Two-goal Bosacki seals Poland victory

Two goals from defender Bartosz Bosacki — his first for his country — gave Poland a comeback 2-1 victory over Costa Rica in their nothing-at-stake Group A encounter on Tuesday.

With Germany and Ecuador having already qualified for the last 16, the teams were playing for the futures of their under-fire coaches and to avoid last spot in the group.

Costa Rica opened the scoring with a well-worked free kick in the 25th minute with Poland grabbing a hotly contested equaliser eight minutes later.

The winner came midway through the second half with Poland on top after a good spell of pressure.

Under-pressure Polish coach Pawel Janas said that he was happy the team was returning home having got one win under their belts.

”It would have been a pity to go home without any points or goals,” said the 53-year-old, who was a member of the side that reached the 1982 World Cup semifinals.

Janas, who has been in charge since 2003, added he had not decided on his future as of yet, though there have been many calls for him to resign as the Poles crashed out of the World Cup at the first hurdle for the second successive time.

”I have not thought about resigning and I am not going to take a decision right now,” said Janas, who has fought a successful battle with cancer.

All-time leading scorer Paulo Wanchope, who nabbed two goals in Costa Rica’s 4-2 loss to Germany in the World Cup opener, lined up for his swansong international appearance.

The leggy, long-striding Wanchope had banged in 45 goals in 71 matches for Los Ticos but there was to be no victorious farewell for the former Manchester City star.

Both teams opened the match cagily, with Costa Rica having the first chance in the eighth minute, a left-footed free kick from Ronald Gomez cannoning off a defender for a corner.

There was little for the huge Polish support to get excited about with their laboured build-ups coming to nothing.

Costa Rica opened the scoring in the 25th minute after the best move of the game. Wanchope was impeded by Poland captain Jacek Bak on the edge of the box and dead-ball specialist Gomez hit the target from the resulting free kick.

His low shot sped through the gap left by several Costa Rica players vacating the wall and went under the legs of goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who swung wildly at the ball.

Poland drew level in controversial circumstances in the 33rd minute. An unmarked Bosacki hit home a corner from Maciej Zurawski but Costa Rica keeper Jose Porras seemed to be tripped as he came out to intercept the cross.

It was the central defender’s first goal for his country and Poland’s opening strike of the 2006 World Cup.

Gomez was booked for protesting the goal with referee Shamsul Maidin of Singapore after the half-time whistle.

Poland started the second half brightly and took the lead from another corner in the 66th minute after Porras had saved a stinging shot from Jacek Krzynowek. Bosacki rose above Wanchope to meet the inswinging corner at the back post and powered a header into the net.

Wanchope had the ball in the net in the 81st minute for what would have been a dream equaliser in his last game, but he was correctly ruled offside. — AFP

 

AFP

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