Poland win again as Turkey regret slow start

Poland 3-1 Turkey
The visitors were forced to rue their early mistake as an Arkadiusz Milik-inspired Poland made it two wins from two Group 7 qualifiers.

Bartłomiej Pawłowski celebrates scoring the opening goal for Poland
©PZPN

Poland gave Turkey cause to regret a sloppy start in Warsaw as Marcin Dorna's team made it two wins out of two in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 7.

Abdullah Ercan's side faced an uphill task from the eighth minute when Bartłomiej Pawłowski scored following an error by Turkey keeper Ömer Kahveci. The visitors were further undone by two counterattacking goals from Arkadiusz Milik, before a much-improved Turkey reduced the arrears in the second half through Bertul Kocabaş. However, the 3-1 scoreline and Engin Bekdemir's 91st-minute red card represented an unhappy opening to the Turkish qualifying campaign.

An initially even contest changed dramatically when a mistake from visiting custodian Ömer presented the ball to Pawłoski who beat a covering defender to fire Poland in front. Although Jakub Szumski saved at the other end from Hakan Çalhanoğlu, the hosts were further ahead when No9 Milik nodded in Michał Żyro's left-wing cross in the 24th minute. Milik delivered again from close range, this time following Paweł Wszołek's right-sided centre, to round off a 31st-minute break and make it 3-0.

Dorna's charges had also defeated Malta in their first fixture in June, but discovered after the interval they would not have everything their own way in Group 7. Szumski had more work to do from Turkey captain Emrah Başsan's header, before striker Bertul Kocabaş latched onto a long pass to cut the deficit in the 55th minute. Comeback hopes might have been raised another notch had Emrah's 72nd-minute shot not rebounded back off a post and to safety. As it was, a now dominant Turkish display would contain only the dispiriting coda of Engin's stoppage-time sending-off.

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