International friendlies roundup: Poland extend winning streak

Finland no match for Poland, wins too for Russia and Austria, as Croatia held by Hungary on Saturday

Poland’s Kamil Grosicki vies for a ball with Finland’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. Photograph: Getty Images

Poland’s Kamil Grosicki vies for a ball with Finland’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Kamil Grosicki and Pawel Wszolek scored two goals each as an experimental Poland lineup thrashed Finland 5-0 in a friendly on Saturday to extend their winning streak to five games in the run-up to Euro 2016.

Poland left Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski on the bench in the first half, along with Fiorentina’s on-loan winger Jakub Blaszczykowski, who scored the winning goal in Wednesday’s friendly against Serbia.

The game, however, was effectively over as a contest by halftime as Poland scored three goals before the break.

Stade Rennais’ Grosicki opened the scoring in Wroclaw in the 18th minute, netting from a precise cross by Legia Warsaw’s right back Artur Jedrzejczyk.

Two minutes later Grosicki crossed from the left for Verona’s on-loan midfielder Wszolek to chip in for 2-0.

Wszolek then found Filip Starzynski, who curled the ball into the net from the edge of the area in the 32nd minute.

Wszolek scored again in the 66th minute following a fortunate rebound off a Finnish defender after being set up by Grosicki, who completed the rout with five minutes remaining having collected a 40-metre pass from defender Bartosz Salamon.

Poland beat Serbia in a friendly on Wednesday, having beaten Iceland and the Czech Republic in friendlies last year and ended their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a win over Ireland.

Poland are in Group C at Euro 2016 along with world champions Germany, Ukraine and Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile Brazilian-born goalkeeper Guilherme made history when he went on as a halftime substitute in Russia’s 3-0 friendly victory over Lithuania.

The Lokomotiv Moscow stopper became the first player born outside of Russia to represent the national team when he replaced Stanislav Kritsyuk.

The 30-year-old Guilherme, who received his Russian passport last year, had little to do as the European Championship finalists eased to a comfortable win.

Fedor Smolov scored five minutes before halftime while Alexander Golovin and Denis Glushakov were on target after the break for Leonid Slutskiy’s side.

A late free kick by captain Balazs Dzsudzsak earned Hungary a 1-1 friendly draw with fellow European Championship finalists Croatia.

Ivan Perisic, who scored when Croatia beat Israel 2-0 on Wednesday, set up the opening goal for Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic after a good one-touch build-up in the 29th minute against Hungary.

Dzsudzsak came close to an equaliser when his fierce low shot in the 36th minute went just wide.

The home team applied more pressure in the second half and the midfielder did not miss the next time he had a chance, drilling a superb effort into the top corner of the net from 22 metres in the 79th minute.

Austria struck twice in the first 13 minutes before surviving an uncomfortable second half on the way to a 2-1 friendly win over fellow Euro 2016 finalists Albania.

Marc Janko scored an opportunist goal and Martin Harnik took advantage of a defensive howler as Albania’s rearguard, which did not concede an away goal in the qualifying campaign, fell apart early on.

Albania, warming up for their first major finals, replied two minutes after the break when Ermir Lenjani burst through Austria’s rearguard to blast his shot between Almer and his near post.

The large visiting contingent of fans let off firecrackers in celebration, causing a delay in the restart as stadium announcers ordered them to stop.

Albania had plenty of possession after that and gave Austria, who dropped only one point in qualifying for the Euro 2016 finals in France in June, some uncomfortable moments but couldn’t find a second goal.

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