Poland has qualified for the 2022 World Cup, its ninth appearance at the tournament, and perhaps a potential dark horse in the competition. Our sportsbook offers the best markets and bonuses in World Cup wagering.
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World Cup ‘74
In the 1960s and 1970s, Polish club football provided some great teams in European competitions. It was that success that helped Poland become a force in soccer. Kazimierz Gorski was appointed as manager, with impressive abilities as a coach.
In the 1972 Olympics in West Germany, Poland played some stunning football, winning the tournament. They had 19 goals in six games, reaching the final against Hungary, winning, 2-1, in Munich. They even qualified for the 1974 World Cup, with England in their group.
Poland entered that tournament with anonymity and a lack of expectation. With no attention paid to them, everyone underestimated Gorski’s team.
Poland defeated Argentina (3-2) and Haiti (7-0) in its first two matches. Grzegorz Lato was the national hero, scoring a brace in each game, Poland then booked a spot in the knockout portion, beating Italy, 2-1, in their final game. Fabio Capello scored Italy’s only goal.
They then beat Sweden and Yugoslavia, narrowly losing to West Germany, but having earned a place in the third-place playoff. West Germany’s Paul Breitner claimed Poland was the best side in the ‘74 World Cup. On the eve of the final, Poland secured third place, beating Brazil with Lato’s seventh goal of the competition, winning him the golden boot. Looking for some exciting soccer action? Check out the Poland Ekstraklasa match between Radomiak Radom and Zaglebie Lubin on BetUS Sportsbook.
This was Poland’s greatest-ever international achievement, doing so in front of 77,000 people at Munich’s Olympiastadion. Despite the heartbreak of losing in the semis to West Germany, Poland still achieved things beyond its wildest imagination in the tournament. There was more to come.
Euro ‘16 Quarterfinals
So, after those great results in the 70s and early 80s, Poland had long spells without influence in international football. However, in 2016, Poland had its best finish at a major tournament since 1982 at the last European Championships.
Entering only their third-ever Euros in ‘16, Poland managed to qualify, having finished second in a difficult group with Germany, Northern Ireland and Ukraine. They were unbeaten, with seven points and three clean sheets in the process.
In the round of 16, it ended in a 1-1 draw with Switzerland after extra time. courtesy of goals by Jakub Blaszczykowski and Xherdan Shaqiri. Poland then claimed victory after a tense penalty shootout, which finished 5-4. It finally lost to Portugal again on penalties in the quarterfinal, but it signaled a significant improvement with the Poles.
In 2022, Robert Lewandowski and Piotr Zielinski fired in second-half goals, Poland booking its place at the World Cup in Qatar with a 2-0 win over Sweden. They were drawn into Group C, together with Argentina, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.
Poland is expected to advance to the knockouts, priced at -140 according to the latest soccer odds. It will begin competition against Mexico on Nov. 22nd in Doha.