicki, Błaszczykowski, R Sobolewski (Jop 67), Iwański (Łobodziński 67), M Lewandowski, Krzynówek, Matusiak (Piszczek 76).
• Guus Hiddink's Russia took a 2-0 lead before a Poland team led by fellow Dutchman Leo Beenhakker struck back, with Jakub Błaszczykowski's first international goal levelling things up.
• This is only Poland's second UEFA European Championship finals tournament. By contrast, they have featured in seven World Cups, starting with a brief appearance at the 1938 finals in France.
• Russia reached the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2008, losing 3-0 to eventual winners Spain – who had also beaten them 4-1 in the group stage.
• Russia have missed just one EURO since the break-up of the former Soviet Union, UEFA EURO 2000, though they had not progressed beyond the group stage before UEFA EURO 2008.
• Maciej Rybus joined FC Terek Grozny from Legia Warszawa in February and has scored three goals in eleven league starts for the Russian Premier League club.
• Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny is a team-mate of Russia captain Andrey Arshavin at Arsenal FC.
• As Netherlands coach, Dick Advocaat faced Poland twice in qualifying for the 1994 World Cup, drawing 2-2 in Rotterdam on 14 October 1992 and then winning 3-1 in Poznan on 17 November 1993. In the former fixture, Advocaat's team were 2-0 down after 21 minutes; in the latter they went behind to Marek Leśniak's early goal but responded through Dennis Bergkamp (2) and Ronald de Boer.
• Advocaat was coach to two former Polish internationals: Tomasz Iwan at PSV Eindhoven (1997/98) and Dariusz Adamczuk at Rangers FC (1999-2002).
• Advocaat was also coach to Eugen Polanski at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2004/05 but the future Poland midfielder made only one Bundesliga appearance, as a late substitute against SV Werder Bremen in February 2005.
• Poland goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń, who saved a penalty against Greece on matchday one having come on as a substitute following Szczęsny's red card, will play under Advocaat next season. The 25-year-old spent 2011/12 on loan at PSV from Roda JC and made the move permanent in January; Advocaat will take over as the Dutch club's coach again following UEFA EURO 2012.
• Former Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Kowalewski was at FC Spartak Moskva (2003-07) and FC Sibir Novosibirsk (2010).
• Another former Polish international, defender Mariusz Jop, spent five years (2004-09) at FC Moskva.
• Poland midfielder Rafał Murawski played for FC Rubin Kazan between 2009 and 2010.
• Legia Warszawa were 5-4 aggregate winners against Spartak Moskva in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-offs. After a 2-2 home draw Legia, captained by Michał Żewłakow, came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in Moscow, Janusz Gol scoring an added-time winner.
• The clubs also met in the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League group stage, Spartak winning 2-1 at home and 1-0 away. The Russian club finished first and the Polish side second, although both were beaten in the quarter-finals.