England hold on for Poland point
5:56pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 in © Press Association 2014
England were well below their best but managed to cling onto a precious point from a 1-1 draw in their delayed World Cup qualifier with Poland in Warsaw.
Wayne Rooney's first half goal - his 32nd for his country - was cancelled out by Kamil Glik's header midway through the second period.
England remain at the top of Group H with eight points from four games but this was an unconvincing display from the Three Lions, and they were second best for the majority of the second half.
The game got under way 20 hours late after a waterlogged pitch caused the original game to be postponed on Tuesday night. Roy Hodgson opted to persevere with the line-up he originally selected for the game with skipper Steven Gerrard and left-back Ashley Cole winning their 99th caps.
England began on the offensive and James Milner made a powerful run into the Poland box from a Gerrard knockdown. His deep cross picked out the run of Tom Cleverley, who struck his volley cleanly enough but saw it bounce off Lukasz Piszczek to safety.
Poland exploited space down their right flank and Joe Hart had to be alert to clear the ball away from the feet of Piszczek after he attempted to make contact with a pass from Kamil Grosicki. Home skipper Marcin Wasilewski had to be alert to get in front of Jermain Defoe at the near post as he tried to take advantage of a low Milner ball into the danger area.
Poland threatened again when a poor clearance by Hart fell straight to Grosicki. He released Robert Lewandowski, who skipped past the challenge of Cleverley and into the penalty area before firing a cross-shot past the far post.
Rooney silenced the home crowd after 31 minutes when he reacted first to Gerrard's corner and glanced a header past Poland goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton into the corner of the net, via the shoulder of Piszczek.
A mistake by Phil Jagielka almost let in Pawel Wszolek for an equaliser two minutes into the second half. The Everton centre-back mis-kicked attempting to clear with Pawel Wszolek unmarked behind him but Glen Johnson slid in to retrieve the situation.
The equaliser arrived in the 70th minute as Glik got in front of Joleon Lescott to head Ludovic Obraniak's corner past Hart. Poland looked the more likely to snatch a winner but England remained firm and have now been beaten only once in 18 meetings with the Poles.