WARSAW (AFP) – Scotland survived late pressure to earn a highly respectable 2-2 draw with Poland in a thrilling Euro 2016 qualifying Group D match in Warsaw on Tuesday.
The Poles, still on a high following their historic win over world champions Germany on Saturday, took a 12th-minute lead courtesy of Krzysztof Maczynski.
Scotland immediately responded and Shaun Maloney fired the Dark Blues level in the 19th minute, before Steven Naismith gave Gordon Strachan’s side the lead 12 minutes after the break.
However, Arkadiusz Milik’s wonder goal levelled matters in the 76th minute and Scotland were hanging on towards the end.
The result means Poland top Group D with seven points on goal difference ahead of the Republic of Ireland, who recorded a 1-1 draw with Germany thanks to a last minute equaliser from John O’Shea.
Scotland, who face Ireland in Glasgow next month, sit level with Germany on four points.
Scotland made two changes to the side that defeated Georgia 1-0 on Saturday, with Gordon Greer replacing the injured Grant Hanley while Steven Whittaker was preferred to Andrew Robertson in defence.
The visitors had a bright start but it was Poland who took the lead after some horror defending from Alan Hutton. The Aston Villa defender’s weak attempted clearance fell to Maczynski and his perfectly angled shot left David Marshall with no chance as it clipped the post on its way into the bottom corner.
Scotland soon regained their composure and were level just seven minutes later following a wonderfully worked goal.
Steven Fletcher pivoted on the half-way line and sent a lofted crossfield pass to Ikechi Anya who showed wonderful control to bring the ball down and then cut it back for Maloney to fire the ball under Wojciech Szczesny from 10 yards out.
The equaliser produced an angry reaction from Poland with Waldemar Sobota inches away from connecting with Kamil Glik’s cross before Whittaker’s superb intervention stopped an almost certain goal from Robert Lewandowski after ‘keeper Marshall had been caught out.