soccer/footballsports

Portugal tries third presence against Poland

The team plays the playoff on Friday in Zabrze, and on November 20 in Chaves.

The Portuguese Under-21 national team plays against unbeaten Poland on Friday in Zabrze and on 20 November in Chaves their presence at the 2019 UEFA European Championship in a playoff, historically, as a favorite.

Runners-up in 1994 and 2015 and third in 2004, Portugal are aiming for third consecutive and eighth place in the finals since 1994, while Poland, which has never been in the top 4, looks for the second after having been the host in 2017.

The Portuguese line-up has a history and is also present, as Rui Jorge has a number of high-quality and talented players who, however, partially failed to qualify for the second place in Group 8.

Portugal was unable to overcome Romania – being able to complain about a penultimate that wasted on receiving (1-2) the Romanians at 90 + 10 minutes – and will decide everything in two games, against some Poles that finished the qualifying phase without defeats.

In Group 3, Poland, who scored in all games, had six wins and four draws, finishing one point behind Denmark, with four points (3-1 at home and 1-1 away) and front of Georgia, Finland, Lithuania and the Faroe Islands.

Despite not having lost, the East set out to a ‘strange’ qualifying stage, failing to beat the Faroe Islands, who finished in last place: 2-2 away, except for a goal at 90 + 4 minutes, and 1-1 at home.

Czeslaw Michniewicz’s ‘eleven’ season was marked by ten goals – six of which were penultimate – by David Kownacki, a Sampdoria player from Italy. In ‘Serie A’, in 2018/19, he scores a goal in 10 games, always as a substitute.

According to Rui Jorge, Poland is a “very solid” team, which has “high players” and can “create difficulties in the dead balls”, being, even defending in a “low block”, “dangerous in the fast attack and against -attack”.

To face the Polish side, Portugal is almost at full strength, with all elements of the qualifying base team, except Diogo Dalot, a Manchester United player, who is injured.

Rui Jorge could still have four more players who were summoned by Fernando Santos for the last games of the League of Nations group stage, cases of Rúben Dias, Rúben Neves, Renato Sanches and Gonçalo Guedes.

The first leg of the play-offs between Portugal and Poland takes place on Friday at the Ernesta Pohla Stadium in Zabrze, starting at 17:00 (in Lisbon), with referee Georgi Kabakov from Bulgaria.

The tie is then decided in Chaves at 17:00 on November 20, with the winner heading to the finals of the Under-21 Championship in 2019, which takes place in Italy and San Marino between 16 and June 30. The draw is held on November 23rd.

 

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