The last time the Polish team lost three goals was in October 2018 (2:3 against Portugal in the Nations League).
Moreover, the Hungarians went 2-0 up in the 57th minute, at the Puskas Arena.
The Red-Whites thus risked losing at the opening of a World Cup qualifier for the first time in the 21st century. They had previously won in 2001 and 2005, and then drew three times.
But then, three Polish substitutes came onto the pitch…and within two minutes it was a draw.
Both of the scorers started the match on the bench. First, Krzysztof Piątek scored. He was followed by Kamil Jóźwiak.
Paulo Sousa created problems in his tactical plan for the meeting in Budapest by choosing the starting eleven.
But the coach himself found a solution in substitution, in the 57th minute.
Two goals in two minutes, after almost an hour of play, erased the dire impression of a loss for Poland.
They didn’t have a shot until the break, they were non-existent in the offensive. In fact, Robert Lewandowski waited in vain for 20 minutes for a pass in or near the penalty area. But he had only four contacts with it. The captain then took to playing around the middle of the pitch again.
One defensive mistake was enough for the hosts to lead. Roland Sallai received a pass behind defenders. He did not allow Jan Bednarek to catch up, and took advantage of Szczęsny’s bad positioning. He kicked the ball into the net.
The captain, goalkeeper, and Polish players promised that it was time for them to take more responsibility.
The Poles were unable to respond, though, to change the result and the game.
The Polish players seemed impotent against the strong and solid Hungarians. Fortunately.
After the break, though, the offensive players were able to hit the net.
The side’s midfielders did not contribute much for a long time. Reca only woke up a little after the break. Sebastian Szymański could not win a duel and was substituted.
There was no acceleration, no element of surprise. Mostly though, they had no idea how to break through the well-organised Hungarian defence.
The introduction of substitutes caused confusion for the hosts- Jóźwiak played well.
For the second time, Lewandowski, Milik, and Piątek were on the pitch together. And only the latter failed to score.
Lewandowski saved a point with a beautiful shot from several meters,
Tied 2-2, the Poles did not calm their nerves and allowed the Hungarians too much in their penalty area.
So, Polish footballers will take away from Budapest that their game and style have much to be desired.
Hungary – Poland 3-3 (1-0):
Goals: Roland Sallai (6), Adam Szalai (53), Krzysztof Piątek (60), Kamil Jóźwiak (61), Willi Orban (78), Robert Lewandowski (83).
Yellow cards: Fiola, Lang, Nagy, Szalai – Helik, Bereszynski
Red card: Fiola (90+4 – for two yellows)
Hungary: Gulacsi – Fiola, Orban, Szalai – Lovrencsics (66. Nego), Kleinheisler, Nagy, Kalmar (81. Siger), Hangya (66. Lang) – Sallai (72. Varga), Szalai
Poland: Szczęsny – Bereszyński, Bednarek, Helik (58. Glik), Reca (79. Rybus) – Szymański (59. Jóźwiak), Krychowiak, Moder (59. Piątek), Zielinski – Lewandowski, Milik (84. Grosicki)